• Modern Japanese architecture

     

  • 04 Apr 2014: Tokyo Architecture, the new Matsuya Ginza 

    Tokyo Architecture, the new Matsuya Ginza
    Since the last year's autumn, Matsuya, the oldest department store in Ginza, has a new look, designed by the well-known architect Kenya Hara. The building is completely white during the day, but by night it becomes brightly colored with stripes in alternating colors (I photographed here the purple ... »

    12 Feb 2014: Stylish koban police box in Ginza 

    Stylish koban police box in Ginza
    There are more than 6000 small neighborhood police stations (kōban) in Japan, and some of them are really famous, being related to stories, movies, popular manga series or just because of their unusual architecture... Here's an example of a kōban with a very stylish modern ... »

    03 Dec 2013: Japanese modern architecture, Sunburst Building 

    Japanese modern architecture, Sunburst Building
    Many interesting modern Japanese buildings are almost unknown outside Japan, mainly because they are located beyond the tourist routes. Here is one of them, located in Tokyo, relatively close to the Yebisu Garden Place, across the train lines (photographed here from the bridge nearby the Tokyo ... »

    10 Sep 2013: Shinjuku Skyscrapers, the symbols of modern Japan 

    Shinjuku Skyscrapers, the symbols of modern Japan
    In 1898, at the beginning of the Meiji Period, in Shinjuku was innaugurated the first modern water plant, the Yodobashi Water Purification Plant, which is considered one of the first signs of the modernization of Japan. 70 years later, after the water plant was demolished, the area was again ... »

    18 Aug 2013: Japanese modern architecture, Shibuya 109 

    Japanese modern architecture, Shibuya 109
    After 35 years since it was made, the silver cylinder of Shibuya 109 remains the best know landmark of the area. Strategically located in one of the Shibuya's famous scramble crossings, the building designed by the Japanese architect Minoru Takeyama doesn't look obsolete yet. The asymmetry makes it ... »

    22 Jul 2013: Tokyo Architecture, the International Forum's amazing Glass Hall 

    Tokyo Architecture, the International Forum's amazing Glass Hall
    One of the most spectacular buildings from Japan is the Tokyo International Forum, designed by Rafael Vinoly, an Uruguayan architect: an astonishing 220-meters glass dome shaped like a ship, crossed by a network of open walkways. Although made from glass and metal, the Glass Hall is a ... »

    08 Jul 2013: Japanese architecture, Nippon Budokan 

    Japanese architecture, Nippon Budokan
    In 1964, the inauguration of two buildings designed by the Japanese architect Mamoru Yamada have sparked a lot of controversy... If the lighthouse shape of the Kyoto Tower was criticized by being too modern for the ancient city, the Japan Martial Arts Hall - Nippon Budokan - from Tokyo was ... »

    17 Jun 2013: Japanese architecture, Kanazawa Station 

    Japanese architecture, Kanazawa Station
    Continuing an architectural tradition which began in 1914 with the construction of the Tokyo Station, Japan still builds impressive train stations, designed to inspire the traveler.I already discussed about the ultra-modern Osaka Station (the third busiest train station in the world), about the ... »

    10 Jun 2013: Japanese architecture, Shibuya Hikarie 

    Japanese architecture, Shibuya Hikarie
    The newest skyscraper from Shibuya, Tokyo, was inaugurated the last year as part of a larger project to revitalize the entire area. With a height of 182.5 meters, the Shibuya Hikarie is just 1.5 meters shorter than the nearby skyscraper Cerulean Tower and it ranks as the 38th tallest building in ... »

    05 Jun 2013: Tokyo architecture, Tochomae Station Stargate Ring 

    Tokyo architecture, Tochomae Station Stargate Ring
    Tochōmae is a station on the Toei Subway Ōedo Line, located in the skyscraper district of Nishi-Shinjuku, under the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, also known as Tochō (hence the name). The station's architecture features a giant ring, very similar to the famous "Stargate" ... »

    13 May 2013: Tokyo Architecture, the Giant Robot illusion 

    Tokyo Architecture, the Giant Robot illusion
    One of the most original buildings from Tokyo is the Aoyama Technical College, designed in 1990 by the architect Makoto Sei Watanabe. Seen from the front street, the building looks like a giant robot from the Gundam anime series, so people are even calling it the "Gundam building"...Click on ... »

    29 Apr 2013: Japanese architecture, Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center 

    Japanese architecture, Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center
    One of the newest and most interesting buildings from Tokyo is the new Tourist Information Center from Asakusa, located right across the Kaminarimon Gate.Created by the architect Kengo Kuma, the building is an architectural masterpiece, a tower of 38.9 meters, with 8 different looking floors, a ... »

    12 Apr 2013: Japanese architecture, Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku 

    Japanese architecture, Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku
    Ever since it was opened, last year on April 18, the Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku became a new landmark of the area. Designed by a well known Japanese architect, Hiroshi Nakamura, the building impresses with its majestic entrance, shaped like a giant kaleidoscope. A dizzying game of reflections, ... »

