SCAI the Bathhouse
A pilgrimage to a small, former public bathhouse in a remote residential district of Tokyo may be an unlikely addition to any conventional tourist itinerary. But art lovers looking to explore another side of the city’s creative scene would do well to jump on a train to Yanaka.
Its quite lanes inhabit a parallel universe from the skyscrapers and crossings often associated with the capital. Wander past the cemetery – which bursts into pink clouds of cherry blossoms in spring – low rise wooden houses, temples and local noodle shops to visit SCAI the Bathhouse.
One of a string of small galleries in the area, SCAI is a diminutive but perfectly formed white space converted from a former public bathhouse. The skylights in the eight metre high main space have cast light on a raft of high-profile exhibitions: from Anish Kapoor and Julian Opie to homegrown Tatsuo Miyajima and Tadanori Yokoo. Soak up some restorative art along with the peaceful Yanaka ambiance before heading back into the Tokyo throng.
Image: by KEIZO KIOKU