From Tokyo Story (1953) to Lost in Translation (2003), for decades Tokyo has been the centre of attention for art and film enthusiasts alike. Hosting over 36 million people over three prefectures, Tokyo is the largest metropolitan sector in the world, and as a result has an endless stream of attractions. With 14 three-star Michelin restaurants and a strong history of alternative subcultures (with Harajuku being the classic example), there really is something for everyone.
This is MILLE’s guide to the highlights from Tokyo, Japan’s cultural capital.
With influence reaching across to the other side of the globe, Tokyo streetwear is fashion production’s wet dream, comprised of the majority of stockists of some of the world’s coolest concept stores like Dover Street Market, Garbstore and (formerly) Colette. With its roots in Comme de Garçons, and the industry’s use of luxurious materials such as salvage denims and gore-tex soutien, Japanese streetwear is exquisitely made and effortlessly on-trend. Whilst the list is endless, our top picks include Nanamica, Undercover, Engineered Garments and Nepenthes. Which can be shopped online as well as in their respective Tokyo flagship stores.
Boasting artists such as Mariko Mori, Takashi Murakami and Ryoji Ikeda, Tokyo has a lot to offer in contemporary art, especially regarding the use of technology and new materials. Whilst the National Museum of Modern Art, Taka Ishii Gallery and the Mori Art Museum are major art spaces in the city, as is always the case there are endless (and innovative) pop-ups or event spaces to experience whilst there. For example, there are always happenings at the Basement Ginza (also close to the gallery Art for Thought) in the Marunouchi area. Also in the Marunouchi area is The Club, dedicated to presenting international contemporary artists rarely seen in Japan, and is Tokyo’s answer to 10 Corso Como. With a gallery on nearly every street in Ginza, you just need to see where your feet take you.
First stop: Jimbocho Book Town. With around 200 bookstores and an abundance of curry restaurants, Jimbocho is a haven for book lovers and foodies alike. If reading isn’t your thing, there is far more to feast your eyes on. Home to the renowned Kabuki style of theatre, a performance at the traditional Kabukizaka Theatre is unmissable. Tokyo is also the home to the performance of Kagura, a local mythological dance – be sure to catch a Iwami Kagura performance. Last but not least, a host of artisanal and vintage goods can be picked up at Shinagawa intercity flea market, offering a fun way to relax the budget.