Yayoi Kusama might be the most well-known (and eccentric) modern artist living in Japan today, and last year she opened a jewel of a museum to showcase a rotating sample of her life’s work.
The first floor houses reception and the gift shop, the second is devoted to her early works (paintings, sculpture and videos), the third to her recent large paintings, and the fourth to a lit-up Infinity Mirror installation called “Pumpkins Screaming About Love Beyond Infinity.” The fifth floor hosts a reading room and terrace with a selfie-friendly pumpkin to pose with.
These were the works on display at the time I was there, but they change all the time, so be prepared that there will be different ones when you go.
Open: Thurs-Sun and national holidays, closed Mon-Tues-Wed
Hours: 11:00 – 17:30
Admission: Adults ¥1000, Children 6-18 ¥600
How to get tickets and go to the Yayoi Kusama Museum
Getting tickets is the tricky part. You have to buy them online, months in advance, because they only allow a few people into the museum at a time, in 90-minute time slots, and they sell out fast. Here’s how to get yours:
1: Three months before you plan to go, visit the Kusama Museum website and navigate to the English ticket buying page. Tickets are available three months in advance. A new month’s tickets become available on the first of each month, so (for example) if you plan to visit the museum the week of May 20th, go to the website on March 1, when the May tickets are released.
2: Be ready to choose your date and time (each ticket is only good for a particular 90-minute slot). Navigate the easy English instructions and buy your tickets by credit card.
3: Your tickets will be emailed to your phone, and they will scan the QC code at the door when it’s time for you to enter. You can stay for 90 minutes before they chase you out, but that’s actually plenty of time to see everything.
While you’re in Japan, read a novel set in Tokyo!
“A genuinely gripping crime thriller which wrong-foots and perplexes the reader throughout, drawing us in emotionally . . . Highly recommended.”