Western Tokyo’s Alternative Art Scene

It’s no secret that Tokyo is one of the meccas for great art all around the world. From its famous artists and intricately structured museums, Tokyo has no shortage of elite art. However, for those looking for an alternative art scene, Western Tokyo is the place to be. West of Shinjuku has a wide variety of contemporary art, from cozy galleries to coffee shops featuring local artists.

Western Tokyo’s Alternative Art Scene
  • Combine coffee and art at Clouds

    Combine coffee and art at Clouds

    Combine coffee and art at Clouds

    Koenji’s Clouds Art and Coffee mixes contemporary art and good coffee. Functioning as both a cafe and gallery space, Clouds Art and Coffee is the perfect place to relax with a brew and get to know the young local artists. They are serious about their coffee as much as their art. Clouds brews third wave style coffee, with drip and espresso options, and invites their patrons to ponder over their exhibitions for as long as they want. The shows only last a few weeks so be sure to stop by often!

    Combine coffee and art at Clouds

    Combine coffee and art at Clouds

  • Sleep in an artist’s canvas at BnA

    Sleep in an artist’s canvas at BnA

    Sleep in an artist’s canvas at BnA

    Also in Koenji, BnA art hotel is an art collective where visitors can sleep in the bedrooms that were once artists’ canvases. Currently, there are two rooms available, both painted by Koenji based artists. BnA wishes to combine the local creative community with tourists so they can easily appreciate the true atmosphere of the underground art scene. This way, visitors not only see the high class art Tokyo is famous for, but also the more experimental art scene that can go under the radar. Artists receive a cut of the profits from room sales, making BnA an affordable alternative to the private gallery route. For those not lucky enough to score a reservation, the front desk also acts as a bar and dance space where visitors can meet locals and mingle with the guests. Both the bar and dance space are decked out in local art and are known to host some of the best parties on the weekends.

  • Check out city funded murals

    Check out city funded murals

    Check out city funded murals

    BnA is also responsible for Koenji’s Mural City Project, a city funded project dedicated to putting Koenji on the international art scene. Local artists are invited to paint murals to create a lively street art culture, reminiscent of New York City or Melbourne. The Mural City Project hopes to share their local, underground art scene with the world and make Koenji as well known of an art city as downtown Tokyo.

  • Discover young talent at Gallery Hana

    Discover young talent at Gallery Hana

    Discover young talent at Gallery Hana

    Located in trendy Shimokitazawa, the 20 year old Gallery Hana features contemporary artwork by up and coming artists. Exhibitions are short, normally a week long, and frequent. Each artist brings something new to the gallery in every genre of art, from classic drawings to pop art cartoons to cat toy making workshops. The current exhibition involves a collaboration between two artists, one focusing on pictures and the other focusing on stained glass lights, and using the two mediums to complement each other. Upcoming exhibitions include “Living with Cats” and “The Secret Garden”.

    Discover young talent at Gallery Hana

    Discover young talent at Gallery Hana

  • Grab an artistic lunch at Bar Zingaro

    Art by pop artist Takashi Murakami.

    Bar Zingaro is hidden away in Nakano Broadway and is owned by contemporary artist Takashi Murakami. The wooden decor contrasts stylishly with the bright flowers and other famous subjects of Murakami’s. The bar functions as a cafe in the daytime, with jovial flower imprinted hamburgers and lattes. The bar is one of Murakami’s establishments in Nakano, directly working with Hidari Zingaro, a contemporary art space.

    Koenji
    Address
    Tokyo Suginami-ku Kouenjiminami 4-chome
    Phone
    Clouds Art Coffee
    Address
    Tokyo Suginami-ku Kouenjikita 2-chome 25-4
    Phone
    0353569358
    BNA HOTEL KOENJI
    Address
    Tokyo Suginami-ku Kouenjikita 2-4-7
    Phone
    gallery HANA shimokitazawa
    Address
    Tokyo Setagaya-ku Kitazawa 3-chome 26-2~1F
    Phone
    0363805687
  • Bar Zingaro
    Address
    Tokyo Met. Nakano-ku Nakano 5-52-15 Nakano Broadway 2F
    Phone
    Hidari Zingaro(ヒダリ ジンガロ)
    Address
    東京都中野区中野5-52-15 中野ブロードウェイ3F
    Phone
    03-5345-7825
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