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added on : June 26, 2023
AEAJ Green Terrace is a sensory escape from the bustling city. The Aroma Environment Association of Japan opened this establishment in Harajuku, February 2023 to promote the mental and physical health of visitors, as well as the preservation of the natural environment, through the wonders of aromatherapy.
The AEAJ Green Terrace building was designed by word famous architect Kengo Kuma, who is responsible for many notable buildings around Tokyo, including the Japan National Stadium which hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Kuma’s characteristic style is apparent at first glance. Behind three stories of floor-to-ceiling windows, you can see an interwoven skeleton of wooden beams. This method of construction dates back hundreds of years, to a traditional carpentry technique used to construct temples and shrines. It requires carefully aligning and shaping lumber, barely using any nails or metal fittings.
Inside, a web of wooden beams extends across the ceiling and walls. These have been strategically placed to allow light to gently pass through them and fill the space, like sunlight piercing through a dense forest—evoking an effect known in Japanese as komorebi.
AEAJ selected Kuma because his vision for sustainable construction aligned with their environmental values. Kuma chose lumber harvested by thinning, a sustainable forestry method that selects younger trees, leaving more nutrients for stronger trees. In contrast to concrete, which is responsible for about 8% of carbon emissions worldwide, lumber absorbs enough carbon during its lifetime to offset emissions produced by transportation. They further reduced transportation emissions by sourcing trees from nearby prefectures.
The outside of the facility is decorated with reuse in mind. Recycled clay roof tiles, characteristic of Japanese architecture since the sixth century, are crushed and formed into the front walkway and recycled essential oil vials are crushed and reformed as art pieces which reflect sunlight in front of the building.
Visiting the building itself is a sensory experience. The smell of Japanese cypress greets you upon walking in, and many more fragrances can be found within.
The Aroma Laboratory has up to 300 aromas from around the world, allowing you to sample scents from yuzu, one of Japan’s popular citrus fruits, to saro, a plant used by herbalists in western Madagascar. The Aroma Lounge has a rotating selection of blends on display, each inspired by well-known literary works such as The Little Prince.
You can see blend recipes collected in AEAJ's periodical. Back issues are included in the Aroma Library, which contains a collection of 1,400 books in multiple languages on subjects such as aroma, plants, and the science behind them. Visit the third floor terrace for a view out towards Yoyogi Gymnasium, or relax in the Aroma Lounge area on the first floor with a cup of AEAJ’s original botanical tea.
The Aroma Corridor highlights biodiversity, and is home to around 43 species of plants, some of which provide the raw materials for essential oils.
AEAJ is a non-profit organization and does not sell essential oils, but you will find plenty of places to buy essential oils in the shopping streets of Harajuku, just a short walk away.
Please note that you must reserve an hour-long time slot before visiting.
|6-34-24 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo
Please make a reservation on the official site before visiting
|AEAJ Green Terrace (JPN)
For up-to-date information on opening hours and further details please check the official website.