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On The Table Read, “The Best Creativity Magazine In The UK“, explore which city is better for art lovers in a New York Vs Tokyo analysis for art tourists.

When you’re choosing what city you’re going to travel to next, in the exciting world of today, you’ve basically got the entire world in the palm of your hand. However, where you’ll actually go will largely depend on your own personal tastes and interests. And while some people will travel to places with interesting natural sights or great food, others are dying to see some great art. With that in mind, you’ve still got plenty of places to choose from.

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Once you start browsing your options, you’ll realize that many people are pretty adamant about the Tokyo and New York art scenes being the most interesting in the world.

But which city is better for art lovers? Take a look below to find out!

The New York Scene

The U.S. is a pretty big place, and it’s got more than a few cities with vibrant art scenes. However, beating the Big Apple in this regard isn’t easy.

If you take an art tour of New York City, you’ll find some truly great things to see, like the Met or the Museum of Modern Art. There’s even the newly opened Whitney Museum of American Art!

If you take a walk around Manhattan, you’ll probably realize that Chelsea is one of the most interesting areas in the city in terms of art galleries. If you want to experience this city’s art scene just like the locals do, have a look at the Chelsea Gallery Map!

Additionally, Broadway is a must-see when visiting NYC, with many fantastic theatre experiences you can explore.

Also, the Gagosian Galleries are bound to have an exciting exhibit or two – and the same goes for the David Zwirner Gallery. Naturally, you’re also wondering about how much experiencing the New York art scene will cost you; it’s something that determines which city is better for art lovers, often travelling on a budget.

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Well, the pricing of NYC galleries and museums varies, so you should plan out what you’ll visit in advance and set some money aside.

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The Drift To Tokyo

As the Monty Python folks would say – and now for something completely different! Sure, New York houses some of the most interesting art in the Western world. But, when you take a look at what Tokyo offers – you’ll realize that you not only get to experience another art scene; you’re going to immerse yourself in a completely new culture!

So, get ready for sushi, salarymen, sumo, and skyscrapers! For many years now, Tokyo has attracted tons of tourism due to its interesting social quirks, culture, amazing architecture, and intriguing food. Though, many people overlook one of the biggest qualities of Japan’s capital city – its leading role in the global art world. As someone who’s an art lover looking to find a new home somewhere in the world, know one thing – if you decide to settle down in Japan, you’ll basically never be able to experience all that Tokyo has to offer in one lifetime.

However, when it comes to the actual process of relocation, you have to be prepared. Having a packing checklist will definitely help you stay on track and not forget anything important.

Tokyo Art For Newbies

Many visitors who go to Tokyo find one thing unsettling; unlike many other cities in Europe and the United States, you’ll find no central art area that you can just go to and see a bunch of different museums and galleries. There’s no Chelsea like in New York or Mayfair in London. Instead, exploring art in Tokyo means truly that – exploring. You’ll have to travel all around town to find the most interesting places, so prepare to go off the beaten track.

people walking on the street between buildings
Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com

So, where do you actually start if you want to prepare yourself for a Tokyo tour? Our recommendation would be Roppongi – it’s an area that used to be renowned for its exciting nightlife.

These days, though, it’s becoming more well-known for a huge array of art galleries. More specifically, there are three different places here you should definitely visit; don’t be afraid to go exploring on your own, though. Firstly, there’s the Mori Art Museum – it’s located in a huge skyrise named Mori Tower. You’ll find some truly world-class exhibitions in this place. Also, you’ve got the National Art Center, a massive complex filled with an insane amount of exhibition space.

Thirdly, we’ve got the Tokyo Design Sight; this is where you’ll truly get a feel of the Tokyo indie art scene. It was designed by Tadao Ando, and it’s truly an art haven encased in glass and concrete.

Finally, if you’re a fan of the Netflix hit TV Show “Alice in Borderland”, you can visit the filming location in Shibuya Crossing – what a treat!

General Tips For Art Tourists

So, did you make up your mind about which city is better for art lovers? Really, no one has the correct answer to that. It all depends on what kind of art is more interesting to you right now. After all, some just want to take in all that New York can offer, while others are looking to experience a completely different culture. But no matter where you decide to go, we’ve got a couple of general tips for art travelling.

First of all, if you plan on visiting a famous museum, make sure to buy your tickets online, well in advance. You won’t spend much of your valuable time standing in long queues in the museum itself. And you might even get a nifty little discount! Also, check the museum schedules before you travel; make sure you’re not going to head into peak time and be annoyed by crowds.

Also, if you find yourself overwhelmed by everything that you can do and see, there’s no shame in just taking a tour. If you find a good specialized tour guide, they’ll be able to show you the most interesting street art, contemporary art, etc. And remember – there’s no shame in not being a fan of modern art! If you’re into something more traditional, you can always just enjoy that.

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