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This wooded hilltop park was once the estate of Eiichi Shibusawa (1840-1931), president of Japan’s first modern bank. Former US President Ulysses Grant was treated to a ju-jitsu demonstration here in 1879 while staying as Shibusawa’s guest. The towering mansion is long gone, but a few outbuildings remain. The park’s main attractions are the ‘Asukayama Three Museums’, which stand in a row at the park’s eastern edge. The Paper Museum (www.papermuseum.jp) displays items related to paper art, papermaking technology and the history of paper, and sometimes holds participatory workshops. The Kita City Asukayama Museum (3916 1133) focuses on local archaeological finds, including a dugout canoe from the Jomon period, Japan’s Stone Age. English signage is minimal, but the displays are largely self-explanatory. The Shibusawa Memorial Museum (3910 0005, www.shibusawa.or.jp) praises the achievements of Eiichi Shibusawa. Most of the exhibits are old documents, some in English – including a signed letter from Thomas Edison.
1-1-3 Oji, Kita-ku
|Transport:||Asukayama Station (Toden Arakawa line) or Oji Station (Keihin-Tohoku line), south exit; (Namboku line), exit 1.|