Tokyo Travel Guide: ICC – Where Art and Science Come Together

How do Art and Science co-exist? A visit to the NTT InterCommunication Center (ICC) may give you an answer.

Many of you may recognize NTT as one of the telecom companies in Japan – Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT). However, you might not have heard of the InterCommunication Center (ICC), which was established in 1990 by NTT, to facilitate a dialogue between science, technology, and artistic culture to serve as a center of a network that connects artists and scientists worldwide.

Located in Tokyo Opera City, the ICC presents various artworks that have introduced leading-edge technologies, including Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and other interactive multimedia.


The ICC presents two kinds of exhibitions on the 4th and 5th floor respectively. Titled Open Space, which is an on-going exhibition series that features the moving image archive HIVE to introduce media artworks and other expressions of today’s media environment. Another kind of exhibition is an annual exhibition featuring a specific artist or a theme. This is a ticketed exhibition while you can enjoy the rest of the features and exhibitions at ICC for free.

What’s fun?

#1 Marshmallow Monitor (2002) by Iwai Toshio

A white marshmallow-shaped sculpture captures and reflects the image of you and the surroundings onto its monitor. You would enjoy moving your body around as the marshmallow deforms your body on the screen in real-time. This Marshmallow Monitor is a pioneer of the digital artwork that encourages you to participate and interact with.61FD1D78-5619-48A1-A1A1-F592D25AA52A

#2 Digital Hokusai (Special exhibition from November 1, 2019, to March 1, 2020)

Located on the 4th floor of Tokyo Opera City, Digital Hokusai is a special exhibition that showcases a replica of Hokusai’s famous prints. It allows you to rediscover the art of Hokusai through modern technology. ICC presents 2,000-megapixel images of all 46 pieces of art from Hokusai’s renowned “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji Series.”


Feature 1: Simple Labels

Unlike many artwork labels that are long and difficult to understand, the labels in this exhibition are simple and easy to understand. With plenty of educational information, space encourages self-learning.943AD9AE-F8E6-4E22-A30C-761E0D58A95D

Feature 2: Interactive Augmented Reality (AR)

The interactive AR allows you to interact with the paintings and see them come to life!3193028D-8D77-4213-962A-0E89A8108051

Feature 3: Simulation of the Artist’s Room

The simulation of the artist’s room allows the audience to imagine the living space of Hokusai.7C6FE225-1F1D-49F5-85D3-98AEDAABAA85

#3 Open Space (on-going exhibition)

Open Space is a series of exhibitions that introduces works of media art and other forms of artistic expression from today’s media environments. The artworks demonstrate the integration of modern technologies and the refined tastes of promising young artists.4549A38F-696B-43FF-B01B-B2DCE0B8BAF1

Also, not to miss…

Sculpture by Anthony Gormley

Before proceeding to the 4th floor where NTT ICC is located, you can’t miss the life-size human anatomy sculpture created by the renowned British sculptor Anthony Gormley (it’s worth taking a shot for your Instagram!)DFC1179D-635B-4444-B2A2-80A6CEA02BFC

Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery

If you still have spare time, you can also visit the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery located on the 3rd floor. Opened in 1999, “Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery” holds special exhibitions about four times a year, introducing various unique activities of art.

Along with the special exhibitions, the Art Gallery also holds a solo exhibition series called “project N.” The series focuses on emerging Japanese artists, following the will of late NAMBATA Tastuoki (1905-97) one of the main painters of the collection.

Getting there

By Train: Two minutes walk from Hatsudai Station (East Exit) on the Keio New Line

By Bus: About Twenty minutes from the bus terminal located near Shibuya Station’s West Exit. Take either Keio bus (61, 63, 66) or Toei bus (66) and get off at Tokyo Opera City or Tokyo Opera City South

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