Built in 1935 and praised as the Showa Era’s ‘Palace of the Dragon God’, Meguro Gajoen is the first wedding complex to be built in Japan. The building includes wedding and banquet halls ornamented with traditional quaint handicrafts and vividly restored pictures, restaurants providing delicious seasonal cuisine, a museum which possesses precious Japanese-style pictures, a fabulous atrium garden and high-grade suites. It has received three stars in Michelin Hotel Guide from 2009 to 2014, and Hyakudan Kaidan, a 100 step staircase, is one of the Registered Tangible Cultural Properties of Tokyo metropolis.
The place is used by people from generation to generation for gathering together with friends and families, seeking relaxation and enjoying foods and drinks as well as hosting Japanese, Western and various types of weddings.
‘Spirited Away’ is one of the most world-famous animated movies by Director Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli released in 2001 which takes place in a Japanese traditional bathhouse and the bathhouse was modeled on Meguro Gajoen.
Director Miyazaki said “here is a kind of garishness of Genroku culture (an opulent culture in Edo era) which common palaces have and I wanted to express that atmosphere.”
Meguro Gajoen is also famous as the place where mystical energy concentrates. The artificial waterfall there is thought to generate the energy which give you a high healing effect. Moreover, from the viewpoint of Chinese geomancy, it is said that the spot is connected to a different dimension and so you can get spiritual power, ideas, and even a good love match!
‘Hyakudan’ means 100 steps and ‘Kaidan’ means staircase in Japanese. In 1988, they had to tear down part of the old Gajoen because of Meguro river improvement work. Many of the art works were removed and reattached to the new building and only Hyakudan Kaidan and a few rooms remain from the still-existing old Gajoen Building. It’s certainly worth looking at, including the decorations by artists of those days and the elegance that retained due to its long history.
The place is usually non-disclosure but you can enter and visit when an exhibition is held.
Meguro Gajoen*Japanese only