My Japan: By Mami Kataoka

The chief curator at Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum (MAM) and artistic director of the 21st Biennale of Sydney, running until June, recommends the best arty experiences in Japan. By KATE SPRINGER

What’s your favourite museum?

The Japan Folk Craft Museum is one of my favourite museums in Tokyo – its philosophy has inspired many contemporary designers. The museum is dedicated to the mingei (folk crafts) movement started in the 1920s by Yanagi Soetsu. The beautiful house, opened in 1936, has over 17,000 pieces in the collection.

Where do you live?

Yutenji in Tokyo’s Nakameguro district. There’s an old

temple and a traditional shopping street, which has turned into a creative hub with a small, intimate organic restaurant, lots of coffee shops, vintage clothing boutiques and a contemporary art gallery.

Where are Japan’s artiest spots?

The Seto Inland Sea is something art lovers shouldn’t miss. It’s extraordinary: there is the beauty of the islands’ landscapes and designs by architect Tadao Ando, which include the Lee Ufan Museum, as well as projects that have turned old houses and buildings into installation spaces for contemporary art.

What’s your favourite trip?

Kanazawa, in Ishikawa prefecture, is two-and-a-half hours from Tokyo by train. The traditional town – also known as Little Kyoto – is home to the Edo-era Kenrokuen Garden (above), Kanazawa Castle and the 21st Century Contemporary Museum of Art.

6 Chome-10-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo


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