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Looking at Architecture 2023 Reminiscence of a House

The main building of the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum was completed in 1933 as the Residence of Prince Asaka. Preserved in pristine condition to the present day, the building is highly acclaimed both in Japan and abroad as valuable historic example of how Art Deco architecture, which gained popularity around the world in the 1920s to 1930s centering on Europe and the United States, had flourished in Japan. The building is also designated as one of Japan’s Important Cultural Properties.

Since opening as a museum in 1983, the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum has held exhibitions that draw upon the unique architecture of the Former Residence of Prince Asaka. Based on a different theme each year, the annual “Looking at Architecture” exhibition series introduces the beauty and many charms of the Former Residence of Prince Asaka from a variety of angles, while focusing on the architectural elements of the building itself such as design, technique, and material. This year, 2023, also corresponds to the museum’s 40th anniversary.

This installment places emphasis on the Asaka family who were the former owners of the residence. In addition to recreating the residence’s interior using furnishings and fittings from its era as an imperial home, the exhibition provides a glimpse into the family’s life at the time through photographs, video footage, art and craft objects, furnishings, and costumes left behind by those who used to come and go in this space.

Visiting information


Looking at Architecture 2023
Reminiscence of a House


Saturday, April 1 – Sunday, June 4, 2023
Closed every Monday


Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, Main Building & Annex
5-21-9, Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tel 050-5541-8600


10:00–18:00 *Last admission at 17:30


Online reservation is recommended for the exhibition.
Reserve Ticket for Your Visit here.

  General Group
Adults General¥1,000 Advance/Group¥820
University students General¥800 Advance/Group¥640
Middle & high school students General¥500 Advance/Group¥400
Senior (65 and over) General¥500 Advance/Group¥400

・Figures in parentheses are group admission fees (for groups of 20 or more)
・Admission is free for elementary and younger students and for middle school students residing in or attending school in Tokyo.
・Admission is free for visitors (and two accompanying persons) with a Physical Disability Certificate, Intellectual Disability Certificate, Rehabilitation Certificate, Mental Disability Certificate, or Atomic Bomb Survivor’s Certificate.
・Admission is free for teacher-led educational visits by Tokyo primary, junior high, and high school students.
Admission is free for seniors (65 and above) on the third Wednesday of each month.
Suspended until further notice

Organized by

Tokyo Metropolitan Government,
Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum,
Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture

With the annual co-sponsorship of

Toda Corporation,
Bloomberg L.P. Bloomberg
Van Cleef & Arpels

Exhibition highlights

  • ■The Former Residence of Prince Asaka which Embodies the Essence of Art Deco

    The Imperial Household Ministry’s Construction Bureau oversaw the planning and construction of the main building (Former Residence of Prince Asaka), while French artist Henri Rapin was commissioned to design the interiors of the principle rooms. In addition, works by representative artists of the Art Deco period such as René Lalique and Raymond Subes were also incorporated into the building, impressively bringing to fruition the very spirit of Art Deco. The interior décor, preserved in pristine condition, is indeed a true highlight of the exhibition.

    Also presented on this occasion is a section where visitors are invited to directly touch the architectural materials and various details that are used in the residence. We welcome visitors to take this opportunity to fully explore the beauty and charm of the Former Residence of Prince Asaka.

  • ■A Selection of Valuable “Homecoming” Works

    In this exhibition, visitors will be invited on a journey through time to visit the living spaces of the past that have been reproduced using restored original furnishings and artworks from the building’s era as an imperial home, which are presented along with various photographs of the residence. Furthermore, the exhibition not only presents works pertaining to the Asaka family that is housed in the museum’s collection, but also introduces valuable works such as costumes, crafts, and furnishings from collections all over Japan that have specially been brought back to their home on this occasion. This exhibition serves as a precious opportunity to bear witness to a selection of exquisite items of high artistic value related to the Asaka family.

  • ■Special Exhibit: Bonbonnières

    Since the Meiji period, it has become custom among members of the imperial family to hand out bonbonnières as gifts on celebratory occasions. Originally used in the West as small confectionery containers, bonbonnières have evolved as a unique tradition of the imperial family while drawing upon the artistry of traditional Japanese craftsmanship, and has been passed down to the present day as a commemorative item for imperial celebrations. A selection of over two hundred bonbonnières, the largest number to be presented to date, will be showcased in the form of a special exhibit.

Enjoying photography

  • ■Photography is Permitted

    Photography is allowed in both the main building and annex during this exhibition.
    Please follow the rules below and listen to the instructions of staff when taking photos.

    [Photography rules]

    1. Please refrain from any activity that may disturb others.
    2. Please do not use flash, reflectors, tripods, selfie sticks, or telephoto lenses.
    3. Staff may ask you to refrain from taking photographs due to safety concerns.
    4. Please refrain from taking video.
    5. To avoid the risk of dropping equipment or damaging objects, please do not take photographs from above objects, or lean your body when taking photographs.
    6. Photography is permitted for personal, non-commercial use only. Commercial photography requires advance application.
    7. Please be aware that posting photos on social networking sites may violate the portrait rights of other visitors.
    8. Actions that could damage artworks or the building are prohibited.
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Top row from left:Large Underglazed Vase with Wisteria Motif, 1911, Collection of Nabeshima Houkoukai
Kosode with Circular Embroidered Pattern of Chrysanthemums and Azure-winged Magpies on Red Crepe Fabric, Meiji period, Collection of Ome Kimono Museum
Biplane-shaped Bonbonnière, 1932, Collection of Gallery Glycine
Perfume Tower, Anteroom, Residence of Prince Asaka, Matsui Photography Studio, around 1933

Middle row from left:Lighting Fixture in front of the Young Princess’ Bedroom, Main Building, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
Balcony Tiles, Princess’ Sitting Room, Main Building, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
Radiator Cover, Dressing room, Main Building, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum

Bottom row from left:Main Staircase, Main Building, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
Glass-relief Doors by René Lalique (detail), Main Building, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
Salon, Main Building, Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art