There is a small slither of land in Tokyo’s Kita-Aoyama district that is wedged between the rolling grounds of the grand, neo-Baroque-style Akasaka Palace state guesthouse and the equally expansive, tree-lined grounds of the granite-constructed Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery. Given the nature of the neighborhood, you’d probably expect the land to host a police station, a shrine or a park. It doesn’t. Since July last year it has been the site of one of Tokyo’s newest — and most unlikely — art schools.

The Gaien Campus, as the school is known, is the Tokyo branch of two art universities: Kyoto University of Art and Design, and Tohoku University of Art and Design — both of which, it is planned, will soon be operated by the same foundation: the Uryuyama Gakuen.

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