Visit the Oldest Western Gallery in Tokyo


To say Japan’s artistic prowess is legendary would be an understatement. The country has an art history and legacy that permeates almost every facet of classic Japanese culture. When it comes to influence throughout Japan, Tokyo is the birthplace for culture and trends. If you want to learn about the broad landscape of Japan’s art history and future, the entire chronology is here at Tokyo’s doorstep.

Ginza’s iconic Galerie Nichido is one of the Japan’s most important landmarks in the world of modern Japanese art, especially oil paintings. In 1928, this gallery was established — making it the longest still surviving Western-style gallery in Japan. Its survival throughout this almost century-long lifetime is due to a multitude of reasons beyond being home to brilliant modern artworks.

Chieko Hasegawa, one of the key figures behind the proudly family-run institution, chalks the success and legacy of Galerie Nichido up to its ability to move with the times. Hasegawa herself is an art legend; she was awarded the d’Officier dans l’Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur by the French government for her work. She’s also an endless fountain of captivating art anecdotes. Hasegawa has interviewed Dali, whose entire persona, she suspects “was an art performance itself” and has been painted by Andy Warhol, whom she recalls, “he asked to take my portrait and then sent me an invoice for the work! Nobody had ever done that ever or since!”

For those who want an exclusive Tokyo art experience, you can meet Hasegawa and chat with her about her illustrious career, traveling the globe and meeting legends of the modern art world as you admire the works hanging on the walls of Galerie Nichido. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind immersive art experience where ‘omotenashi’ hospitality and high art combine.

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