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Updated on November 1, 2018

A Perfect Day in Tokyo

East Meets West in this Place of Scenic Beauty:
Kyu-Furukawa Gardens (Kita-ku)

A photo of the dining hall inside the residence
The first floor dining hall is open to the public as a café.

When autumn begins to show its face, you’ll feel the urge to escape from the bustle of daily activities and visit places where you can fully appreciate the season.

Take a bus from JR Komagome station. After about five minutes, a garden covered with trees appear before you. Kyu-Furukawa Gardens was completed in 1919 and celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The eye-catching western-style stone building in the gardens was designed by British architect Josiah Conder as the principal residence of Toranosuke Furukawa, the third head of the Furukawa family. The western style first floor, where distinguished guests were entertained, is impressive with its bright colors and detailed reliefs. In contrast, the upper floor, which was a daily living space, is mostly Japanese-style rooms with tatami floors, including a drawing room with a recessed alcove and a room where the Buddhist altar is placed. The western and Japanese cultures coexist in harmony in this venerable estate.

 

The western and Japanese gardens outside the mansion are also worth visiting. These gardens take advantage of the undulating terrain of the Musashino Plateau. A geometrically-planned French-style gardens is maintained on the slopes and on the low lying area spread the Japanese gardens, featuring various landscapes, including a pond shaped like the Chinese character which means heart or mind at the center, a dry waterfall, a large waterfall, and a gorge.

Seasonal plants, such as cherry blossoms, azaleas, irises, and maples, change the expression of the gardens to entertain visitors all year round. When the roses bloom in the spring and fall, live music performances and other events are held, and the gardens especially bustle with people.

Kyu-Furukawa Gardens is the perfect spot to enjoy the autumn weather, Japanese and Western sensibilities, and scents of the season.

◎From Komagome Station on the JR Yamanote Line or Oji Station on the JR Keihin-Tohoku Line, take the Kita-ku Community Bus (‘K-bus’) (Oji/Komagome route) and get off at the Kyu-Furukawa Gardens bus stop.
A 7-minute walk from Kami-Nakazato Station on the JR Keihin-Tohoku Line or Nishigahara Station on the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line.

[Kyu-Furukawa Gardens]
Phone: 03-3910-0394. Open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed during the year-end and New Year holidays. 150 yen for general admission, 70 yen for seniors 65 and above, and free of charge for children up to elementary school age and students attending junior high school in Tokyo.
[Kyu-Furukawa Tei (Otani Art Museum)]
Phone: 03-3910-8440. 800 yen for a guided tour (10:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:30 p.m.) (* The one-hour tour is provided in Japanese only. Pre-registration via postcard is required, as a general rule.)

 

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