Not far from Tokyo’s downtown Nezu subway station you will find the tiny and remarkably charming gallery Maruhi. If you look really well that is. It is almost hidden away in a tiny nearly 100 year old house inside a tiny alley not wide enough for even two people to walk down. When I visited the gallery had an exhibition called Kuronekoten, showing the black cat themed work of nine different artists, from sculptors to kimono weavers. I dare say that Maruhi is Tokyo’s best hidden gallery, and if you are in the area it is well worth a visit. Finding it is part of the fun!
Even if you are not into the art the building itself is nothing short of amazing. It is a very careful restoration of an old 1917 (Taisho-era) pawnshop (hence the large safe!), and quite beautiful inside. My photos do not make it justice.
The next show is a ceramics show running from November 21st to 29th, you can read more about the gallery and the coming shows on their Facebook page here or their homepage here (all in Japanese of course!).
The garden at the Taishakuten really is beautiful. Even on an overcast days as when I visited, muddy pond and drooping leaves and all, it was still gorgeous. As you walk around the garden on the covered and elevated wooden walkways (without your shoes of course!), you’ll discover lots of little alcoves and hidden spots with statues and inscriptions to keep you occupied. I can only imagine the hundreds of years of labor invested in this garden by generations gardeners and architects!
The walled garden at the famous Taishakuten temple in Tokyo is one of my favorites in Japan. To enter you have to take you shoes off and follow the wooden walkways around the garden, there are plenty of hidden spots and little stops you can do to see the garden which seems to change in appearance depending on the angle you view it from.
My favorite part of the Taishakuten temple in Tokyo’s easternmost Shibamata district is the extensive traditional Japanese garden and buildings right next to the main temple building. You need to pay an entrance fee of 400 yen but it is worth all of it. The gardens are surrounded by a covered walkway, and some of the rooms of the temple buildings are open to inspection. There is even a tiny tea machine in one of the rooms if you want something hot or cold to accompany a short meditation on the beauty of Japanese garden tradition!