Region
Kanto
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Saitama
Population
6,938,004

Toyama Memorial Museum

A walk through the everyday life of a not so everyday person.

The Toyama Memorial Museum is a collection of buildings founded by prominent businessman Gen-ichi Toyama as a home for his mother. Reconstructed from the original house in which he was born but forced to leave as a child, the traditional Japanese building took two years and seven months to complete, finishing in 1936. It became a museum in 1970 to allow people to experience a live turn back in time. The house remains entirely as it was and it feels incredibly personal – almost invasive – to explore it.

Even as you look from outside the grounds of the Toyama Memorial Museum, the place is imposing. It’s hard to imagine that this mansion was built for only one person just eighty odd years ago.

Toyama Memorial Museum

The Toyama Memorial Museum offers a real glimpse into the life of a wealthy Japanese family.

The gate is large enough to let in a car, and when you step inside, your eyes spot different buildings, all constructed differently. There’s Shoin-zukuri, the roots of the traditional Japanese house today, Sukiya-zukuri, characteristic of the Japanese tea ceremony, and Kura-zukuri, a clay-walled fireproof building style. You can see all three at once, in a fascinating blend of Japanese architectural methods.

Inside the buildings you’ll find that the rooms are untouched. Each room has ample space – a luxury in modern Japan – and you’ll see, in the little things, the way that Toyama’s mother lived. The living room has a sunken hearth and the tatami mats are uneven on the floor. The lounge on the second floor contains European sofas, while the austere tea ceremony room has nothing in it except a calligraphy scroll.

Toyama’s personal art collection is also on display, and the exhibits change regularly. Along with the garden – exquisitely well-kept in all seasons – the museum is a delight to visit at any time of the year.

Things To Know

Opening Hours

10:00 – 16:00.

Entrance Fees

Adults; ¥700. Children under 16 go free.

How To Get There

Address

Japan, 〒350-0128 Saitama-ken, Hiki-gun, Kawajima-machi, Shiroinuma, 675, 公益財団法人遠山記念館

By train

Take the train to Kawagoe Station and then the bus towards Okegawa Station. Alternatively, take the train to Okegawa Station and take the bus towards Kawagoe Station. Get off at the Ushigayato stop and it’s a 15-minute walk from there.

Where To Stay

The Celecton Kitamoto Ekimae
  • 1-45 Kitamoto, Kitamoto-shi, Saitama, 364-0006 Japan
  • ¥9,600 - ¥16,900
  • 4.19/5 (276 reviews)
  • 6.1 km
Hotel Route-Inn Ageo
  • 2-37-1 Idogi, Ageo-shi, Saitama, 362-0071 Japan
  • ¥8,500 - ¥9,900
  • 3.83/5 (413 reviews)
  • 6.1 km
Koedo Kawagoe Omotenashi House
  • 9-4-3 Sankubocho, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama, 350-0054 Japan
  • ¥6,600 - ¥6,600
  • 7.5 km
Hatago Coedoya
  • 8-1 Renjakucho, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama, 350-0066 Japan
  • ¥4,500 - ¥19,000
  • 4.4/5 (78 reviews)
  • 7.7 km
Kawagoe Prince Hotel
  • 1-22 Kawagoepurinsuhoteru, Kawagoe-shi, Saitama, 350-8501 Japan
  • ¥12,589 - ¥19,270
  • 3.89/5 (1,266 reviews)
  • 8.2 km