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A Guide to Lesser Known Architectural Treasures in Tokyo

Nezu Museum | © shuzo serikawa / Flickr
Nezu Museum | © shuzo serikawa / Flickr
Picture of Alicia Joy
Tokyo Writer
Updated: 8 February 2017
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If you love beautiful architecture, Tokyo is a great place to visit. Whether ancient tea houses or soaring skyscrapers, the city is home to a vast number of architectural marvels. Read on as Culture Trip takes you on a tour of some of Tokyo’s lesser known treasures.

Nezu Museum

Building, Museum
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Nezu Museum, Minato-Ku, Tokyo, Japan.
Nezu Museum, Minato-Ku, Tokyo, Japan. | © World Discovery / Alamy Stock Photo
Minato Ward plays host to countless galleries and museums, from the famed Mori Art Museum to Tepia Advanced Technology Gallery. Not as widely known but no less beautiful, the Nezu Museum houses a traditional Japanese garden and the private art collection of Nezu Kaichiro. Renowned architect Kengo Kuma designed the building.
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Happo-en

Concert Hall
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Admiring the sakura in Happo-en
Admiring the sakura in Happo-en | © Melanie M / Flickr
The tea houses of Happo-en are Edo Era structures, moved from their original locations and rebuilt onsite. The venue mainly caters for banquets, weddings and other large events, but visitors can check out the garden, tea houses or Enju restaurant if reservations are made ahead of time.
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Sun:
9:00 am - 8:30 pm
Mon:
10:00 am - 8:30 pm
Tue:
10:00 am - 8:30 pm
Wed:
10:00 am - 8:30 pm
Thu:
10:00 am - 8:30 pm
Fri:
10:00 am - 8:30 pm
Sat:
9:00 am - 8:30 pm

Yushima Seido

Shrine
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Yushima Seido
Yushima Seido | © SATOSHI TOMIYAMA / Flickr
Just steps from the Kanda Shrine lies Yushima Seido. With its imposing black exterior and green, sloping roofs, the Confucian architectural influence is obvious. This temple is a popular place for students to come to pray, because it was historically a training and education institution during the Edo Period.
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Sun:
9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Mon:
9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Tue:
9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Wed:
9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Thu:
9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Fri:
9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Sat:
9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Tokyo Daijingu

Shrine
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Tokyo Daijingu
Tokyo Daijingu | © Daderot / WikiCommons
Although Tokyo Daijingu is one of the city’s five major shrines, it doesn’t receive nearly as much press as the Meiji Shrine. This modest shrine is devoted to many high Japanese deities, including Amaterasu, and was intended to bring the kami (divine being) of the great Shrine of Ise closer to the people of Kanto. The structure was completed in 1928 and is famous for standardizing Shinto wedding ceremonies.
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Sun:
8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Mon:
8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tue:
8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Wed:
8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thu:
8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri:
8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sat:
8:00 am - 7:00 pm

Shibuya Hikarie

Building
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Walkway to Shibuya Hikarie
Walkway to Shibuya Hikarie | © Dick Thomas Johnson / Flickr
Not unlike Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown, Shibuya Hikarie combines shopping, dining, entertainment and work all in one place. From the basement up to the eleventh floor, Hikarie is accessible to the public and home to shops, restaurants and events spaces. Meanwhile, glass walls allow visitors a unique look at the Shibuya.
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Sun:
10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Mon:
10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Tue:
10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wed:
10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Thu:
10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Fri:
10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sat:
10:00 am - 9:00 pm

Old Shimbashi Station

Museum
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Old Shimbashi Station
Old Shimbashi Station | © Sushiya / WikiCommons
The original Shimbashi Station was Tokyo’s main transit hub until the construction of Tokyo Station in 1914. Today, a faithful reproduction of the old railway platform can be found in the Shiodome neighborhood of Minato Ward.
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Sun:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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