October 26, 2016

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Mejiro: Welcome to Old School Tokyo!

Mejiro is not a high-profile location in Tokyo, but it has lots of history and culture. The highlights range from a prestigious private university to traditional music and kimonos.



Gakushuin University Tradition-rich private school founded in 1877 as an educational institution for male children of Japan's imperial family. Moved to Mejiro in 1908. Some original buildings still stand and are designated Tangible Cultural Properties of Japan. They can be visited by advance arrangement.


Mejiro KK Musical instrument store specializing in classical Japanese instruments such as shakuhachi and shinobue. Sells high-end instruments, as well as parts and tools to make your own. Offers online music lessons to people around the world.


Mejiro Garden A small traditional-style Japanese garden in a residential neighborhood. A path winds around a pond, leading past artfully crafted natural landscapes. Graced by cherry blossoms in spring and red & yellow leaves in autumn.


Lefty A classic Gakushuin hangout. The owner-chef has been serving students for over 30 years, and the fluffy rice omelet is a flagship menu item.


Kasoyo Cafe/kimono shop that serves Japanese tea and sweets. Opened in 2006 in a renovated traditional house nearly a century old. Offers periodic workshops on subjects like how to wear kimono, plant-based dyeing, and so on.


Castle Tintagel Japan's only school of "medieval combat," where you can learn the fundamentals of the German school of fencing, suit up in Western or Japanese armor, and duel with archaic weapons of real steel. Also offers classes and workshops on medieval culture.

Further Info

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1) Gakushuin University
Address: 1-5-1 Mejiro, Toshima-ku
2) Mejiro KK
Address: 3-17-30 Shimo-ochiai, Shinjuku-ku
3)Mejiro Garden
Address: 3-20-18 Mejiro, Toshima-ku
4) Lefty
Address: 2F, 3-5-8 Mejiro, Toshima-ku
5) Kasoyo
Address: 2-19-21 Shimo-ochiai, Shinjuku-ku
6) Castle Tintagel
Address: Yamato Soko B, 4-14-3 Mejiro, Toshima-ku


The Adachi Institute of Woodcut Prints
Address: 3-13-17 Shimo-ochiai, Shinjuku-ku
St. Mary's Cathedral, Tokyo
Address: 3-16-15 Sekiguchi, Bunkyo-ku
Le Mont-St-Michel
Address: 3-4-15 Mejiro, Toshima-ku


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Andrew Fitzsimons

Professor of English Literature at Gakushuin University, Tokyo.
When did you first come to Japan?:
March 1998.
Reason for coming to Japan:
I came to Japan because I was in a relationship with a Japanese woman, who later became my wife, and because I had a long-standing interest in Japanese culture.
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Megumi Ageishi

When did you first come to Japan?:
Born and raised in Japan.
What I like about Tokyo:
My hometown Tokyo is very unique and exciting. I can never get enough of the city's food & drink, art, music, culture, festivals, and more! There is a fantastic mix of traditional and new. You can discover and experience things that you will never find anywhere but Tokyo!