Let’s go to Waseda University!The Waseda Museum tour gives us a sense of history of over 130 years.

Waseda University (Shinjuku Ward in Tokyo) has a history of over 130 years.
There are museums that were built before the war in school buildings, and we can learn about the history of Waseda University from the tour.
Today I will introduce the attractions with a tour by Ms. Chen Mingjia, an international student from China.

2017-04-21 Yu   Travel Destinations, Tokyo,

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【CONTENTS】
The Theatre Museum looks just like a real theater.
Let’s go into the solemn atmosphere of the Aizu Museum.
Take a look into old-time Waseda University at a special exhibition.
The last stop we visited on our tour was the central Library.
Enjoy cheap and delicious school cafeteria food after the tour!

The Theatre Museum looks just like a real theater.

Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum holds and exhibits collections pertaining to theatre and performance, from both Japan and overseas.
Its beautiful building is much like a real theater. It is modeled after The Fortune Theater in London. Actual theatrical performances have been held inside this museum.

The Theatre Museum was built in 1928
The Theatre Museum was built in 1928

Its very quiet inside the museum, even though we’re in a lively university campus atmosphere. I was attracted by the antique corridor, stairway, and decorations.
There are one million precious documents and photo collections from plays. I would say that objects accumulated over 80 years, illustrate the history of theatre and performance very well.

Let’s go into the solemn atmosphere of the Aizu Museum.

Aizu Museum preserves and displays over 20,000 collections, such as works of art and archeological artifacts. The building used to be the university library.

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The Aizu Museum was built as the university library in 1925.

Its a unique building with a polygonal roof and decorative graceful curves. The inside of the museum seems simple. There are many fascinating designs such as the eight-edged star-shaped fretwork adorning the great door, the six pillars holding up beautiful capitals, and the moon motifs positioned under the handrails of the staircase.

During our tour, we were able to see the precious picture, “Meian (Light and Dark)” by Taikan Yokoyama, which is usually not on display. All the participants on this tour were very excited!

A look into old-time Waseda University at a special exhibition.

The “125th Anniversary room” (a space for temporary exhibitions) was open when I visited the Okuma Memorial Tower. The tower was built to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Waseda university. You can overlook the campus from this tower. Photo albums of Waseda students during pre-war days are on display in this room, so we could enjoy the atmosphere of old-time Waseda university. The exhibition has ended. Please check for the next exhibition at https://www.waseda.jp/culture/en/about/collections/.

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The “125th Anniversary Room” is in the Okuma Memorial tower, built for the 125th anniversary of the University.

The last stop we visited on our tour was the central Library.

The latin phrase, “QUAE SIT SAPIENTIA DISCE LEGENDO” (Learn by what wisdom is) is written on the entrance of this library. This phrase has a sobering effect on us.
There were innumerable books and many students studying in the library.

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The Central Library was built in 1991.

This area used to be a baseball field. Waseda university’s baseball club is very popular, and I felt like I could hear the great roar of cheers when I closed my eyes.
Students of Waseda University and graduates can use this library, but the general public can only observe the outer appearance.   

Enjoy cheap and delicious school cafeteria food after the tour!

I recommend the restaurant “Mori no Kaze”, which was opened this year and is located on the 15th floor of the Okuma Memorial Tower.
You can get a full view of Waseda campus and enjoy Mt. Fuji and the Tokyo Sky Tree on a nice day.
Another great café:「Uni.café」.
You can relax while viewing the Okuma Garden.
There’s also a shop that sells official Waseda university goods next to the café. How about buying some Waseda university souvenirs?

The new school cafeteria has a very modern decor and delicious menu items.
The tour I took was special one, but you can take campus tours with student guides who will share their university life experiences with you.

Campus Tour

Everyone can observe Waseda university as well as the Central brary freely, so please come and experience the history and the culture of Waseda!

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Information

Address 1-6-1 Nishi-Waseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Hours 10:00-17:00
Price Free
Close Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays.
The university’s temporary closed days.
Access ・20-minutewalk from Takadanobaba Station, JR Yamanote Line and Seibu Shinjuku line
・7-minute walk from Exit 3a or 3b of Waseda Station, Tokyo Metro Tozai Line
・20-minute walk from Nishi-Waseda Station, Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line
・5-minute walk from Waseda Station, Toei Streetcar (Toden) Arakawa Line
・1-minute walk from the last stop Sodai Seimon, from Takadanobaba station, Toei Bus.
Phone ・Theatre Museum: 03-5286-1829
・Aizu Museum: 03-5286-3835
・Central Library: 03-3203-5581
Website https://www.waseda.jp/top/en