The Best Public Art Pieces in Tokyo

Shinjuku Eye glass sculpture by Miyashita Yoshiko in the corridors of Shinjukus underground in Tokyo, Japan
Shinjuku Eye glass sculpture by Miyashita Yoshiko in the corridors of Shinjuku's underground in Tokyo, Japan | © Andia / Alamy Stock Photo
Alicia Joy

Tokyo Writer

Public art not only lifts the spirits and beautifies Tokyo, but also helps to support a global community of artists. Discover some incredible visuals spread around the Japanese capital with our guide to the best public art pieces in Tokyo.

1. Kodomo no Ki by Taro Okamoto

Building

Childrens Tree sculpture, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
© Peter Scholey / Alamy Stock Photo

Called the ‘Children’s Tree’ this sculpture by Taro Okamoto is located in front of what was once the National Children’s Castle Center in Aoyama. Created in 1985, the artwork, inspired by totems and other tribal motifs, is often perceived in different ways.

2. Maman by Louise Bourgeois, Roppongi Hills, Minato

Building, Shop

Maman - a spider sculpture by Louise Bourgeois, situated at the base of Mori Tower building in Roppongi Hills at night in Tokyo, Japan
© Felix Lipov / Alamy Stock Photo
This spider-like sculpture by the legendary French artist Louise Bourgeois is located in the Roppongi Hills courtyard and is nearly impossible to miss. Standing at over ten meters tall, Maman has traveled around the world and now enjoys her role as the mall’s most popular meeting spot.

3. LOVE by Robert Indiana

Park

Shinjuku district people on their way to office work passing Love sculpture by American artist Robert Indiana in Japan, Tokyo
© Jochen Tack / Alamy Stock Photo
Often referred to as ‘the Love Sign’, this simple yet universal symbol has been the backdrop for countless couples’ photos in Tokyo. Situated among skyscraper buildings in Nishi-Shinjuku, the famous art piece was created by American artist Robert Indiana. Nowadays, similar installations can be found in other global cities such as New York and Taipei.

5. The Myth of Tomorrow by Taro Okamoto

Train Station

The Myth of Tomorrow by Taro Okamoto in Shibuya Station, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo, Japan
© World Discovery / Alamy Stock Photo
This mural in Shibuya Station has earned itself the nickname ‘The Lost Mural’. Originally commissioned to a Mexican hotel, it went missing once the company went under, but was sent back to Japan upon its rediscovery. The creation depicts the terror and damage of the atomic bomb, a theme that still resonates today.

6. Roots by Jaume Plensa

Park

Created by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, Roots is an enormous statue of a seated figure made up entirely of written languages from around the world including Arabic, Russian and Hindi. Situated outside Tokyo’s tallest building, Toranomon Hills, the sculpture was created to identify global unity.

7. The Eye of Shinjuku by Yoshiko Miyashita

Building

The Eye of Shinjuku by Yoshiko Miyashita, Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, Japan
© Japanese Cities / Alamy Stock Photo
The Eye of Shinjuku has watched over the city for 50 years, making it one of Tokyo’s oldest public art installations. Created by Japanese artist Yoshiko Miyashita, and known as his best creation, it can be found near Shinjuku Station.

8. Constellation by Ikuo Hirayama

Building

The beautiful stained glass display is located inside the Pacifico Yokohama Convention Center. As the world’s largest stained glass, it has been situated at its current location since 1995 and is a recreation of the late Ikuo Hirayama’s paintings.
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