Japan // Around Tokyo //

Nikko Tosho-gu Museum of Art

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Before rushing off, check out the Nikkō Tōshō-gū Museum of Art (日光東照宮美術館), at the back of the shrine complex, to the left as you walk out of the Omote-mon gate. This traditional, impressively simple wooden mansion dates from 1928 and is the former head office of the shrine. Inside, the sliding doors and screens were decorated by the top Japanese painters of the day and together constitute one of the most beautiful collections of this type of art that you’ll see in Japan.

Not far east of here are the grounds of Meiji-no-Yakata (明治の館), the early twentieth-century holiday home of the American trade representative F.W. Horne. The various houses amid the trees are now fancy restaurants, but it’s worth wandering around even if you don’t eat here to take in the pretty gardens and sylvan setting.