TOKYO: My visit to Pigment Tokyo

PIGMENT Tokyo is so many things. It’s an academy, a museum, and a store combined. Ever since I knew I had this opportunity to go to Tokyo, I knew that this place would be on my itinerary. Bucket list! It’s a short cab ride from Shinigawa station and very easy to find. The location is also in a lovely area near the water. I highly recommend a visit if you are able to go.

Sally Lynn MacDonald - at Pigment Tokyo

The store displays are beautiful as well as functional. Across the counter upon entering, is an array of the source in its original form and the pigment.

Pigment Sources

Binders for the different types of paint that can be made, in their different forms are displayed along the wall.


Here is a wall of pigments. All available for purchase. The pigments are labeled not only with color, but also with – how shall I say this… how fine the material is ground. The size of the particles. Higher numbers will disperse easier and are suitable for watercoloring.

Wall of pigments from Pigment Tokyo - Sally Lynn MacDonald

And down at the end of that lovely wall, are the interference, metallic, pearlized pigments. Ooh la la. These required a closer look as there luminescense just doesn’t come across in any other photo I took.

Tokyo pigment - Sally Lynn MacDonald

The watercolor paints are displayed next, paints, kits, sets of familiar brands as well as an adorable display of ceramic palettes.

Watercolor Paint Displays at Pigment Tokyo - Sally Lynn MacDonald

It was in the section that I found my dream purchase. I feel a connection to artist, Ikenaga Yasunari. We are the same age (don’t google it. LOL) and I also love to draw and paint feminine images, faces, etc. Let me clarify that I in no way have his talent! But do you sometimes feel a connection with a particular artist? That is how I feel. So I was overwhelmed to come across not only his book; but also a set of specific pigments that are selected by the artist to recreate his style of painting.

Book and pigment set by Ikenaga Yasunari for Pigment Tokyo

Book and pigment set by Ikenaga Yasunari for Pigment Tokyo

I wish I had time to attend one of their laboratory workshops. But a little gum arabic should do the trick. I’m certain they will cover me online. If you do have access to these, a workshop onsite is a great idea.

The next corner is in the workshop / lab portion of the shop. The back wall is covered with yet more pigments, the Tempera Range:

As well as gilding materials and supplies.

And finally, turning the corner back towards the front of the store is the wall of brushes. Arranged beautifully so you can see each one, with sliding drawers that display them all and storage underneath from which the staff expertly selects what you are looking for. The bamboo elements throughout the ceiling and floor as well as the large brush hanging on the wall just give this surreal sense of “am I really here in this place?” Courtney was happy to provide a scale reference. LOL.

I was a little overwhelmed at this point – but their staff was patient, helpful and my selection process was simplified by their knowledge and expertise.

I have unpacked my bags from this trip. And set a personal goal of breaking into these purchases once I get the kids settled back into college next month.

Thanks for joining me on this part of our trip to Japan.


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