If you want to pick up a brush, paint or some sculpting supplies, head over to Gekkoso. They sell all you need and even hold workshops on a regular basis!
Tokyo’s jam-packed with modern artists. Set up last year, Walls Tokyo aims to bring art to first-time buyers with prices that don’t break the bank.
1. Mita Arts Gallery
Mita Arts Gallery has been supplying the finest Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, to collectors and museums worldwide since its inception in 1963. The founder, David Caplan first began collecting prints in the US and Europe, but once he moved to Japan he quickly realized that he could purchase and sell them much more profitably here. This led to the establishment of Mita, the only ukiyo-e gallery with foreign directors that is also members of both the Japan Ukiyo-e Dealers Association and International Ukiyo-e Society.
The gallery has one of the largest collections of 17th through 21st century prints in the world. It is a member of Globus Washitsu, an organization that fosters and supports cultural exchange between Japan and the United States.
Mita Arts Gallery is located in the Jimbocho area of Chiyoda. It is a short walk from the health club Joy fit 24 and the bookstore Comic Takayama. You can easily find the location by downloading the free app JapanYello. This app allows you to check out all the information about any business in Japan, including photos, working hours, reviews and other relevant information.
2. On Sundays
Okura Oriental Art on the outskirts of Roppongi is well-known for its objet d’art, but it also offers practical items that can be used in your daily life. From bento sets to ink-stone boxes with built-in abacuses, the store has an incredible range of antiques that can be bought and taken home. It is within walking distance from Roppongi-income Station.
Harajuku is a fashionable and youthful part of town, known for goth lolitas, emo fashion, and all manner of other trends. It’s also the birthplace of cosplay, or ‘costume play’, where thousands of people dress in costumes and act out their favorite characters.
Visit the following website to find out more about Japanese art and culture:
Shinjuku is one of the city’s major shopping areas, with half a dozen huge department stores, as well as many international fashion brands. Its Omotesando Street is home to Rei Kawakubo’s Commes des Garcons, amongst others. Alternatively head to the upmarket Aoyama district to find top designer names along its streets and underground shopping arcades. It’s also a great place to pick up traditional Japanese crafts such as kiriko, or cut-glass art.
Nanzuka was founded in 2005 in Harajuku by gallerist Shinji Nanzuka right after dropping out of university. The gallery is known for bringing outsider artists to global attention. Nanzuka says that art that is not rooted in traditional training has the potential to capture the cultural snapshot of our time.
He believes that this is why artists like Keiichi Tanaami and Hajime Sorayama have become such a big hit, even among people who are not familiar with the art world. Their works are visually striking and evoke emotions, and they are able to attract viewers of all ages and backgrounds.
We recently had the chance to sit down with Nanzuka while he was touring us around his gallery and office. We talked about why he decided to be a gallerist, how he feels about censorship and his favorite Stanley Kubrick movies. We also got a first look at his new prints with Keiichi Tanaami. You can find them at the gallery’s online store. The prints are limited edition, so be sure to act fast!
4. Tokyu Hands
If you’re a fan of DIY projects or just want to bring home a piece of Japan’s rich culture, Tokyu Hands is the place for you. Known as the one-stop shop that escapes easy definition, this mega chain of nationwide outlets carries everything from souvenirs to cosmetics to cooking equipment and crafts. The store’s countless departments are categorized alphabetically and by genre, so you can easily find what you’re looking for.
The Shinsaibashi branch is self-styled as the “Creative Life Store,” with a focus on high-quality, functional home improvement and hobby products that are practical as well as stylish and chic. If you’re a traveler, you’ll find everything from Noren (doorway curtains) to travel accessories and suitcases, and the store also carries equipment for do-it-yourselfers and crafters, like paper for repairing shoji screens. The brand recently underwent a massive rebranding from Tokyu to simply ‘Hands,’ after being acquired by Cainz. The name change coincided with a fresh new logo designed by Japanese design firm Nendo. It’s a great way to get inspired before you start crafting at home.
5. Pigment Store Tokyo
Run by Warehouse Terrada, this “art supplies lab” designed by Kengo Kuma stocks 4,200 pigments, traditional koboku ink sticks and 50 kinds of animal glue. It’s a store, museum and art academy all in one, with a staff of well-versed specialists eager to introduce traditional materials to a new generation.
You’ll find brushes made from squirrel, weasel and other varieties of hair lining the neat bamboo shelves; paints are mixed from powder and binding agents on site using the shibuichi technique that’s been around since the 15th century. The shop also sells frames, washi paper and canvases.
Tools is an official stockist of Copic markers, and they have a clinic on site where you can get refills and nib replacements. They also offer regular workshops for beginners through to experienced artists.