Tokyo's Hidden Secrets 2

TokyoMade dig up more treasures this week. Discover funky galleries and event spaces showcasing up-and-coming Japanese creators.

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This week we continue our Tokyo’s Hidden Secrets tour (read last week’s article) and offer up some tips to make your back street hunt a whole lot easier.

point gallery art
Tokyo Spaces – art splashed on gallery walls.

Tokyo is filled with hidden treasures, knowing where to look makes the hunt less of a challenge and more of an adventure. There are two rules when roaming the streets in search of independent loot:

a) Don’t forget to look up; often many hot spots in this city are well above street level.

b) Take detours, the back streets are brimming with creative caves.

Niji Garo

Niji Garo Kichijoji
Niji Garo – colorful, playful, artistic vibe.
Also known as the Rainbow Gallery, this supportive space is thought of as an incubation lab for Japan’s up and coming artists. The Kichijoji based gallery features two levels, exuding a playful and artistic vibe. The curators strongly support evolving artists and are renowned for giving various creators their first major shows.

Exhibitions by illustrators, artists and toy makers can be found in the upstairs space. Downstairs is the ideal space to get your hands on a real piece of Tokyo design and creation at an affordable price. Various pieces, including cards, apparel, accessories and DVDs, are on sale. The variety available here appeals to a wide range of art, fashion and design lovers.

Niji Garo 2-2-10 Kichijoji-honcho Musashion-shi, Tokyo


point ebisu
point – bookbinding factory turned gallery spots Tokyo trends.

Located in the back streets of Ebisu, point was once a bookbinding factory and is now the place to go and check out emerging artists. Owner Furui-san sticks to the independent grain and so you can always find fresh and alluring exhibitions at point no matter how often you visit.

Despite it’s tucked-out-of-the-way location, the 50 year old space has some visionary powers, if you are looking for the next big thing in Tokyo you are likely to find it at point.

point 1-4-7 Ebisu-nishi Shibuya-ku Tokyo

cafe pause

Cafe Pause
Cafe Pause – a cafe, gallery and creative arena in Ikebukuro.

The gallery space in this funky Ikebukuro cafe is managed by Tokyo-based writer, Jean Snow. Regular events, exhibitions and parties are organized to showcase the works of both Japanese and international creators.

Cafe Pause is also home to monthly gatherings known as PauseTalk. Held on the first Monday of each month, Pause Talk acts as a forum and provides a space for creators in Tokyo to discuss their projects and current events.

Cafe Pause 2-14-12-1F Minami-Ikebukuro Toshima-ku, Tokyo

Deanne Tonking & Masao Tamaoki About the Author

Deanne Tonking and Masao Tamaoki connect with independent designers all over Japan to find unique art, handmade treasures and innovative design. They share their stylish discoveries on TokyoMade, offering style conscious shoppers rarely attainable creations.

Recent articles by Deanne Tonking:

Comment (日本語もOK)

it’s amazing how you can find the best spots in tokyo by getting lost __

Jul 16, 2009 (4523 days ago)

Wow..those shops look absolutely stunning. I would like to go there someday…..

Jul 18, 2009 (4521 days ago)

ANJJ I totally agree and the cool thing is it is easy to get lost!

Deanne Tonking (author)
Jul 20, 2009 (4519 days ago)

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