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October is here, and so are the beautiful artworks from around the world to Tokyo. Below are the must-go exhibitions that I highly recommend. Please note that most of the museums now in Tokyo require reservations before going. But do not worry, reserving a museum ticket is much easier than reserving a Disney ticket nowadays. Please enjoy!

The genealogy of light: impressionist masterworks from the Israel Museum, Jerusalem

For those who find impressionism their favorite art style, this art exhibition will be one of the most special experiences for you. Exhibitions related to impressionism art are common in Japan because it is popular. But this time, the degree of excitement for this is on a different scale; there will be multiple paintings that have never come to Japan. There will be paintings from many important impressionists. Especially for paintings by Monet, many of them will be their first time being shown in Japan. I personally love the painting by Eugène Boudin. How he draws the light and shadow of the sky and its reflection on the sea gives me chills every time I see his work. So excited to go to all their work!

This exhibition will be held at Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum near Tokyo station between October 15 – January 16.

Collecting Van Gogh: 
Helene Kröller-Müller’s Passion for Vincent’s Art

This may be one of the biggest exhibitions this year. The artworks that will be exhibited are from the Kröller-Müller Museum, which was established by Kröller-Müller. She was the largest collector of Van Gogh art, so one of the main attractions of this exhibition is that the visitors are able to see different Van Gogh art in every era of his artist days. Since Kröller-Müller was an enthusiastic collector, there will also be other diverse paintings by different painters ranging from realists to cubists. The visitors will see not only the transition of Van Gogh art but also the transition of the major art style of each era. There is a lot to take in from this exhibition, so you might want to visit at least twice or more! For these kinds of popular exhibitions, be careful not to go on the last few days of the opening period, because it often gets crowded. Don’t forget to reserve your ticket before you go!

The Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum is near Ueno Station, and this is held between September 18 – December 12.

Selections from the Ishibashi Foundation Collection The Impressionists: Tales of Painterly Friendships

The Artizon Museum is a museum that was previously named Bridgestone Museum of Art before its renewal open on 18 January 2020. Seijiro Ishibashi is the founder of the Bridgestone Museum(now Artisan Museum), and this is an exhibition putting attention on the impressionism art that he and his foundation had collected. This exhibition focuses on the friendship between the impressionists, so it is a great opportunity for you to focus not only on the artworks but also on the artists themselves. There will also be a special section called the “France and Wine in the 20th Century, in Illustrated Books”. It might be interesting comparing wine illustrations of different artists. The museum made a correlation diagram just for this exhibition, so it might be fun to take a look at this before going!

This exhibition will be held near Tokyo station, at Artizon Museum between October 2, 2021 – October 10, 2021.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 
Botanical Arts of Flowers, Queen Charlotte and the Enlightenment

If you enjoy botanical art, this is perfect for you. Have you heard of the “Kew Gardens”? It is a royal botanic garden in southwest London, which is one of the biggest gardens in the world with a diverse collection of plants. In this exhibition, the botanical art collection of the Kew Gardens and some pottery items that Queen Charlotte loved will be exhibited. The paintings here will be very scientific and therefore realistic. The paintings will be aligned in order of the age they were drawn, so it may be fun analyzing the difference between the past and modern scientific art styles of plants. Also, if you’re learning how to draw flowers, it may be a good experience going!

This is held at Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum near Meguro station, between September 18 – November 28.

“As if Listening” Komako Sakai

Komako Sakai is a famous children’s book artist in Japan. When I was searching for museums to go to this autumn, I saw a familiar art style, which I unexpectedly found an exhibition about an illustrator of my favorite book. It is called “The Velveteen Rabbit” (ビロードのうさぎ), and Komako Sakai drew the illustration of the Japanese version of this book. I remember reading it again and again when I was a child. The story itself is beautiful, but what got me the most was the illustrations that give a soft and ephemeral impression. The concept of the exhibition is to give an impression to the visitors as if they’re walking through a forest; a forest of art. Visiting this exhibition may give you a moment of peace or a return to your childhood memories.

The Play! Museum is near Tachikawa Station, and the exhibition is held between September 18 – November 14.

There are much more museums that you must go to this season, but introducing all of them here would be much. If I have time, I would do a volume 2 of “must-go museums.” Please consider going to these museums because they are all worth going to. Also, they need visitors to maintain their facility!

Yuno Yamamoto

ICU Japan '24

Currently studying at ICU. Enjoys reading, watching films/TV series on NETFLIX, listening to music, and drawing. Also enjoys going to art museums and collecting picture frames.
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