Meguro Gajoen is one of the tangible properties of Tokyo, established in 1931 originally as a venue for wedding banquets. Now all that remains of the original architecture is a series of rooms connected by the “stairway of 100 steps“. In 2009 these rooms were classified as one of the cultural assets of Japan.

We recently visited the establishment to get a look at the traditional party rooms for ourselves, since they were open to the public for a very short window of time and we figured this would be our only chance. We were even permitted to take photos, so come and join us for a guided tour!

The stairway and its attached rooms are usually closed to the public, but we recently visited during a rare open day when artworks were being displayed in the rooms. The rooms themselves are fascinating, especially if you’re interested in traditional Japanese architecture and art, as each one has several distinctive features as well as wall paintings by various artists which are less for decoration and more part of the theme of each room.

While the rooms are usually strictly off-limits, especially for photography, we were permitted to take pictures and even several panoramic images, which you can see below.

▼ The stairway of 100 steps from the bottom.

▼ The main entrance hall in the modern part of the complex.

▼ If the steps weren’t numbered, we might have missed this little detail – there’s actually only 99 steps.

▼ The painted ceiling panels can be viewed above.

▼ The exhibition of artworks features bead work, tiny paper sculptures, and these miniature scenes.

▼ There’s an incredible level of detail.

▼ We found this kimono especially impressive…

▼ Even more so when we realised it’s made entirely of beads.

▼ Some of the model houses.

▼ Just look at that detail!

▼ Even the ceiling panels of the staircase are hand-painted.

You can check out panoramic images of the rooms below. Some people believe the interior rooms inspired the creators of Spirited Away. What do you think?

Be sure to stop by Megiro Gajoen’s English-language website for more information.

All photos © RocketNews24
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