Shirokanedai can boast that it once housed feudal lords and royalty. Today it is an unremarkable upscale residential suburb of anonymous apartment towers and other forgettable buildings. But in the midst of this lie 20 hectares of forest, otherwise known as the Institute for Nature Study of the National Museum of Science. Smaller neighboring grounds contain the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, a 1930s Art Deco gem—originally buit as the residence of Prince Yasuhiko—created by Japanese and French designers and artists, and surrounded by lawns and picturesque European and Japanese gardens, the latter featuring a postcard-perfect traditional teahouse overlooking a pond.

Adding to its cosmopolitan feel, this urban oasis also has a modern French restaurant on the grounds and a sleek cafe in the museum annex, both offering tranquil views through their expansive glass walls. The teahouse offers a more traditional experience, hosting a limited number of classical tea ceremonies throughout the year.

The museum is currently exhibiting a series of Surrealist-inspired works in TOSHIKO OKANOUE, Photo Collage : The Miracle of Silence.


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