Tokyo boasts a concentration of cultural facilities representing the best of modern Japan. Music, theater, opera, traditional arts, as well as sound and stage performances of many other genres are endlessly on offer. With world-renowned orchestras and soloists, along with countless operas and musicals continuously on tour, halls with state of the art technology and acoustic design deliver unsurpassed sound fields for the enjoyment of a broad repertoire of performances.
The pleasures of traditional performance arts such as Kabuki and Noh also include experiencing their impressive theaters and unique stage designs. At Kabukiza, a well-known Kabuki theater, karahafu (Chinese cusped gables) and other exterior architectural aspects built in centuries-old tradition, along with interior galleries, can be enjoyed before a performance even starts.
For those wanting to see a movie, an exciting selection of projection systems, special seating and film choices await you. Each October, the Tokyo International Film Festival, one of the competitive feature film festivals sanctioned by the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations), is held in Tokyo, with Toho Cinemas, located within the Roppongi Hills complex, as its main venue and film viewings spread across Metropolitan Tokyo.
Many of the over 400 museums and galleries said to be in Tokyo alone stand within this 10 km radius.
For art enthusiasts, there are many other places to enjoy besides the museums in Ueno we previously introduced in “Within a 1 km Radius of Our Campuses.” Public art museums include the National Art Center, Tokyo and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. For natural science fans, there’s the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), and if you’re interested in the humanities and history, we recommend the Edo-Tokyo Museum, to name a few. There are also many more with outstanding collections operated by the private sector and corporations. Far-ranging collections of modern art, Oriental antiques, ceramics, tea ceremony instruments, ukiyo-e, Buddhist statues and many other types of art can be found to satisfy every taste.
JP Tower Museum INTERMEDIATHEQUE
The JP Tower Museum INTERMEDIATHEQUE opened in 2013 across from Tokyo Station, in what was formerly the Tokyo Central Post Office, renowned for its modernist architecture.
Operated jointly by UTokyo and the Japan Post Co., Ltd, the museum uses original fixtures and cabinets from UTokyo’s labs to display the evolution of the University over the three centuries it has spanned since its founding in 1877. The museum collection includes something for every taste and curiosity: specimens, taxidermy samples, human anatomical models, mineralogical collections, ancient Persian necklaces, old globes and armillary spheres, astronomical telescopes, geometric models, and avant-garde artist Genpei Akasegawa’s “The Great Japanese Zero Yen Note.”
What kind of experience will you have when looking through this wunderkammer (cabinet of curiosities) in 21st century Tokyo?
It’s one minute by foot from JR Tokyo Station Marunouchi South Exit or directly linked to Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line Tokyo Station. Admission free.
Tokyo Station exterior
INTERMEDIATHEQUE stands in an area which has long been the heart of Japan’s economy, lined with impressive buildings of megabanks, government financial institutions, and alongside head offices of trading companies and mass media. Extensive redevelopment in recent years has not only enhanced the appearance of the neighborhood, but also strengthened safety and earthquake-resistant features in new high-rise structures, putting polish to the area’s growing image as an elegant town offering quality shopping and dining.
In 2014, Tokyo Station celebrated 100 years since its opening. In that same year, the station emerged from extensive restoration and preservation work, highlighted by the reconstruction of its magnificent red brick exterior crowned by a dome-shaped roof. This renovation work transformed the station’s structure into one befitting the home of the world-renowned high-speed Shinkansen and other Japanese trains boasting unparalleled safety and precision.
The area around the station is connected underground for added convenience, but we suggest a look at the station’s exterior from street level.