I went to Meguro Gajoen recently to see an exhibition of traditional dolls as part of the Hina Matsuri display. I had no idea this building is just part of a huge and impressive hotel and dining complex that is worthy of visiting even if no displays are scheduled. I discovered that this old and original section of this building was built in 1931 at a time when Tokyo was recovering from the big earthquake. It was "often called a department store of ornamentation" and upon entry, I could see why! Stunning rooms decorated with wood carved beams, beautiful frescoes and art painted on the ceilings, Japanese wood and paper screens of all varieties, tatami mat and wooden floors and a 100 step staircase. In was in these old original and beautiful rooms, that the display was being held. As I mentioned, even if there is no display, these rooms are a must see. You will understandably, be asked to remove your shoes and wear slippers provided to enter these rooms.
Unfortunately photos inside the old part of the building are not permitted.
The rest of the complex is contemporay and consists of a hotel (I did not stay there or see the rooms) and a dining complex. Along the walls are numerous coloured wood carved panels depicting scenes of traditional Japanese life that span 100 metres. There is also a lovely high ceiling atrium and a cafe/restaurant called Cafe Lounge Pandora where you can sit and have high tea or lunch overlooking a lovely Japanese garden with pond, waterfall and a bridge. My two friends and I sat and had high tea/lunch there and were lucky enough to secure a table right next to the glass wall overlooking the pond and waterfall where we saw a bridal couple pose for photos. It is not surprising this complex is a popular wedding venue. We found this set high tea option reasonably pried at 1700 yen. After lunch we wandered outside in the Japanese garden.
Alternative dining options include Japanese restaurant Tofutei (traditional Japanese) surrounded by a Japanese garden, Chinese restaurant Shunyuki, buffet restaurant Club Lounge and Steak House Hama so plenty of choice. There is also a shop selling Japanese products and sweets.
You can get to Meguro Gajoen by catching the train to Meguro station and walking 5 minutes downhill past a small temple called Daienji Sekibutsu Gun (which is worth popping into on the way)
The hotel also provides a shuttle bus that takes you to Meguro station.
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- Also Known As:
- Meguro Gajoen Hotel Meguro
- Meguro Gajoen Tokyo