I’ve wanted to come to Meiji Mura since I learned the lobby of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Imperial Hotel in Tokyo had been saved from destruction & moved to Meij Mura. (Although Wright’s hotel survived the 1923 earthquake it was torn down in 1964 & replaced by an ordinary tower hotel that dares to call itself the Imperial). The remaining lobby is a must see! A triumph for FLW that the photos don’t convey. It’s light & airy, a real surprise since it resembles a dark weird space in b-w photos most people published. Luckily we saw it in sunlight & later when they turned on the lights. It probably originated the open atrium. As presented the lobby is 3 floors high with balconies running around it used as tea rooms and or bars from what I can see. (He used the open atrium earlier for Buffalo’s Larkin building & assistants delivered the mail on roller skates! ) The cast bricks were designed to interlock & each have teeth. Wright insisted on the reflecting pool in front, and although the developers didn’t want to pony up they eventually did & the pool enabled firefighters to extinguish the fire that accompanied the 1923 earthquake using that water! Wright he didn’t allow the floors to touch the walls so the structure could move instead of collapsing in earthquake prone Tokyo. Wright had 100s of workers to carve the soft tufa-like stone. As you can see from the photos the Imperial was gorgeous. He used gold arrow mosaics to catch the light & flicker which they do. The decoratively carved tufa looks bizarre in all the photos but it’s gorgeous!
An early theater for Kabuki shows the audience sat on cushions but the stage revolved in 1907 & projected into the audience as it still does in Tokyo’s Kabuki theater.
The other buildings at Meiji Mura show how architectural ideas crossed the oceans long before the internet.
Meiji Mura is worth a full day & with superb bus service is easy to get to from Nagoya or Inumaya.