Venue Area

The Tokyo Biennale is set to take place mainly across the 4 wards – Chiyoda City, Chuo City, Bunkyo City, and Taito City – of the Northeastern area of central Tokyo. An area rich in historical and cultural value, it is known across the nation as a region with many spots of interest. Yet, there has never been a concrete program in which these neighboring regions work together.
Through its programming, the Tokyo Biennale will improve the circulation of people and activities, while building area branding, in order to picture the city.

Driving walking potential between the areas.

Historical Buildings

Buildings have last since Edo period to now Tokyo era.

Holy Resurrection Cathedral

Yushima Seido

Kanda Shrine

Private Spaces

Private work
Commercial facilities and hotels

Matsuzakaya UENO

NOHGA HOTEL AKIHABARA TOKYO

Ebihara store

Public Spaces
Parks, roads, etc.

Place where people gather and pass by.

Kanda River

Open spaces

3331 Arts Chiyoda

By utilizing established buildings and public institutions and places in the community, we will question how these have been used in the past, and will be used before and after exhibiting works for the Tokyo Biennale. Also these venues will reveal new potential in unknown places including the waterfront and other idle spaces in the area.

The Layered Culture of Tokyo

What is “Tokyo”?, the City that is
Tokyo Biennale’s Stage

Unlike any other urban site in the world, a unique and organic city structure has formed the base culture for the megapolis that is Tokyo. During the Edo Period (1603 – 1867) foreign traffic and trade were regulated, which fostered a distinct culture within Japan. Afterwards, during the Meiji Restoration (1867) Tokyo became the capital of the modern nation. The city underwent a great transformation as it insatiably adopted Western culture. However, the unique city’s structure, place of living and its human relationships are inherently unique traits of the Edo Period
The Tokyo city landscape has been redeveloped and rebuilt numerous times due to earthquakes and war damage, causing immense changes of scenery, yet plots of land and site allocation is of a rather old structure and has long been preserved. Within that historic structure, the memory of shopping streets, closely connected neighbourhoods, festivals and their rooted traditions, regional businesses and associations have been inherited.
Specifically, the secret behind Edo Tokyo can be found in the different principles of “Yamanote” (higher town) and “Shitamachi” (lower town). As for Yamanote, it is located on regions of higher ground where the residential areas (known as “Denentoshi” or “The Garden City”) have become lush with green. Conversely, the Shitamachi is located in regions of lower ground (known as “Mizu no toshi” or “The Water City”) where many merchants would wander the waterways. These two regions coexist and support each other. Within Edo Tokyo, the plateau and lowlands weave together to become uneven terrain and offer plentiful water resources that serve to maintain and make use of the dynamic natural conditions where the sea opens up, added to which, bold man-made remodelling and unique urban spaces have been constructed.