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Piano designed by Yayoi Kusama shown in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Culture

ReleaseJune 17, 2019

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is one of the landmarks of Tokyo. Its South Observatory on the 45th floor reopened after renovation in April, 2019. A grand piano decorated with a direction of Yayoi Kusama, a world-famous avant-garde artist, has been put on display in the South Observatory.

Yayoi Kusama Piano Tokyo Metropolitan GovernmentTocho Omoide Piano

Its name is “Tocho Omoide (Memory) Piano.” Tokyo has installed a piano that anyone can play as they like so that visitors from abroad and from Japan can interact through music. At the unveiling ceremony held on April 3, Governor Koike unveiled the piano and a yellow piano with polka dots appeared.

Yayoi Kusama Piano Tokyo Metropolitan GovernmentGovernor Koike (right of photo) and Chief of Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Finance Takeichi (left of photo) presenting the piano

I have the impression that the design is indeed by Yayoi Kuksama, but it is a bit more quietly chic than her usual designs, so it fits the atmosphere of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Observatory.

Yayoi Kusama Piano Tokyo Metropolitan GovernmentTocho Omoide Piano

Governor Koike said, “I hope all will feel familiarly this great work of art and send out a melody treat to Tokyo, Japan, and to the world at large, whether they are good at playing the piano or not.”

Governor KoikeGovernor Koike

Pianist Tetsuya Umeda was the first player of the “Tocho Omoide Piano” at the unveiling ceremony. He played for about 15 minutes, music pieces such as “Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53” and “Grande Valse Brillante” by Chopin. The South Observatory was filled with beautiful music.

Yayoi Kusama Piano Tokyo Metropolitan GovernmentPianist Tetsuya Umeda playing the “Tocho Omoide Piano”

Anyone can play this piano freely for up to about five minutes per person during the following hours: 10:00-12:00 and 14:00-16:00.

Yayoi Kusama Piano Tokyo Metropolitan GovernmentPianist Tetsuya Umeda playing the “Tocho Omoide Piano”

In the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, there are the South Observatory and the North Observatory and anyone can enter for free. You can see the shining skyscrapers of Tokyo, Tokyo Tower, Roppongi Hills and TOKYO SKYTREE. You may even be able to see Mt. Fuji if it is a sunny day in winter. *The North Observatory is closed until January 14, 2020 for renovation.

Yayoi Kusama Piano Tokyo Metropolitan GovernmentA view from the South Observatory

Yayoi Kusama Piano Tokyo Metropolitan GovernmentA view from the South Observatory

Observatory rooms of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government are famous sightseeing spots visited by more than two million people annually, including foreign visitors.

Yayoi Kusama Piano Tokyo Metropolitan GovernmentTokyo Metropolitan Government South Observatory

It can be expected that there will be even more visitors with the cutely-designed and gorgeous piano designed by Yayoi Kusama.


*The information herein is as of April 2019.