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Tokyo Museum of Photography | © Hoary/WikiCommons
Tokyo Museum of Photography | © Hoary/WikiCommons
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The Best Photography Museums and Galleries in Tokyo

Picture of Alicia Joy
Tokyo Writer
Updated: 7 September 2017
As an artistic medium, photography is one of the most accessible and approachable forms of expression. Make your way through the photography museums and galleries in Tokyo.
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Tokyo Photographic Art Museum

Also known as TOP, the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum is the largest museum in Tokyo dedicated solely to photography. It is also the city’s only publicly funded photography museum. The Tokyo Photographic Art Museum has a swelling permanent collection of over 30,000 pieces, and three galleries that regularly feature fresh exhibitions.

1-13-3 Mita, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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Emon Gallery

The Emon Gallery is a must-see for photography lovers in Tokyo. It’s small, but committed to curating photography exhibits of fine photographic art. Emon Gallery hosts talks by artists and industry professionals, and hopefuls eagerly anticipate their annual Emon Award photography competition each year.

5-11-12 Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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Paper Pool

Paper Pool is a gallery, café, and bar in the hip Yutenji neighborhood of Meguro. Entrance to the small gallery is free, since it shares space with the dining area. Paper Pool is a great place for up-and-comers to showcase their work as the gallery is easily booked for artists’ exhibitions. The on-site photography darkroom is also available for rental for a small hourly fee, with supplies extra.

2-16-10 Yutenji, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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Rat Hole Gallery

Rat Hole Gallery in stylish, upscale Aoyama is small but worth a visit. The exhibitions here are usually on photography, but occasionally contemporary art exhibits find a home here, too. Rat Hole Gallery is tucked into a basement along the back streets of Omotesando – perhaps the inspiration for its unique name.

5-5-3 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan

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Gallery 916

Gallery 916 is a spacious private gallery built into a former warehouse by Tokyo Bay. The bright white and modern space, with just a hint of the building’s former purpose remaining, allows patrons to focus fully on the photography being exhibited. Alongside the main gallery is the smaller Gallery 916 Small, a smaller, more modest gallery for emerging artists.

1-14-24 Kaigan, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan