Monday, August 11, 2008

East meets West

Today I went on a leisurely exploration of the Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens. This is the former home of Mitsubishi founder, Iwasaki Yataro It is renowned as one of the first western houses built in the Meiji era (1896) when Japan was taking on western ideas. Josiah Conder (who was teaching architecture) designed the house on a Jacobean style which must have looked exotic to the Japanese. The Japanese style house was integrated with the main building, and was the living quarters of the family while the Western house was used for entertaining. The house (while not exotic to me!) had beautiful wood work and an islamic influence in some of the room decoration, especially the ceilings. The garden was a lovely Japanese style with expansive western lawns on the side. He also had a separate Billiard Lodge, in the garden; what every gentleman needs!
The house was not cooled but a sit in the garden with some iced tea was a perfect end to the tour.
In the area as I walked back to the station I passed this house that looks exotic ro me!

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