When I think of creative cities, I immediately think of Berlin, London, New York and Melbourne. But now I can add Tokyo to that list.
From the minute you arrive, Tokyo is an assault on the senses, with it’s futuristic landscape, it’s unique style and it’s unashamed love of pop culture. It is also a city with lots of creative goodness.
You could spend a month here and still not see all the excellent galleries, museums and general creativity on offer. On a recent trip, I managed to visit just two of these excellent spaces.
Curated by Japan’s largest advertising agency, Dentsu, this museum showcases advertising works from the Edo, Meiji & Taisho eras—yes advertising did exist way back then—as well as showcasing some of Japan’s best contemporary campaigns.
While I was there, I was also treated to The One Show exhibition. The One Show, organised by the One Club for Art and Copy—a non-profit organisation based in New York—is an international creative competition judged by creatives who are front-runners in the creative industry worldwide. This exhibition was one of the best displays of creative work I’ve seen for a long time. Highlights for me included: the gold pencil winning:
- The Sunday Times Rich List Campaign by CHI & Partners/London for their client News International,
- My blood is red and black by Leo Burnett Tailor Made/São Paulo for their client Hemoba/Esporte Clube Vitoria, and
- Smoking Kid by Ogilvy & Mather Thailand/Bangkok for their client Thai Health Promotion Foundation.
Even without this exhibition the museum is well worth a visit, and it’s FREE!
Address: 1-8-2 Higashi-shinbashi B1-B2 fl, Caretta Shiodome Bldg, Tokyo
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday 11:00 – 18:30, Saturday & Sunday 11:00 – 16:30. Closed Mondays.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography is another visual feast. While I was there I was lucky enough to catch the Robert Capa exhibition, which blew me away.
A prolific photographer best known for his work during the Spanish Civil War and World War II, Robert Capa was more interested in the people the war affected than the action taking place. The result: some of the most unforgettable war time images ever taken. The exhibition included many photographs from his days as a war correspondent but also photographs of celebrity friends including the writers Ernest Hemimgway and Truman Capote, the artists Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse and Hollywood stars Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman and Gene Kelly, to name a few.
The museum shows a number of exhibitions by international and Japanese photographers, and the entrance fee is dependent on the number of exhibitions you wish to see on the day.
And if viewing all that amazing photographic talent makes you thirsty, then you’ll be happy to know that just nearby is the Yebisu Beer Museum.
Address: Yebisu Garden Place, 1-13-3 Mita Meguro-ku Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00 to 18:00 (until 20:00 on Thursdays and Fridays)
Cost: Entrance fees vary depending on the number of exhibitions you wish to see