The best art galleries in Roppongi

Step away from the sleaze and into a world of innovative art

You wouldn't believe it, but Roppongi offers more than just overpriced booze, sleazy clubs and boutique shopping. The capital's most famous entertainment district is also home to an interesting array of art galleries, many of which can be a little hard to locate if you don't know where to head. That's where our gallery list comes in: check out the spots listed below for an intro to the world of alternative art in Roppongi, and consult our full 101 things to do in Roppongi guide for more great (and non-illegal) things to do in 'High Touch Town'.

Contemporary art

Take Ninagawa

Atsuko Ninagawa opened this Azabu-Juban gallery in December 2007, having previously worked as a curator in New York. It’s one of the galleries of the so-called ‘post-Kiyosumi-Shirakawa generation' and represents young standard-bearers for the contemporary art world, such as Shinro Ohtake, Soju Tao, Misaki Kawai, Yukiko Suto and Yuuki Matsumura.

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Higashi-Azabu

Ota Fine Arts

Some of Japan’s best-known contemporary artists – such as Yayoi Kusama, Tsuyoshi Ozawa and others who deal with the politics of identity – show at this well-established gallery, which moved to Roppongi in 2011 after a lengthy stint in Ginza.

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Roppongi
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Hiromiyoshii Roppongi

Located along Imoaraizaka, the Hiromiyoshii gallery showcases contemporary artists from home and abroad, covering a range of mediums including painting, sculpture and architecture. Photographers Kishin Shinoyama and Nao Tsuda are among the biggest names here.

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Roppongi

Roppongi Hills A/D Gallery

This gallery is connected to the Roppongi Hills Art & Design Store and hosts a variety of contemporary art exhibitions, ranging from pieces by world-class artists like Yoshitomo Nara to ceramics and more experimental works.

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Gallery Side 2

Formerly based in Azabu-Juban, Gallery Side 2 moved to its current location on a Roppongi backstreet in late 2011. The gallery specialises in contemporary art from promising young Tokyo artists such as Yuko Murata, Fumito Urabe and Takeo Hanazawa, and stocks works by foreign artists such as Rirkrit Tiravanija.

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Roppongi

Gallery MoMo Projects

A contemporary art gallery located behind the Azabu Police Station, MoMo also operates a branch in Ryogoku and features mainly up-and-coming painters like Yuka Otani, Masumi Sakamoto and Yosuke Kobashi.

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Roppongi
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Gallery Art Unlimited

Nogizaka's Unlimited crosses genre borders with exhibitions ranging from traditional fine art to photography, architecture and experimental video. They aim to feature talented artists cogniscent of social issues, and have worked with the likes of Shusaku Arakawa, Toshio Shibata, Meo Saito, Toeko Tatsuno and Mika Yoshizawa.

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Nogizaka

Photography

Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film

Photography-focused gallery on the second floor of the Axis Building in Roppongi, with regular exhibits of both historical and more recent works. The same building also houses several other art- and design-related spots, making it worth a visit for artsy types. Taka Ishii has featured the likes of Daido Moriyama and Nobuyoshi Araki in the past.

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Roppongi

Zen Foto Gallery

First established in Shibuya but now sharing Roppongi's Piramide Building with several renowned galleries, this photo-focused spot isn't exactly well-known but often hosts highly interesting exhibits. Zen specialises in Asian photographers, especially Japanese and Chinese ones.

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Fujifilm Square

Fujifilm's showroom in Tokyo Midtown is a shrine to all things photographic, with free exhibitions and a permanent display of precious antique cameras, some of them dating back as much as 170 years.

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Roppongi

Design and architecture

TOTOGallery Ma

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Sponsored by bathroom appliance-maker Toto, Gallery Ma holds some of the city’s best modern and contemporary architecture shows. Foreign architects featured include Angelo Mangiarotti (from Italy), Seung H-Sang (Korea) and Yung Ho Chang (China).

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Nogizaka

Tokyo Midtown Design Hub

Hosting exhibitions focused on industrial and product design as well as on advertising, photography and crafts, this gallery has been operating at Tokyo Midtown since 2007. The annual 'Good Design' exhibitions are always fun to check out.

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Roppongi
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