The Maman spider sculpture of Roppongi Hills

The Maman spider sculpture by Louise Bourgeois is a famous Tokyo landmark. You can find it under one of the city’s tallest skyscrapers, Roppongi Hills. At 30 feet tall and 33 feet wide, it is tough to miss. It might not be the best place to meet someone who fears arachnids. But it is still a popular meeting spot. Some people, like myself, prefer to photograph it.

The first time I saw it, it creeped me out a little because I don’t like spiders. But as I’ve seen them many times, it doesn’t worry me anymore. It has become a part of the background. I bet the people working at Roppongi Hills don’t even notice it on their way to work.

When I look at the spider now, it has evolved into something from science fiction. Do you know the Martian spacecraft from the H. G. Wells book, War of the Worlds? That is what it is now. It looks like one of those minus the deadly ray gun!

It is a fantastic work of art that was put up in 2012-2013. From below, you can even see twenty-six marble eggs in its belly. The legs are long and sinewy. Marble, bronze, and stainless steel were used in its construction. People often photograph it.

There are six more of these Maman spider sculptures around the world. And even if you fear eight-legged creatures, I doubt you’ll find them very scary after seeing them a few times! Louise made them with a particular thought in mind.

She created them in honor of her mother. Spiders are like mothers. They are nurturers and protectors of their young.  Plus, they also weave and spin their homes. They are just like our mothers. And if that fails, try my idea. Think of them as Martians!

Best photo tip for the Maman spider sculpture

I like standing under it with a wide-angle lens and shooting up towards Roppongi Hills. With the legs spread out the spider will look almost monster-size. Play around with the angles and you’ll get something good.

Where is the sculpture?

It is under the Roppongi Hills skyscraper in Roppongi. It is a short walk from Roppongi Station, on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya, and Toei Oedo Lines. 

Address:6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo

Here it is on a Google map:

Closest train station:

Roppongi on the Toei Oedo and Hibiya Metro Lines.

Exit C1 is near the spider.


The photos here were from my fourth attempt at photographing the Maman spider. A couple of them seem slightly soft. That might be a result of the time of day. I went there relatively early in the morning. Some day, I’ll try again. Please come back to check those pictures out!

What gear did I use for these photos?

  • Camera:  Fujifilm X-T3
  • Lenses:  
    1. Fujifilm XF10-24 mm F4 R OIS
    2. Fujifilm XF 16-55 mm F2.8 R LM WR
    3. Fujifilm  XF 55-200 mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

For more art articles, look at:

External websites about Louise Bourgeois

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