Unmissable exhibitions in Japan this fall   秋の展覧会

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The famous Grand Blue Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai Katsushika, after 36 drunk Mount Fuji, is a perfect example of ukiyo-e, or the image of a transient world and floating.

The famous "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" by Hokusai Katsushika is a perfect example of ukiyo-e, or image of a transient and floating world.

Grave of the Fireflies (1988) by Isao Takahata

Minato-ya Ezoshi Ten (1915). Woodblock print by Yumeji Takehisa

A noh mask

Discover the best exhibitions in Japan, autumn 2019

Whether you're a fan of contemporary art, traditional arts and crafts or even Japanese pop culture, you'll surely find an event to interest you from our selection of autumn exhibitions.

The Essential Treasures of Ancient Japan Passed Down by the Imperial Family

An exceptional event, with an exceptional exhibition! This could be the slogan of this special exhibition celebrating the enthronement of His Majesty the Emperor which will open in October at the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno. It will showcase invaluable masterpieces from the Asuka period (538 AD - 710 AD) and the Nara period (710 AD). C. - 794 AD); property under imperial sealed for centuries and inaccessible to the public until the early 20th century. Among them, the treasures of Shoso-in, the treasure house of Todai-ji in Nara and Horyu-ji in Ikaruga are not to be missed!

  • Address: Tokyo National Museum, 13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo
  • Dates: From October 14 to November 24, 2019
  • Opening times: 09:30 to 17:00. Closed on Mondays.
  • Access: a 15-minute walk from Keisei Ueno Station, Tokyo Ueno and Nezu metro stations
  • Price: Adult: 1700 yen; student: 1100 yen; high school student: 700 yen
  • Find more information on the museum website

Noh in Contemporary Art: Chofu Noh Odyssey

This exhibition being held at Chofu City Cultural Center explores the links between Noh theater and contemporary creation (design, contemporary art, artistic performances, fashion, art installations). It brings together the reinterpretations of Noh actor Gasho Yamanaka, the works of am (the mask artist and designer) and treasures from the Edo period including Noh masks and costumes, plus stage props. An interesting insight into Nohgaku, which has been designated a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Japan.

  • Address: Chofu Cultural Center, 2-33-1 Kojima-cho, Chofu-shi, Tokyo 182-0026
  • Dates: From September 14 to November 4, 2019
  • Opening hours: 10:00 to 18:00 Closed from September 24 to 27, October 28 and 29
  • Access: a 4-minute walk from the central exit of Chofu Station on Keio and Keio Sagamihara lines
  • Price: free

Suiho Tagawa

To mark the occasion of the 120th anniversary of mangaka Suiho Tagawa (1899-1989), Kawasaki Municipal Museum is offering a retrospective on the creator of the famous manga character Norakuro (のらくろ), a black and white dog serving as a soldier in mokenrentai or "The Fierce Dogs Regiment". Published for the first time in the January 1931 edition of Shonen Club magazine, this series found immediate and dazzling success and was later adapted into anime, the theater, song, and even confectionery!

  • Address: Kawasaki City Museum, 1-2 Todoroki, Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa-ken 211-0052
  • Dates: September 18 to November 24, 2019
  • Opening hours: 09.30am to 17:00. Closed on Mondays.
  • Access: 10-minute bus ride from the north exit of Musashikosugi Station on JR Nanbu, Tokyu Toyoko and Meguro lines
  • Price: 700 yen for adults

Exhibit on Norakuro, the popular character created by Suiho Tagawa

Commemorating the 170th anniversary of Hokusai's death

To mark 170 years since the death of the master of ukiyo-e, Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), Sumida Hokusai Museum is collaborating with the Mogi-Honke Museum of Art. Established in 2006 in Noda in Chiba prefecture, the latter houses the superb collection of art collected by Mogi Shichizaemon, the founder of the Kikkoman society. It's an incredible collection of over 3,000 works. In this exhibition the Sumida Hokusai Museum has unveiled a hundred works of the world-renowned master of the woodblock print and his pupils, on display for the first time outside of Noda.

  • Address: Sumida Hokusai Museum, 2-7-2 Kamezawa, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0014
  • Dates: from September 10 to November 4, 2019
  • Opening hours: 09.30 to 17:30. Closed on Mondays.
  • Access: 5 min walk from exit A3 of Ryogoku Station on Toei Oedo Line, 9 min walk from the East Exit of Ryogoku Station JR Sobu Line.
  • Adult price: Adult: 1200 yen; Students: 900 yen; High school students: 400 yen
  • Find more information on the museum website

Compete in Beauty: World of Ukiyo-e Paintings from the Hikaru Museum Collection

Nikuhitsu ukiyo-e, one-of-a-kind paintings made using a brush and colored ink on paper or silk, have not achieved the same fame as the mass-produced ukiyo-e woodblock prints.

