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Updated on April 26, 2019

A Perfect Day in Tokyo

The Former Residence of the Maeda Family (Meguro-ku)
Spend a Luxurious Time Soaking Up the Elegant Atmosphere

Photo of Marquis Maeda's study
The study of Marquis Maeda restored to its original condition

Hop off the train at Komaba-todaimae Station and walk through an elegant residential area for some time to reach the stone gate posts of Komaba Park. In this park you can find the European- and Japanese-style villas built by Marquis Toshinari Maeda, the 16th head of the Maeda clan of the former Kaga domain. The magnificent reinforced-concrete structure of English architectural style, standing two stories aboveground and one story underground, and the classic Japanese-style home fully incorporating traditional Japanese architecture techniques were built between 1929 and 1930. The European villa served as a private residence of the Maeda family. Both heritage properties are preserved and opened to the public here at Komaba Park.
A step into the Western-style house will take you to a different world. Be overwhelmed by the red-carpeted entrance hall. The ground floor, which was used for social gatherings, features a salon, two guest rooms, and a dining hall where formal dinner parties and other events were held. The elaborate design creates a dignified air. Look outside to find a vast lawn where Marquis Maeda is known to have enjoyed horse riding and golf.
Ascending the gorgeous staircase with engraved decorations, you will see the living quarters of the six family members, adorned with splendid curtains and carpets that were actually used. The highlight is the study recreated from old photographs. Walls covered with gold-embossed paper, marble around a fireplace with dragon carvings, and other embellishments indicate that this was a noble person’s room. You can easily picture Marquis Maeda devoting himself to his duties here.

 

The Japanese-style residence on the east side of the Western-style mansion is also worth seeing. The spacious drawing room overlooking the Japanese garden showcases a huge tokonoma or alcove in the traditional shoin-zukuri Japanese residential architectural style, and elaborately carved transoms known as ranma. Take notice also of such fixtures as cedar panel doors painted by Hashimoto Gaho, one of the leading Japanese painters of the late 19th century, and sliding door pulls with the Japanese plum family crest.
Bathed by the gentle sunlight of spring, take this time to savor the luxurious life of an aristocrat in a place also known as a secret cherry blossom viewing spot.

A 13-minute walk from Komaba-todaimae Station on the Keio Inokashira Line, or Higashi-Kitazawa Station or Yoyogi-Uehara Station on the Odakyu Line.

[The Former Residence of the Maeda Family]
Volunteer guides are available.
Western-style residence: Phone: 03-3466-5150. Open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Japanese-style residence: Phone: 03-3460-6725. Open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays.

Photo of the Japanese-style building
The Japanese house was used to receive guests

 

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