Whether you're an art aficionado or just looking for a break from the city, the Galerie Nichido comes as an oasis of calm nestled conveniently amidst the hustle and bustle of Ginza. With its façade of red marble, stone columns and gold lettering, the gallery exudes style and grace. The smiling stone statues guarding the door add a hint of mischief, drawing passersby in to take a look. The open concept of the showroom and the friendly staff add to the pleasant atmosphere.
Located five minutes from Yurakucho station and a mere stone's throw from Ginza line exits, Galerie Nichido can't be beat for convenience. Being situated next to the Sony Building doesn't hurt either: no wandering back alleys searching in vain leaves more time to enjoy what's on offer. Showing both foreign and Japanese artists working in a variety of media, from paintings to sculptures to prints and beyond, Galerie Nichido truly has something for everyone.
Galerie Nichido has a long and proud history. As one of the first galleries in Japan to focus on Western-influenced art, since 1928 it has shown works from hundreds of artists, including the likes of Monet, Degas and van Gogh, among other luminaries. In addition, for the past 48 years, it has hosted Showa Kai, a competition created to discover and cultivate young talent. Not limited to Ginza, Galerie Nichido also has branches in Nagoya, Fukuoka and Paris, a museum in Kasama, Ibaraki, and, for fans of more modern styles of art, the Nichido Contemporary Art Gallery in Hatchobori. For those who find it difficult to make time for art, Galerie Nichido participates in Garo no Yakai, an event that takes place in June each year and which involves galleries in the Ginza 5-8 Chome area opening from 5 to 9pm.
While some of the price tags accompanying the artwork are as breath-taking as the works they accompany, there is no pressure to buy. The staff welcomes those who just wish to admire what's on display and would be happy to answer any questions you have. However, with prices starting as low as ¥10,000, depending on the artist, taking a bit of Galerie Nichido home is within the realm of possibility. For art lovers with more modest budgets, the gallery also has a small selection of art books for sale, as well as postcards, writing paper and other items.
A visit to Galerie Nichido refreshes, and reminds visitors caught up in the concrete world of Tokyo that an escape, however brief, into the world of art is within reach. So if you're feeling like you need a reprieve from the workaday world, drop by for a visit: just look for the smiling stone statues.