Take 5: Unique spaces in Tokyo

1. Kiyosumi Gardens

Featuring hills and a large pond, this park on the east side of the city offers a slice of an older Tokyo to visiting groups.

What’s it like? This area houses a garden originally built in the late 1800s, and it represents one of the most visually pleasing examples of a strolling garden from Japan’s Meiji period. The walk also has wonderful views of the large pond, with rocks from all across the archipelago dotting the landscape.

For groups There are two venues: the larger Taisho Kinenkan Hall hosts up to 130 people with access to part of the garden and a stage for performances, while the smaller Ryotei Lodge serves more intimate gatherings with space for 30 and a terrace overlooking the water. These buildings offer the chance for meetings or parties set in Japanese-style rooms, giving visitors the opportunity to be immersed in the nation’s traditional culture.

What makes it unique? Few spaces in Tokyo allow large parties to experience and learn about traditional Japanese culture while also enjoying gorgeous views of nature.

2. Tokyo Sea Life Park

This aquarium boasts large tanks of ocean life alongside stunning views of Tokyo Bay and Mt Fuji.

What’s it like? Situated in the wide grounds of Kasai-Rinkai Park on the outskirts of Tokyo, the Tokyo Sea Life Park has over 600 species of sea creatures on the premise. They hail from nearly every corner of the planet, from tuna found in the waters off Japan to colourful fish from the Caribbean.

For groups Numerous spaces are available including one right in front of the Sea Life Park’s centrepiece circular tank. The venue also allows groups the chance to get together outside, whether on a smaller terrace or on the larger Sky Plaza and Tent Deck. From these spots, you can catch glimpses of the Pacific Ocean and, on the right day, Mt Fuji.

What makes it unique? An aquarium serving as a spot for an event is already special, but Tokyo Sea Life Park takes it another step by offering postcard-worthy views of sea and land.

3. Japanese Sword Museum

Located in a new building opened last year along the Sumida river, the museum features meeting spaces alongside exhibits devoted to samurai weaponry.

What’s it like? This brand new venue is located in the Ryogoku neighborhood of Tokyo. The museum collects swords from across Japan’s history, ranging from ancient weapons wielded by samurai to contemporary creations. They’ve also gathered armour, horse mounts and documents related to metal working.

For groups There is a lecture hall and cafe space for events, and the cosy dimensions of these spaces make this an ideal choice for groups of between 50 and 100 guests. On top of that, delegates can learn about one of the most interesting elements of Japanese history.

What makes it unique? One of the newest spaces catering to MICE gatherings, it also offers room in a type of museum rarely used for meetings.

4. Former Residence of the Maeda Family 

Add a dash of luxury to your meeting and events at this 1920s residence originally built to accommodate international guests.

What’s it like? This Western-style house was built by the Maeda clan, one of the wealthiest families in all of Japan. They built this home in 1929, inspired by stints spent overseas. This lavish dwelling was meant for overseas guests and, even though the Maeda family took inspiration from the West, the residence remains unlike few other houses you’ll find in Japan.

For groups It’s possible to rent out various rooms of the Maeda residence for meetings and other events, which adds a feeling of luxury to gatherings in a one-of-a-kind location.

What makes it unique? This intimate house provides a rare type of decadence not found at most other meeting venues.

5. Tokyo Tower

One of the city’s most beloved landmarks allows events to be held at the top with stunning views of the cityscape.

What’s it like? Tokyo Tower stands as one of the capital’s defining landmarks. Although not the highest structure in the city anymore thanks to the arrival of the Sky Tree in 2012, it remains an iconic piece of the cityscape.

For groups Four different parts of the tower can be rented, such as Club333 on the main viewing deck or the Top Deck. Planners can also opt for the Tokyo Tower Hall, which is actually located in the basement. Those who choose spaces higher up in the tower can enjoy magnificent views of the entire metropolis.

What makes it unique? Besides being one of the most historic structures in the entire country, event attendees will marvel at the views across Tokyo.

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