The Tokyo Midtown complex, made up of six buildings and the surrounding greenery, is modern, shiny and luxurious, and art peeps around every corner. It’s also a great place to spend a day in the luxurious side of Tokyo.
Start by visiting Fujifilm Square, a photography gallery at street level. This small combined gallery and museum showcases local and international photographers’ work, as well as hosting a display of cameras through the ages, and the Fujifilm skincare range. As a bonus, it’s totally free, except for the sudden urge it may inspire in you to buy a Hello Kitty Polaroid camera.
From there, head to the plaza basement floor for a coffee (and maybe something sweet!) at the lush Dean and Deluca café.
When you’re caffeinated up, make your way to the Galleria building for one of the most divine shopping experiences in Japan. This is the Tokyo of heavy fashion magazines; three floors of stores such as Strasburgo, Harry Winston and Pleats Please Issey Miyake radiating luxury and elegance.
If, like me, your budget doesn’t stretch to actually purchasing anything from these stores, you can just take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the ambiance of the beautifully designed building. Also look out for the Petapeta stamp stations, where you can collect adorable animal stamps from around the Midtown complex.
When you’ve had your fill of indulgent shopping, stop in at the Suntory Museum of Art (¥1300), a small gallery on the third floor. They have a regular rotation of exhibitions—be sure to check their website—and a small, elegant gift shop.
After all that shopping and art, you’ll be hungry again, so head to the ABC Cooking School on the second floor where you can learn to make (and eat) your own delicious Japanese treats. Lessons are in Japanese or English, take about an hour and a half and cost about ¥2000.
Full and happy, you’ll want to head downstairs to relax in the sun. There are plenty of tables and chairs in the Garden Terrace area, or you can head over to the Midtown Garden and sprawl out. This summer they have Midpark Athletics set up in the garden, so if you’re feeling adventurous you can abseil, rock climb or take a flying fox across large murals of Tokyo for ¥800.
The last bit of art on your agenda is the minimalist 21_21 Design Sight (¥1000). This very modern gallery, just a few feet from the garden, has a frequent rotation of exhibitions, as well as talks and workshops.
After all that fun, you’ll want a drink. There are plenty of divine places in the Garden Terrace area, but, until September first, you can have a specialty mojito with a Japanese twist in the Bacardi Midpark Café. Go on, you've earned it.