From the moment Japanese students learn to write kanji, the logographic Chinese characters that compose the written language, they become artists with precision and attention to detail. It’s no wonder that Japanese culture is exploding with arts. Museums, galleries, and workshops dazzle Tokyo itineraries with imaginations fulfilled. Here are some places to experience multi-sensory art in Tokyo.
1) teamLab Borderless
No art gallery will ever be the same again. We wander, wide-eyed, through surrealistic dreams and soundscapes enveloped in psychedelia. This immersive selfie-wonderland makes artists of us all as colours rain, borders melt and our imaginations are released and re-framed within the lens of our own cameras. We bounce and slide along the surface of the moon into a room of giant orbs. The fish that children draw are given life by scanners enabling them to swim along the floor, walls, and ceiling. Perched in a nest in space we are visually blasted by a laser light show. We climb through a forest of lanterns to pass from one realm to the next. Wading in a pool of ethereal lily pads we refract the light with our hands with the illusion that we are bathing in it. Our minds are blown.
2) Amezaiku Ameshin
A traditional Japanese craft from the 8th century, Amezaiku is the art of molding candy by heating it to high temperatures and then quickly but methodically manipulating it with hands and Japanese scissors. Workshops at Amezaiku Ameshin share how to create basic animal shapes out of candy by cutting, pulling and bending, and today we are making bunnies to take home with us. It’s even harder than it looks, so we’re permitted three attempts. Time is unforgiving, and the difference between soft caramel and hard porcelain is mere seconds. Watching the master at work is hypnotic. We are amazed. On display and for purchase are his most intricately designed candies that look like glass blown ornaments.
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3) Yayoi Kusama Museum
Peering through a narrow window into a large pink ball, reflections from a cosmic myopia of mirrored orbs peer back at me. I am at once voyeur and participant. An iridescent pumpkin patch teases a Halloween dreamscape in which to wander and wonder. Standing alone as a filament in a galactic chandelier, a sea of candles illuminates the darkness to eternity. The physical, emotional and spiritual relationship to time and space that Yayoi Kusama evokes in each of her exhibits is personal and profound. Kusama works at the microscopic and cosmic levels simultaneously, and her kaleidoscope mind reveals a matrix of polka dots that explore and reveal our connections to the world and the universe around us.
• Opening Days: Thursdays to Sundays and National Holidays All tickets must be purchased in advance online.
• Entry is timed and only valid for a specific 90-minute time- slot.
• Tickets go on sale at 10 am (Japan Time) on the first day of each month for entry in the month after next.
*Door tickets are not available *Tickets can be purchased only through the museum’s website.
• Check out the Yayoikusama Museum page for upcoming exhibits.
Adam Waxman is an award winning travel journalist focusing on food, wine and well being. As well as an actor in film, television and formerly, the Stratford Festival, he is the Publisher of DINE and Destinations magazine.