10 Masterpieces You Can Only See in Tokyo

Imperial Palace | © mhiguera/Flickr
Imperial Palace | © mhiguera/Flickr
Photo of Alicia Joy
Tokyo Writer29 May 2017

Tokyo is a beautiful city, in every sense of the word. From architectural marvels to exquisite antique art, here are ten masterpieces you can only find in Japan’s capital.

The Myth of Tomorrow by Taro Okamoto

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The Myth of Tomorrow by Taro Okamoto | © yoppy/Flickr
Taro Okamoto‘s The Myth of Tomorrow is a haunting piece of art depicting the horrors of an atomic bombing. It’s also known as “The Lost Mural,” since it was missing for years somewhere in Mexico after the hotel that commissioned it went out of business. It was later sent back to Japan and is now installed in Shibuya Station.

Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku

Shopping Mall
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Entrance to Tokyu Plaza in Omo-Hara
Entrance to Tokyu Plaza in Omo-Hara | © Photos By 夏天 / Flickr
Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku (Omohara for short) was remodeled in 2012. Architect Hiroshi Nakamura gave the place a makeover befitting the Jingumae crossing’s reputation as a fashion and culture hub, giving it a rooftop park and lining the entry stairwell with a cluster of artistically arranged mirrors.

Ryogoku Kokugikan

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Ryōgoku Kokugikan is the largest sumo hall in Japan
Ryōgoku Kokugikan is the largest sumo hall in Japan | © ThomasClavier / WikiCommons
As the largest sumo hall in the country, Ryogoku Kokugikan is the center of sumo culture in Japan. Although this structure is not the original built in 1909, it is still an impressive sight and the only place to catch the Grand Tournaments when they’re in Tokyo.

The Heian Scrolls

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Lotus Sutra copied in the 9th Century
Lotus Sutra copied in the 9th Century | WikiCommons
The Tokyo National Museum‘s main gallery (honkan) is dedicated to pre-modern Japanese art, from Jomon to Edo. One of the most intriguing rooms is the one displaying thousand-year-old art from the Imperial Court. Discover life in the Heian courts through the paintings, letters, and calligraphy they left behind.

Sanja Matsuri

Shinto Shrine, Shrine
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Sanja Matsuri | © Yoshikazu TAKADA/Flickr
The Sanja Matsuri (Three Shrine Festival) is the largest of Tokyo’s great Shinto shrine festivals. Around two million people attend the event, which is held in May each year. One of the highlights is the parade featuring the three mikoshi (portable shrine), from which the festival takes its name.

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