oMy first week was very indeed very active, apart from Thursday where I just did laundry and relaxed at home with kanji reading and writing, and Terrace House (Japanese reality TV) catching up. Yes, I am addicted. Yes, this is ridiculous. Yes, you can throw rocks at me.
Anyway, during my first week in Tokyo I have seen no less than 3 wonderful museums, starting with The Ōta Memorial Museum of Art.
Entrance fee: 700円 (£5)
Why go there? To admire ukiyo-e paintings
Exhibition I have seen: Splendid Views of Edo～Snow, Moon and Flowers
The Ōta Memorial Museum of Art has been established after the death of Seizō Ota Ⅴ in 1977. He was a lifetime collector of ukiyo-e, and wished that the 12,000 (!) pieces of his collection could be shown to the public. Because of the very fragile nature of ukiyo-e, they only expose a few, rotating every month, so as not to damage them, which means that I can (and will) go back to see different paintings.
Obviously, and like in a lot of museums, it was not possible to take pictures, but their website has some of the exposed worked featured – if you are curious enough to have a look. I have particularly liked The Gion Shrine in Snow, from the series Famous Views of Kyoto, which I have used to illustrate this article.
The museum itself has a very quiet and relaxing vibe, with a small zen garden where you can seat while admiring the works. There are also lockers for people to leave their phones and other belongings (which I did) as they ask visitors not to use them inside.
I exited the exhibition feeling calm and overjoyed to have seen works of amazing masters such as Hokusai and Hiroshige (especially since I am livid to miss the Hokusai exhibition in London!), and excitement to know I could come back and see new amazing ukiyo-e. I just can’t wait!