Located in a charming, quiet neighborhood in Shibuya, the Toguri Museum of Art is a must-visit for those interested in Asian ceramics - particularly old porcelain.
Toguri Museum of Art - image © Florentyna Leow
The Toguri Museum of Art is not the kind of place one stumbles across. Located in the quiet neighborhood of Shoto in Shibuya - about halfway to Yoyogi Park - it’s the kind of place you’d only find if you already knew about it. Still, it’s a real gem of a place if you have even the slightest vestige of interest in Asian ceramics.
As with most private museums, the Toguri Museum of Art is the result of one wealthy person’s obsessive collecting. In this case, the accolade goes to businessman Toru Toguri, who had a particular taste for porcelain. By 1987, he had in just under three decades amassed one of the largest and finest collections of old porcelain to be found anywhere in the world.
His 7000-piece strong collection includes Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese pieces. The museum doesn’t have a habit of borrowing or lending out pieces from the collection, so you won’t ever see any of the pieces here displayed at other institutions. Art historians and ceramics connoisseurs will have a field day at the museum. However, even casual visitors will find much to learn and enjoy here, as the museum has recently begun conducting the occasional guided tour in English.
Another lovely initiative by the Toguri Art Museum: every fourth Monday at the museum is a designated ‘Free Talk’ day, when visitors are welcome to openly discuss the artworks without the need to keep their voices down.
There are usually only 100 pieces or so on display at any time, ensuring that each visit is likely to be quite different. However, ending each visit with a cup of green tea and a slow few minutes contemplating the garden is the one constant.
Toguri Museum of Art
1-11-3 Shoto, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0046
10am-5pm (Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday-Thursday, last entry 4:30pm)
10am-8pm (Friday, last entry 7:30pm)
Closed Monday or the following Tuesday when Monday is a national holiday
University and High School Students: 700
Junior high and elementary school students: 400
Train: 10-minute walk from the north exit of Shinsen Station on the Keio Inokashira line.
Official Website (English)
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