Feel like taking in something highbrow in Tokyo? Why not some art!
The National Art Center (Kokuritsu Shin-Bijutsukan), Tokyo is an art museum located in the upscale Roppongi district. Opening on January 21, 2007, it is a unique and innovative art exhibition facility: instead of maintaining a permanent collection, it makes the the most of its 14,000 square meters of exhibition space – one of the largest in Japan – and focuses on acting as a venue for various art exhibitions.
The National Art Center is open from 10:00 to 18:00 (Fridays 10:00-20:00). Last admission is 30 minutes before closing. It is generally closed on Tuesdays, and for the New Year’s holidays.
There are three stations that serve the National Art Center, so it will depend on where you are coming from. Here are the locations of wheelchair accessible exits:
- Nogizaka Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line, Exit 6)
- Roppongi Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, 1C into Roppongi Hills)
- Roppongi Station (Toei Oedo Line, Exit 7)
Clicking on the station name will show you a map of station layout, showing exits with elevators and the location of accessible toilets.
As you might expect, being a nationally-funded public museum, accessibility is excellent.
There are 10 wheelchair accessible restrooms available including one with a changing table in the basement. 11 manual wheelchairs are available free of charge on a first-come, first-serve basis. The central elevators are large and have wheelchair-height buttons. The entrances are equipped with automatic doors and slopes.
There likely aren’t many English lectures, but for those with hearing aides, the 3rd floor auditorium is equipped with an induction loop (telecoil) system and 10 receivers are available free of charge.
The visitors to exhibits are very orderly and are generally understanding of people with disabilities. However, for a particularly popular exhibit, you may not get to the front without being assertive. This is even more true when the exhibit ends in a very busy souvenir shop.
The website states that “Physically-challenged visitors (and one attendant) may enter the Center free of charge.” However, it is likely a translation of the Japanese site, thus written for a person living in Japan – and assuming the visitor has an identity booklet verifying their disability. There is a chance you may be asked to pay.
While this is not an essential place to visit in Tokyo, it can be a nice place to pop-by if you are already in the popular Roppongi district. As the exhibits often change, you might want to check the National Art Center, Tokyo website before you go.