digi-joho Japan: TOKYO TRAVEL

Tojo-tei, the former residence of TOKUGAWA Akitake, the "was supposed to be" last Shogun

In 1867, when the last Edo Shogun returned political power to the emperor, the Edo era ended its 265-year history. A new era began, all Samurai were gone, and the people in the Shogun family went into retirement, faded into obscurity. It is unknown what happened to the shogun family after that, but visiting one of their residences tells the story of their quiet life after the storm.

Built in 1884, Tojo-tei is a former residence of TOKUGAWA Akitake, who was a brother of the last Shogun TOKUGAWA Yoshinobu. Akitake was supposed to be the shogun after Yoshinobu retired, however, Edo-era did not last by the time. The story is that Akitake, at the age 13, went to France to attend Paris Exposition held in 1867 as the representative of the Shogun. Meanwhile, Edo-era was over. Instead of being the last Shogun, Akitake became the last lord of the Mito clan, but retired at the edge of 30 and lived the rest of his days in this residence Tojo-tei, named after the location Tojo. 

This wooden house has designed in styles of Japanese architecture established in both Edo/Meiji period. Though the interior inside is so simple, the building itself was made with only precious architectural materials. This house had no damages even after large earthquakes in the past.

The minimalism or simplicity chic present in this structure is the feature of traditional Japanese architecture, creates a form of beauty. The garden behind the house is also an important element as it was designed so that seasonal followers can be enjoyed viewing from rooms.


Recently, visiting old Japanese houses is getting popular among Japanese, both young and old alike. If you go Tojo-tei or these types of places, it will be better to visit in the morning before getting crowded, so that you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, would be like Zen world.

Tojo-tei Information

Tojo-tei 戸定邸 at Tojogaoka History Park

[Opening Hours]
9:30AM – 4:30PM
The garden opens at 9:00AM
Mondays (closed on Tuesday if Monday is a public holiday).
New Year's holidays (28.Dec 28 to 4.Jan )
[Admission Fees ]
250 JP Yen for Adults
320 JP Yen for Adults (For Tojo-tei and Tojo Museum of History)

Location / Gettig there by train

From Ueno station to Matsudo station
21 min. by JR Joban-sen Kaisoku Line

From Nippori station to Matsudo station
18 min. by . by JR Joban-sen Kaisoku Line

From Keisei Tsudanuma station to Matsudo station
44 min.. by Shin-keisei Line

From Matsudo station to Tojo-tei
About 10-min walk from the East Exit of Matsudo station.

Google Maps - Tojo-tei

Related Websites

Matsudoshi Tojo-tei
http://www.dream-flower.com/ (In Japanese)

Tojo-tei (Matsudo city's official website)
http://www.city.matsudo.chiba.jp/tojo/(In Japanese)