The Maeda House - another piece of England in Tokyo

I discovered the Maeda House on Google Maps in 2020. While looking for places to photograph in Meguro ward, I spotted it in Komaba Park. It piqued my interest. Was it something like the beautiful  Josiah Conder Kyu-Furukawa mansion? I started to research it. It could be another subject for architectural photography.

The pictures that popped up were of a very English-looking mansion of Tudor style. I’d never seen nor heard of it. It was intriguing. I went the following day after some quick research and discovering its history.

A Brief History of the Maeda House

As you might have guessed, the house was home to a family named Maeda. They were one of the most influential families during the Edo period. Its leader, Toshinari, was a member of the aristocracy and a military man who had served in England. He constructed it in 1929.

With his enormous resources, he built a multi-storied and luxurious house. It has many rooms, even for the staff. Toshinari often entertained his colleagues, so I imagine it was a hive of activity.

The grounds, what remain, are pretty large. They should be lovely in spring when the cherry blossoms bloom. Next to the main building is a Japanese teahouse. Both have undergone restoration projects over the years. Luckily, much of the original workmanship remains.

The Maeda House Tour

Yes, there is a tour of the main building. It takes about forty minutes, but it is only in Japanese. You can also walk around by yourself and take pictures, so don’t worry. Be aware you need to take your shoes off and carry them in the plastic bag provided.

My visit was more of a reconnaissance mission. I wanted to check the house out and get a feel for it. The tour was at a pace that allowed me to do that. It was impressive. The building reminded me of Kyu-Furukawa and Kyu-Iwasaki Gardens. Talk about the best of British!

Why did I photograph in black and white?

Well, the building is a subject of architecture. And for that, I needed to strip away the color, which can be distracting. That was necessary because the interior can be very bright in places. Can you believe one room is decked out in purple?

Conclusion

If you like architectural photography or Japanese history, this building is excellent. For that 2020 visit, I only photographed some areas of the main house. You can also see it in color here. One day, I hope to photograph its cherry blossoms.

Where is the Maeda House in Tokyo?

Komaba Park is a ten-minute walk from Komaba-Todaimae Station on the Keio-Inokashira line. Click here to see it on Google Maps. By the way, the building’s formal name is Former Marquis Maeda Western Style Mansion.

Entrance fees

Free.

Opening hours

Maeda House is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (with the last entry at 4 pm). It is closed on Mondays and from December 29 to January 3. If a holiday falls on Monday, it will open but closed the following day.

Other photo spots near the Maeda House

To see articles of places mentioned in this article, look at:

External articles about the Maeda House

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *