1. MoonFlower Sagaya Ginza
    © teamLab, courtesy of Pace GalleryWorlds Unleashed and then Connecting – Sagaya. teamLab, 2015, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi
  2. Tree by Naked ツリー バイ ネイキッド ヨヨギパー
    Photo: Kisa Toyoshima
  3. BnA Wall
    Photo: Kisa ToyoshimaBnA Wall
  4. Artbar Tokyo
    Photo: Keisuke TanigawaArtbar Tokyo

Best art restaurants, bars and cafés in Tokyo

These restaurants, bars and cafés double up as a gallery of sorts, serving up cool art alongside food and drinks

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada
Contributor
Time Out Tokyo Editors
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Tokyo's vibrant dining scene has a lot to offer. Besides being home to numerous Michelin-starred eateries and hole-in-the-wall ramen joints, the city also has a niche for creative spaces which combine the joys of eating and drinking with a little art appreciation.

Where else in Tokyo can you admire great works of art while downing a drink or indulging in a seasonal course dinner? Be it a paint class where a little wine can spark your imagination, or just a well-designed space featuring today's most intriguing up-and-coming local artists, Tokyo really has a restaurant for everything. 

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When art meets food

  • Restaurants
  • Ginza

This unique dining space run by digital art collective teamLab specialises in seasonal dishes and high quality Saga wagyu beef served in the middle of an ongoing art installation. The intimate space holds just eight seats and features the permanent digital art installation known as ‘Worlds Unleashed and then Connected’. Images of flowers and trees will fade in and out around you as you enjoy your meal. 

The restaurant also uses unique Arita tableware, a special type of white porcelain made in the town of Arita in Saga prefecture. The crockery all features intricate designs that change every month based on the season. Expect cherry blossoms in spring, lotus flowers in summer, momiji maple trees in the autumn and Japanese camellia in the winter.

  • Restaurants
  • Yoyogi-Hachiman

Are you looking for a completely different dinner experience? This restaurant near Yoyogi Park will most likely fit the bill. Described as a place 'that will make your life more creative', Tree by Naked promises a mishmash of virtual reality, projection mapping, lighting, music and, of course, an eight-course dinner set to complete the tree-themed worldview. 

If you rather not splurge on the ¥30,000 course dinner, head over during the day when the restaurant operates as a café. This summer, the restaurant has turned into a lush rainforest with a refreshing summer menu that works well in the hot summer heat. Available until September, the menu includes a passionfruit shikuwasa citrus soda (¥825), a vegan pineapple and banana ice bar (¥550), and a fresh salad bowl (¥1,320) filled with summer veggies and grilled chicken. 

You can also order from the signature menu, which includes the popular American cherry mille feuille (¥1,650) and a set of three canéles (¥770).

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  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Nihonbashi

With artsy hotels in hip neighbourhoods like Koenji and Akihabara, Tokyo’s popular hotel operator BnA (short for ‘Bed and Art’) has launched its newest venue in Nihonbashi.

The hotel's lobby bar is run by the team behind Shibuya Oiran, a popular hangout spot among locals and tourists for the past 10 years. Sip on the speciality CBD-infused lassi, a seasonal sake or even a Japanese non-alcoholic cocktail while you observe the massive six-metre-tall mural that runs all the way down to the basement – you’ll find more of the artists’ creations down there. You can also grab bar snacks including soup, steamed dumplings and locally made senbei rice crackers.

  • Restaurants
  • Harajuku

A restaurant specialising in Osaka-style okonomiyaki and Tokyo's own monjayaki, Sakura Tei is found in the Jingumae-Sanchome area near Cat Street, on the grounds of the Design Festa Gallery. This artsy influence is visible throughout the place, from the mural by the entrance all the way to the many vivid pieces on the walls. It's a strange but fascinating space that's sure to provide quite a few Instagram-worth photo ops.

In addition to the aforementioned specialities, the menu lists appetisers and desserts throughout the day, but lunch is when Sakuratei really shines. This is when you can pay ¥1,500 for all-you-can-eat okonomiyaki and monja, available in a whopping 21 varieties. The reasonable prices add to the attraction, as do the interesting wild grass toppings and various international specials.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Aoyama
  • price 2 of 4

Nestled among the glitzy stores of Aoyama is this spacious restaurant-bar created in collaboration with Japanese contemporary artist Yoshitomo Nara. Expect to see photographs and paintings of Nara’s signature sweet-yet-sinister girls as well as a collection of his art books which you can peruse at your leisure.

Most of Nara’s pieces can be found in the central space, a charming wooden house structure. After getting acquainted with Nara’s disconcerting paintings, head up to the rooftop bar for a panoramic view of Aoyama while enjoying a dessert or drink. The menu also offers an extensive food selection, ranging from standard bar snacks and Japanese set meals to western classics such as salads and pastas.

  • Things to do
  • Classes and workshops
  • Daikanyama

Bottomless wine might not sound conducive to painting with a steady hand, but the classes at this friendly art studio, where good vibes and great company help you embrace your creativity, the wine is just a liquid motivation to let your creative juices flow.

You don’t need to be an artist to get stuck in, although you’ll need to prepare to get a bit messy: classes range from paint-pouring and Jackson Pollock-style splash painting to something rather more refined – you might find yourself attempting to recreate Van Gogh’s and Monet’s iconic works. If starry nights or water lilies aren’t your bag, look out for the odd seasonal classes here, such as sakura-themed painting sessions in spring.

Classes are held in English and Japanese on weekdays with several sessions at weekends. The monthly class schedules are on the website.

Note: The bar is currently serving non-alcoholic beverages under the current state of emergency.

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