Originally a school to teach girls how to be free, this 1921 Frank Lloyd Wright building is low-slung and plain-style, and one of the must-sees of the ikebukuro district.
For stunning free views of Shinjuku's ultra modern business district, and most of Tokyo, head to the high speed lifts that whisk you up either of the two 240m towers of this cathedral like government building by architect Kenzo Tange (Olympic gymnasium, Fuji TV centre, catholic cathedral,and further afield, Hiroshima peace park museum) Best place to see the sun set, and marvel at the extravagance of this 157 billion yen City Hall. While in the area explore Shinjuku metro, the worlds busiest station, and the teeming bar district. For a little solitude visit Hanazono shrine or the beautiful central park, imperial gardens or nearby iris filled Meiji Jingu gardens and shrine.
Just west of JR Shinkuku, follow a subway if you can but when lost surface and head into the skyscrapers.
An art gallery set in a 1930s art deco house that used to be the home of Prince Akasa. The art is good - there were gorgeous photographs of flowers when we went - but the house is outstanding. There's also a Japanese garden to stroll round afterwards and a nice cafe near the entrance. Well worth a visit.
website - www.teien-art-museum.ne.jp/info/e_index.html. The nearest underground is Meguro (also on the JR Yamanote Line) - and then it's about a 10-minute walk.
This is a collection of houses and buildings saved from various locations around Tokyo which in the UK would be classed as listed buildings. The buildings include pre-Meiji period farms houses, an old sento (bath house), izakaya (bar), photography studio and houses of past luminaries. If you want to capture a condensed image of what Tokyo looked like before and during its many traumas and incarnations this is a good place to start. (As is the Edo-Tokyo Museum proper at Ryukoku Station on the Sobu line).
Take the Chuo Line (Orange train) west out of the city from JR Tokyo or Shinjuku Stations and get off at JR Koganei Station. It's about a 15 minute walk from the north exit, walking north away from the station. When you reach the Tamagawajosui (Tamagawa Canal) you are almost at Koganei Park. The museum is in the park. Koganei Park is a pleasant enough place to pass time if you aren't in a major hurry.
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