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Photogenic Places to Visit: TOP, the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum

Photography fans new to Tokyo should make one of their first stops TOP, the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum. Since opening in 1995, the museum has introduced outstanding examples of photographic culture from Japan and abroad, all presented in ambitious exhibitions organized with distinctive perspectives. From historic prints and moving images of yesteryear to today’s most famous and controversial works, TOP provides the full range of Japan’s—and the world’s—photographic culture.

The Tokyo Photographic Art Museum (TOP) celebrated its twentieth anniversary in September 2016, when it reopened after a major renovation and re-envisioning. There are few public museums dedicated solely to photography and moving images anywhere in the world. Even among its peers, TOP is exceptional for its wide-ranging collection of some 34,000 works (as of March 2017) spanning all genres of photography, film, and video. In addition to exhibitions and screenings of works from its own collection, TOP also hosts special exhibitions and engages in a wide range of educational and outreach programs throughout the year.

In addition to its remarkable collection, TOP also has a museum shop where visitors can peruse an enticing range of photography-related books and goods, a museum café, and a library where visitors can view priceless historical photography books, exhibition catalogs, and other material on photography and moving images at no charge. It is little wonder that TOP is beloved by countless photography fans as a place to indulge themselves in every aspect of the photographic arts.

(Originally published in Japanese on May 22, 2017. Text by Matsumoto Tomoki. Photographs by Takahashi Munemasa.)

The spacious museum shop on the second floor.

Address: 1-13-3 Mita, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0062; in Yebisu Garden Place complex (around 7 minutes from JR Ebisu Station East Exit; 10 minutes from Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line Ebisu Station Exit 1)

Hours: 10:00–18:00; Thursdays and Fridays 10:00–20:00. From July 20 to August 25, open Thursdays and Fridays until 21:00. Last entry 30 minutes before closing. Closed on Mondays (or Tuesday if the preceding Monday is a national holiday), year-end holidays, and other special occasions.

Phone: 03-3280-0099


  • [2017.08.04]
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