Playing host to just about every conceivable fashion brand on earth, the areas of Harajuku, Omotesandō and Aoyama offer the best shopping in Tokyo – and possibly the world. A full day spent perusing may not even be enough to fully soak up everything that the epicentre of Japanese fashion has to offer.
When you need a break from it all, however, take a stroll to Aoyama’s Nezu Museum to enjoy beautiful architecture, incredible art and tranquil gardens.
The building that currently houses the museum’s collection was built in 2009 and is slickly designed to fuse traditional Japanese housing with modern minimalist architecture. Walking down the bamboo-lined pathway will take you to the expansive entrance where 1000 yen buys you admission.
The art on display in the museum is outstanding. The museum’s collection boasts over 7000 pieces of art and with 94 works registered as Important Art Objects, 87 of them being considered examples of Important Cultural Property and a further 7 of them as National Treasures, quantity does not come at the price of quality. What’s better is that there is a surprising amount of English information meaning you can learn a thing or two while looking!
Once you’ve had a look around indoors head outside and enjoy the museum’s five acres of traditional Japanese gardens. Winding pathways will take you to teahouses, ponds and waterfalls that are nestled among lush greenery that engulfs the gardens making it hard to believe that the hustle and bustle of the world’s largest city is a few hundred meters away. If you get hungry the museum’s café is a great place to tuck into a reasonably priced meat pie and salad (800 yen) while enjoying the views that the floor to ceiling windows offers onto the garden.
Next time you feel exhausted from a long day shopping head to the Nezu Museum for a true urban oasis that offers beautiful gardens, traditional Japanese culture and modern design. Take the Chiyoda, Ginza or Hanzomon line to Omotesandō station and enjoy the 10-minute walk through the ‘architectural showcase’ of Aoyama to the museum.