Jiyu Gakuen Girls' School Myonichikan – Tokyo, Japan - Atlas Obscura

Tokyo, Japan

Jiyu Gakuen Girls' School Myonichikan

The buildings are among the few Frank Lloyd Wright structures still standing in Japan. 

This unexpected architectural gem hides in plain sight in a quiet Tokyo neighborhood. Jiyu Gakuen Myonichikan is an unmistakable Frank Lloyd Wright creation. The complex is among the few Wright structures still standing in Japan.

The building complex, built with the specific intent of being a Christian girls’ school, was completed in 1921. The U-shaped campus includes a central chapel, classrooms, and an auditorium.

The school relocated in the 1930s, and the campus eventually fell into decline. The structures were finally restored between 1999 and 2001. Today, the buildings frequently serve as rental spaces for weddings and other events.

The main feature of the campus is the chapel, which looks out onto a large lawn. It’s now a cafe with short tables and custom chairs matching the style of the rest of the building. Up a narrow staircase adjoining the original dining hall is a Frank Lloyd Wright mini-museum, complete with an uncanny—if slightly unsettling—Frank Lloyd Wright marionette.

Much of the complex has been left as it was. Some doorways are intentionally shorter than normal to emphasize that they were built for small girls, rather than adults. Save for the cafe, the furniture and fixtures are all original or exacting reproductions.

Know Before You Go

The building is open for public tours.

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