Just one subway stop away from the ever crowded Shibuya Crossing (also known as the Shibuya Scramble), an oasis of calm can be found in Tokyo: the Kyu Asakura House (旧朝倉家住宅), former residence of the Asakura family in Daikanyama. The house, built in 1919 is nearly a century old and is surrounded by a wooded garden which slopes down the hillside. Winding stone paths meander through it, making you feel like in the middle of a forest instead of the middle of the metropolis. We even found tiny toads hopping along, but unfortunately also a cloud of mosquitoes buzzing around.After climbing up and down all of the stepping stones, we made for the main building which besides one “Western room” by the entrance is built in traditional Japanese style with tatami floors and beautiful painted screen doors. It is very relaxing to sit down in the main building and gaze into the luxurious greenery of the garden. Apart from the big garden which can be viewed from various angles, there is also an inner courtyard garden. While Kyoto is chock-full of beautiful calm gardens, such places are harder to come by in Tokyo. For anyone yearning for a bit of calm and contemplation, or for who wants to escape into Japan’s less frantic past for a little while, the Kyu Asakura House is the right place to go.