Built by Prince Asaka Yasuhiko upon his return from America in the 1930s, the historic mansion that now houses the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum’s collection is a piece of art itself. With interiors designed by prolific French artist Henri Rapin and intricate glasswork by René Lalique, the museum is an architecture lover’s dream. The exhibitions here are continually changing and spread throughout the premises as you tour the rooms, giving something new with every visit to the house. Past exhibitions have featured everything from historical children's fashion to the jewels of the powerful Medici family.
The house was renovated in 2014, and a dedicated museum annex was added with two permanent exhibition spaces, a cafe, and shop. Surrounding these two buildings are extensive strolling gardens containing a traditional teahouse, European rose garden, a modern restaurant, and several sculptures. Touring this Western-style mansion and walking through these relaxing, verdant grounds, it’s easy to forget you’re still in the middle of downtown Tokyo.