How to discover the cultural scene in Japan


Moving to a new place and learning about the culture goes beyond adapting to customs and traditions. The art scene (music, art, literature, and cinematography) is also a big part of discovering a new country.

What are the best ways to learn about the cultural scene in Japan, and how important are the arts in the country?

Did you do a lot of research prior to moving, or was it easy to explore the art scene after your move?

How would you explain the art scene in Japan? What is the most salient art form in the country, that you would recommend for future expats to explore in order to adapt and integrate faster: literature, cinematography, music, etc.?

Which art form and artist most represent the country's culture, and why?

Are there certain activities or places such as art centres that would help to explore the culture in Japan?

Thank you for sharing your experience,


There is a book of coupons for 80 art museums in the Tokyo area called the Grutto pass. Costs about ¥2500 for two months of access. Last weekend I bought the book plus a one day unlimited train ticket to go to the Yokohama Museum of Art. I was able to add a visit to Minato Mirai shopping and restaurants and Yokohama Chinatown for dinner. Had a great day!

My plan is to visit another group of museums over the next two months. Tokyo has so many good ones!

Which artists? One of my absolute favorites is Munakata Shiko. His work is displayed at the Mingeikan at Tokyo University Komaba area, as well as a museum in the mountains in Chichibu area, a day trip from Ikebukuro via Seibu Red Arrow. Beautiful national forest area with festival museum in town.

Good to get out and about soon. Rainy season comes in June. Good for visiting iris garden at Meiji Shrine wearing boots!

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