Now that spring is finally on its way, it’s time to start thinking about where to enjoy the sunshine and cherry blossoms. The Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum offers the perfect combination of culture and natural beauty, and right in central Tokyo.
Formerly owned by a member of the Japanese imperial family, the spacious grounds include both a Western-style garden with lawn — blankets and picnicking allowed — and a beautiful Japanese garden with pond and traditional teahouse. It’s possible to purchase admission to the garden only but it would be a shame while there not to also tour the opulent Art Deco mansion that today serves as the main building of the museum. Built in 1933 to plans by the leading French designers of the day, the former Prince Asaka residence features many beautiful details, including chandeliers and custom-glass doors designed by René Lalique. Recently expanded with a modern annex, this gorgeous Art Deco residence provides a unique venue for four art exhibitions a year, often on topics overlooked by other museums such as jewelry and fashion. The former residence is itself a showcase of Art Deco craft and design, both French and Japanese, while the changing exhibitions introduce a great variety of international and Japanese art from all eras.
There are two cafes, one at the entrance and the other within the museum premises; both offer outdoor seating in good weather. The museum periodically organizes authentic tea ceremonies in its historic teahouse, including sessions with English interpretation. The next tea ceremonies will be held on March 30. For information, please see the programs page on the museum’s English website.
Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
5-21-9 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Museum admission varies by exhibition. See exhibition information for details.
Garden-only admission ¥200. Alcohol and pets are not permitted on the grounds or in the museum.