The Sano Museum intends to draw attention to these delicate works by exhibiting a hundred of them from the Hikaru Museum's collection in the town of Takayama. Produced throughout the Edo period (1603-1868) by the same artists who designed the drawings for the woodblock prints, these also include beautiful young women and elegant genre scenes.

  • Address: Sano Art Museum, 1-43 Nakatacho, Mishima-shi, Shizuoka 411-0838
  • Dates: From September 7th to October 27th, 2019
  • Opening hours: 10:00 to 17:00. Closed on Thursdays.
  • Access: a 3-minute walk from Mishima-Tamachi Station on the Izu-Hakone Line.
  • Price: Adult: 1000 yen; Child: 500 yen
  • Find more information on the museum website

Beautiful young woman (detail) (dated ar. 1700-1720) by Kaigetsudo Ando

Beautiful Lives: Birds and Flowers in Japanese and East Asian art

Shasei, literally drawing from nature, first appeared in late 9th century China as the new realistic trend of painting or drawing while observing real things in nature, such as flowers and birds, to capture their likeness. This attitude of observing nature to draw and paint it was then brought to Japan during the Kamakura period (1185 - 1333).

This fall, these paintings of birds and flowers are displayed in the Nezu Museum in Tokyo for an exhibition that retraces the history and stylistic evolution of this pictorial genre, especially in China and Japan.


  • Address: Nezu Museum, 6-5-1 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku
  • Dates: From September 7th to November 4th, 2019
  • Opening hours: 10:00 to 17:00. Closed on Mondays.
  • Access: 8 min walk from Omotesando station (exit A5)
  • Price: Adult: 1100 yen; student and high school student: 800 yen
  • Find more information on the museum website

Yearning for Europe - Yumeji Takehisa

Paintings, watercolors, prints, postcards and envelopes, press illustrations, book covers, etc. The prolific work of the painter and poet Yumeji Takehisa (1884-1934) is full of romanticism and melancholy. The Ibaraki Museum of Modern Art has devoted a very beautiful retrospective to this artist, whose depictions of beautiful young women of the Taisho era (1912-1926) live on in posterity under the name of Yumeji Bijin-ga.

  • Address: Ibaraki Museum of Modern Art, 666-1 Higashi-Kubo, Senbacho, Mito, Ibaraki 310-0851
  • Dates: From September 7th to October 27th, 2019
  • Opening hours: 09:30 to 17:00. Closed on Mondays.
  • Access: 15 minutes walk from the south exit of JR Mito Station
  • Price: Adult: 980 yen; student and high school student: 720 yen
  • Find more information on the museum website

Woman in kimono (1931-33) by Yumeji Takehisa

Sengai: The Konishi Collection

Following a major donation received in 2016, Fukuoka Art Museum is now offering an exhibition of Sumi-e paintings, literally "water and ink images", and some of the personal effects of Sengai Gibon (1750-1837), a Zen Buddhist monk of the Rinzai sect, well known for his philosophical teachings and his sometimes impertinent paintings who lived as a recluse at Shofukuji in Fukuoka for a good part of his life.

  • Address: Fukuoka Art Museum, 1-6 Ohori Koen, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka
  • Dates: From October 1st to December 1st, 2019
  • Opening hours: 09:30 to 17:30. Closed on Mondays.
  • Access: From Hakata Station, take bus No.13 to Fukuokashi Bijutsukan Higashiguchi Station and walk 3 min.
  • Price: Adult: 200 yen
  • Find more information on the museum website

LAST DAYS: exhibitions closing soon...

Takahata Isao: a legend of Japanese animation

You only have a few days left to enjoy the first retrospective devoted to the director and co-founder of the famous Studio Ghibli, Isao Takahata (1935-2018), held at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo. The whole of his creations, his innovations and his influence are presented through 1,000 documents including production notes and unpublished sketches. A very nice tribute to one of the greatest masters of post-war Japanese animation.

  • Address: National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, 3-1 Kitanomaru Park, Chiyoda-ku 102-8322
  • Dates: until October 6, 2019
  • Opening hours: 10:00 to 17:00 (10:00 to 21:00 on Fridays and Saturdays). Closed on Mondays.
  • Access: a 3-minute walk from Exit 1B of Takebashi Station on the Tozai Line
  • Price: Adult: 1500 yen; Students: 1100 yen; High school students: 600 yen
  • Find more information on the website dedicated to the exhibition

The Setouchi Triennale

The 4th edition of the Triennale concludes this autumn. The third and final part of this festival of contemporary art will be held from September 28 to November 4 on a dozen islands of the Seto Inland Sea. Don't miss this final autumn phase or you'll have to wait until 2022 to enjoy the next edition!

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