Meguro Gajoen’s Famous Staircase, Municipal Cultural Property and Top-Quality Art From Showa Period

Review of Meguro Gajoen Hotel | 1-8-1 Shimomeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Meguro Gajoen Hotel
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Botamochi
Botamochi 
Contributing Writer
Published
| 2 min read

Meguro Gajoen is a high-class hotel mostly famous for being a luxurious place to hold wedding ceremonies. However, inside the building you will find a massive well-preserved wooden staircase with a strong historical atmosphere! Let me take you around this top-class art space which impresses with its solemn presence.

Meguro Gajoen is a city oasis located just 3 minutes on foot from Meguro Station

meguro gajoen’s famous staircase, municipal cultural property and top-quality art from showa period | meguro gajoen is a city oasis located just 3 minutes on foot from meguro station

Meguro Gajoen is located just 3 minutes away from JR Meguro Station’s West exit, but you will be surprised to find out that you have to pass a rather steep hill first. After you descend from the hill, you will see the hotel’s building. Outside it looks like an ordinary urban hotel, but it’s surrounded by plenty of greenery and has a peculiar relaxing atmosphere.

Meguro Gajoen is a popular location for wedding ceremonies, and indeed I saw a couple in bridal kimono taking photos in front of the hotel’s garden when I went there.

See the art of the Edo period through colorful carvings

meguro gajoen’s famous staircase, municipal cultural property and top-quality art from showa period | see the art of the edo period through colorful carvings

Inside the hotel you will walk through the Oiran Corridor. As you can see on the photos the wall decorations are rather colorful and create special excitement as your pass through the corridor. At first glance they look like plaster art, but if you look closely you’ll notice that in fact they are wooden carvings pained with distemper painting. The decorations represent realistic scenes from the Edo period, particularly from Tokyo’s Nihombashi and Kyoto’s Kamogawa. Those who are interested to learn more about Meguro Gajoen’s art can participate in the offered guided tours around the art spots of the hotel.

Don’t miss the gorgeous elevator leading to the famous staircase!

meguro gajoen’s famous staircase, municipal cultural property and top-quality art from showa period | don’t miss the gorgeous elevator leading to the famous staircase!

Meguro Gajoen is often called “the Palace of the Dragon King” from Showa period and the main reason for that is the absolutely splendid interior decoration. Especially the famous staircase with the 100 stairs is the pinnacle of Japan’s traditional art and is registered as a municipal cultural treasure. A gorgeous and wide elevator leads to this staircase. It is so wide that 45 people can ride at the same time!
The decoration on the walls of this elevator is made of fine mother-of-pearl and represents gorgeous peony flowers and lions. It’s of course quite showy, but classy at the same time, and you can appreciate the fine sense of art of the craftsmen and designers.

Each room at the staircase floor is an art gallery of its own

meguro gajoen’s famous staircase, municipal cultural property and top-quality art from showa period | each room at the staircase floor is an art gallery of its own

The seven rooms connected by the famous staircase in the wooden part of Meguro Gajoen were used for banquets and special events. Every room’s ceiling and transoms have been designed by different prominent painters and sculptors who gave a sense of individuality to each place. This is how Meguro Gajoen’s fame as “the Palace of the Dragon King” from the Showa period began. Nowadays the rooms are open only for guided tours and special events. When I visited the hotel there was an interesting exhibition of called “Neko Ranman”.

Cat lovers must visit the exhibition of 2000 cat figures!

“Neko Ranman” is an exhibition in which cat figures represent scenes from traditional Japanese-style banquets. The original cat figures mix nicely with the luxurious interior. I particularly liked the room “Jippo no Ma”, named after the famous painter Araki Jippo. As you can see on the photo the cats are quite cute and make you smile instantly. These ones are created by the contemporary artist Yasuhiro Sayama.



Information about “Neko Ranman” exhibition Held between: June 21 and July 4, 2013 Time: 10 am to 6 pm Entrance fee: 1200 JPY for adult, 200 JPY for junior high and high school students, free for children

Meguro Gajoen is worth exploring like a precious art gallery, so be sure to visit it and take a look around.

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