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.
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.
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.
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.
Spiral Sikaku is set against the flagstone boulevard known as Naka-dori in central Tokyo. Created by American artist Dimitri Hadzi, the piece is situated near one of the major shopping streets in the city. The street is also famous its seasonal illuminations and the relatively large, rotating collection of public street art.
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.
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.
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.
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.