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The Museum of Roadside Art in Tokyo has a bizarre collection of kitschy art and love dolls - Time Out

Author: Time Out

Source: https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/news/the-museum-of-roadside-art-in-tokyo-has-a-bizarre-collection-of-kitschy-art-and-love-dolls-103123

Image of The Museum of Roadside Art in Tokyo has a bizarre collection of kitschy art and love dolls - Time Out

Photo:Kisa Toyoshima大道芸術館This unusual museum in Mukojima even has a bar and VIP karaoke roomWhile Tokyo has countless art museums catering to a wide breadth of niche interests, there’s nothing more bizarre than the Museum of Roadside Art, which opened in October 2022.The facility holds a collection of ‘bad art’, love dolls and freak show-themed items.These unusual exhibits are amassed by Kyoichi Tsuzuki, a Japanese editor, journalist and photographer who loves pushing the boundaries of taste.Despite some of its more risque exhibits, the museum has surprisingly become a hit among local young women.It even gained international fans like pop star Dua Lipa, who paid a visit during her vacation in Japan.Photo:Kisa Toyoshima料亭の趣を残す入り口Located in Mukojima, which flourished as the hanamachi (‘flower town’ in Japanese) geisha district during the Edo period, the Museum of Roadside Art looks unassuming from the outside.The simple facade offers the perfect camouflage as it blends in inconspicuously with the surrounding Japanese restaurants.Photo:Kisa Toyoshima電気が付き、巨大な手がインパクト大だUpon entering, you’ll be greeted by a female figure seated cross-legged in a transparent egg-shaped capsule in the spacious hallway. This installation was once displayed at Toba’s SF Miraikan, an infamous museum of erotic futurism that was demolished in 2000.Photo:Kisa ToyoshimaVIPルームOn the first floor you’ll find a Japanese snack bar-themed VIP room, where you can do karaoke.All the songs on the menu each feature an original short film of around two and a half minutes.’Ladybug's Samba’ is particularly interesting, as it’s accompanied by a video of someone dancing in a character costume.Photo:Kisa Toyoshima「バンコクの犬」The walls along the staircase mainly display ‘bad art’ collected by Tsuzuki himself.This includes ‘Dogs of Bangkok’, an adorable painting of two dogs that was purchased at a whim in Bangkok, at a store where people can bring their photographs to be made into paintings.Other artworks include posters of dwarf wrestling, insect specimens, photographs by Masashi Nakata as well as paintings by Kazumasa Sagawa, Motoi Sorayama and Shinro Ohtake, among others.According to Tsuzuki, these works aren’t chosen because of the artists’ fame, but rather, he wanted to create a space with a mixture of themes.Photo:Kisa Toyoshimaテーブルのガラス板の下には、ピンク映画のポスターが大量に挟まっている、壁に飾られているのは見世物小屋の看板With the second floor, the museum gets a bit more erotic, as the bar is filled with love dolls from Orient Industry. They are so realistic they almost looked alive.Your admission ticket includes a voucher which you can use to redeem a drink here.So just pull out a chair, mingle with other visitors, and enjoy videos of rakugo (Japanese storytelling).There are even burlesque performances on certain days.Photo:Kisa Toyoshima3階 SFコーナーThe best part of the museum is the third floor, which is laid out like a dystopian scene from the future.Here are more bizarre items rescued from Toba’s SF Miraikan.Photo:Kisa Toyoshima人気者の甘噛みするぬいぐるみYou’ll probably spot the cute baby seal plushie Goma-chan here, as it looks out of place compared to the other adult-oriented exhibits.Tsuzuki assures us that it’s meant to be there ‘because it’s cute’ and that ‘a customer had just left it there’. He believes that ‘the presence of a stuffed animal in the middle of a serious installation gives the whole display some comic relief.’ If you look closely, you’ll definitely find more animal plushies among the love dolls.Photo:Kisa ToyoshimaEntry to the Museum of Roadside Art fee ¥3,000 and it includes a ¥1,000 voucher you can use at the second-floor bar.While guided tours by Tsuzuki are only offered in Japanese, you can pick up a commentary book in English and Chinese on the first floor.Visit the Museum of Roadside Art website for more information.More newsLoft’s flagship store in Ginza reopens after major renovationsHere’s the official 2023 forecast for autumn leaves in Japan The world’s first immersive theme park is opening in Odaiba in spring 2024Starbucks Japan releases special cups and tumblers for Halloween 2023Ghibli Park is screening ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ sequel this NovemberWant to be the first to know what’s cool in Tokyo?Sign up to our newsletter for the latest updates from Tokyo and Japan.Youka Nagase Editorial Assistant, Time Out Tokyo

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