The Nezu Museum opened to the public in 1940 in a vast site that was the former private residence of the Nezu family (Kaichiro Nezu, the Tobu Railway founder). After his death in 1940, his son founded the Museum to preserve the great collection of Japanese and oriental antiques.
In 2006 it was closed due to a large-scale renovation and it re-opened in 2009 with a completely new museum building designed and supervised by architect Kengo Kuma.
The entrance to the Nezu is through a bamboo thicket, a quiet passage from the city into the forest. Once inside, the building is completely merged into its green surroundings.
I didn’t visit the museum this time, but strolled around the beautiful gardens.
I’d planned to have tea in the Nezu Café but I got carried away taking photos and by the time it was tea time, the Café was closed.
The Café was also re-built by Kengo Kuma and has a wide window front on three sides that let you enjoy the garden while having a light lunch or coffee and cake. (The teahouses in the garden are only open to tea ceremony or other invited participants). Maybe next time!
Nezu Museum’s garden is definitely a spot to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, and to enjoy a moment of peace and relaxation in the abundance of nature.
PS: If you’re planning to wander around the gardens, consider bringing mosquito repellent.