I have noticed recently how painting — especially watercolor — has been a popular therapeutic exercise among friends, even for Aien.
It was no surprise then why our recent trip in Tokyo didn’t end without visiting an art store in Tennozu Isle, a shop called Pigment Tokyo.
Japanese painting culture is more than 2,300 years old. You’ve probably seen their calligraphy as well as paintings of natural scenery, birds, and flowers. You see them in art museums but also along the streets. One night we came out of a train station only to discover a curious crowd gathering around a child who was painting.
Barely a year old, Pigment is a retail store and art studio where you can try out your painting skills. Inside is a museum, where the ceiling curves and flows like a stroke of a brush across shelves that resemble rainbows.
Pigment’s collections of colors, papers, and brushes are extensive. According to a staff member, Pigment carries 4,200 color choices and hundreds of brushes, including a beautiful brush made from peacock feathers.
One staff member courteously explained how colors are produced. There are two kinds: colors that come from naturally pigments and ones made artificially.
Obviously, the most expensive colors are those naturally produced. Many of them are very hard to find; certain blue and green colors are only retrieved from a particular coral. A natural blue color can reach Y5,000 (Php 1,900*) per 15 grams, while an artificial white pigment Y150.
Before buying, I recommend you try their products yourself, understand the materials, and ask questions from the polite staff.
Aien ended up buying a bamboo pad, a weasel-hair brush, and a watercolor palette, ready for her next artwork.
How to get there: To reach Pigment, ride the Tokyo Monorail (a line that takes you to Haneda Airport) and go down in Tennozu-Isle Station. Tokyo Monorail is accessible from Hamamatsucho Station (JR Yamamote Line). From Tennozu-Isle Station, walk to Terrada Harbor One Building. Pigment is on the first floor.
Open 11am-8pm, closed on Mondays and Thursdays.
No Tokyo itinerary yet? Here’s what we recommend on your first full day in Tokyo: Harajuku, Shibuya, Shinjuku
*Y 1.00 = Php 0.38