One of the most interesting parts of the the Meiji Seimeikan in Marunouchi (mentioned a few times in posts recently) are the original building details, the elevators, the internal tube mailing stystem, the buttons, levers and mechanics of the structure etc. It adds to the experience. The rooms on the visitor’s level are very luxurious, and you must wonder at the quality of the fittings and furniture, I doubt many modern offices look this good even after a couple of years of use, and this building has been in used through wars and Earthquakes for decades by now. The building is open on weekends and the is no entrance fee so go have a look when you are in the area!
When the great renewal and construction boom of Marunouchi started 10-20 years ago it was decided to spare as much as possible of the historic old Meiji Seimeikan. The rear part of the building was incorporated into a glass atrium connecting it to the old street level and the newer buildings around it. It is quite a nice place to visit and the new atrium is often the setting for concerts or smaller events.
From the second floor of the main hall the look and feel of the old Meijiseimeikan goes from opulent to stately with one of the most amazing ceilings in Japan. It looks a bit over the top if you get too close to it but it is perfectly proportioned for being viewed from the vast open floorspace of the groundfloor main hall. The entrance is free on weekends and being so centrally located in Marunouchi it is hard to find an excuse not to visit. Even ten minutes to spare should be enough to just walk through it quickly.
If you are ever in Marunouchi on a rainy day (we’ll have quite a few of those in the following months) I can recommend visiting the splendid Meijiseimeikan which is one of the landmark buildings of Marunouchi and open to the public on weekends. Getting inside it can be a little tricky but walk around and you’ll soon find an entrance. The building is famous for being the old site of the military occupation government after the war and where General MacArthur like to hang out. Being sturdily built and very close to the Imperial Palace also meant that it survived the worst of the bombings and is still in use today. These photos are of the first floor but there is more to come!