Yamamoto-tei, Katsushika City

A home of elegance and grace

By Sleiman Azizi    - 2 min read

It had been years since I had visited Shibamata but a recent trip reaffirmed just how much of a treasure this part of Tokyo really is. Stocked full of history, tradition and culture, wherever you turn you are bound to run into something of interest. One such place, close to the banks the Edo River, is Yamamoto-tei.

Formerly the home of one Einosuke Yamamoto, this prominent industrialist of the Taisho and Showa eras established the home in 1926, spending four years renovating it. The result has been one of the most prominent examples of the fusion between Japanese garden landscaping and architecture.

Incorporating both Japanese and Western design elements, the home's drawing room followed the Taisho-Roman fashion of the time and is strongly Western. The rest of the home is pure Japanese. Designed as a sukiya-style building, the home features extensive use of natural materials, particularly wood, as well as refined elements of space and style.

An important element of sukiya design is the traditional tea house of which the attached version at Yamamoto-tei continues to attract respect. The other defining feature of Yamamoto-tei is the garden. Designed to be observed from inside, the garden is aesthetically considered to be part of the house itself and not merely an addition to it.

The tea house room can be rented out in either morning, afternoon or whole day sessions. Bookings require three days notice but given that drinking tea within such a house is one of the most unique ways to the take in the beauty of Yamamoto-tei, securing a room may very well be worth the time.

A treasure of Katsushika City Ward, Yamamoto-tei is well worth the visit.

Getting there

Take the Keisei Kanamachi Line to Shibamata Station for an 8-minute walk. Alternatively, take the Hokuso Line to Shin Shibamata Station and head north for a 12-minute walk.

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Sleiman Azizi

Sleiman Azizi @sleiman.azizi

A Japanese Permanent Resident, I have over 300 published articles on Japan as well as 5 English language books written in a traditional Japanese style. I happen enjoy writing. Funny that...I'm also the Regional Partner for Tokyo, Japan's never ending capital, so if you've anything to say about Tokyo - or Japan in general - don't be shy and contact with me via sleiman.azizi@japantravel.com

Join the discussion

Elizabeth S a month ago
This tea house is exemplary for its architecture and fusion of styles, isn’t it? It’s a must see for tea, Japanese garden, and architecture enthusiasts. I visit every time I’m in the Shibamata neighborhood.
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Elizabeth S a month ago
I take visitors there and they’re always amazed by the vibrant Taishakuten Sando with its retro restaurants and shops, and then the time warp of Taishakuten, the toy museum, and Yamamoto tea house.
Kim B a month ago
I'm the same as Elena, I'd love one of these houses complete with a traditional garden! One day...
Kim B a month ago
Maybe it'll be my dream for when the kids fly the coop eventually...still quite a while off yet for me!
Sherilyn Siy a month ago
Glad they preserved this. So many old places in Tokyo are being torn down.
Sleiman Azizi Author a month ago
It became the property of the city after several generations of private ownership and if I recall correctly, was opened to the public, in the early 1990s.
Elena Lisina a month ago
Japanese house is my favorite type! I'd like to live in such a house with a garden.
Sleiman Azizi Author a month ago
It's great and so too is the area.