    24 Mar 2013: Futaminoura Station 

    Futaminoura Station
    Some train stations in Japan have a very special architecture, inspired from the Japanese tradition (like the Kanazawa Station gate) or from a nearby famous construction.Among them, an interesting example is the small Futaminoura Station from Ise, a modern glass building, with a design ... »

    22 Mar 2013: Japanese Architecture, Nittele Tower 

    Japanese Architecture, Nittele Tower
    From all the modern areas from Tokyo, my favorite remains the complex of skyscrapers from Shiodome. Seen from a distance, Shiodome seems crowded, with many skyscrapers built on a relatively small area. But that's exactly what I like about this place... all these towers look great admired from ... »

    16 Mar 2013: Japanese architecture, the Water Spaceship bird's-eye view 

    Japanese architecture, the Water Spaceship bird's-eye view
    I wrote before about the Water Spaceship, the spectacular roof of the Oasis 21 building from Nagoya. It is actually a huge, lens-shaped jar filled with water, opened in the center and with a promenade alley on the sidelines. Besides the exceptional design, the roof manages to keep some coolness ... »

    09 Mar 2013: Nakaza Cuidaore Building 

    Nakaza Cuidaore Building
    The buildings on the Dotonbori street from Namba, Osaka are renowned for their extravagant billboards (for example see the Kani Doraku Crab or the Kinryu Ramen). But not only the billboards are special on Dotonbori - you can also find here some interesting buildings, like the one in this photo, the ... »

    01 Mar 2013: Japanese Architecture, Grand Front Osaka 

    Japanese Architecture, Grand Front Osaka
    If you enjoy modern architecture, Osaka is becoming a must-see destination. Besides the brand new tallest building in Japan - Abeno Harukas or the beautiful Umeda Sky Building, many other skyscrapers are currently being built: among them, a whole complex in the Umeda area, called Grand Front ... »

    22 Feb 2013: The asymmetric twin JR Central Towers 

    The asymmetric twin JR Central Towers
    The headquarters of the Central Japan Railway Company from Nagoya is an impressive structure from any point of view, but I discovered a place that really highlights its spectacular architecture: the glass-walled elevator of the nearby Midland Square skyscraper.The beauty of the building is in ... »

    29 Jan 2013: Masterpieces of Japanese architecture, Kobe Maritime Museum 

    Masterpieces of Japanese architecture, Kobe Maritime Museum
    One of the most frequently seen photos from Kobe is the roof of the Kobe Maritime Museum: a white, steel lattice structure, beautifully standing out in the Meriken Park. The museum's architecture was designed to suggest a sailing ship (a concept somehow related to another interesting maritime ... »

    22 Jan 2013: Three towers in one, Mode Gakuen Spiral Towers 

    Three towers in one, Mode Gakuen Spiral Towers
    When I first heard the name Mode Gakuen Spiral Towers, I imagined a complex of at least two buildings or a single building with multiple towers, like Tochō. But this splendid skyscraper from Nagoya is neither of these cases: it's a single building... or so it looks from ground level. Because ... »

    18 Jan 2013: Japanese Narrow Buildings Photo 21, Kurashiki 

    Japanese Narrow Buildings Photo 21, Kurashiki
    One of the best conserved historical centers in Japan is located in Kurashiki, a city close to Okayama. The houses from the Bikan Historical Quarter are typical Japanese kura (storehouses) and many of them were built during the Edo Period.Here, even the architecture of the newer buildings ... »

    05 Dec 2012: Japanese architecture, the first building-mounted free-fall ride 

    Japanese architecture, the first building-mounted free-fall ride
    Visiting Osaka, in the Namba district (famous for food and entertainment), a very eye-catching building will certainly draw your attention. Looking like a giant hourglass with an exclamation mark in the middle, the namBa HIPS building was opened in 2007 and its unusual design tries to convey a ... »

    22 Nov 2012: Japanese architecture, the Kyoto Tower controversy 

    Japanese architecture, the Kyoto Tower controversy
    I was writing a month ago about the Tokyo skyscraper history, mentioning the Building Standard Law, a law which was in effect in Tokyo until 1963, forbidding the construction of commercial buildings taller than 31 meters. A similar law is still effective in Kyoto, enacted to preserve the scenery of ... »

    16 Nov 2012: Tokyo architecture, Tokyo Dome Hotel 

    Tokyo architecture, Tokyo Dome Hotel
    At the end of the 20th century a few new entertaining areas were added in Tokyo to the old, traditional ones. Many of these new attractions were built on places never used before (like the Odaiba complex, which resides on an artificial island built at the end of the Edo period) or on places with a ... »

    13 Nov 2012: Tokyo architecture, National Art Center 

    Tokyo architecture, National Art Center
    I love architecture and I love that in Japan I can enjoy masterpieces from all periods. Regarding the modern architecture, my favorites are the buildings from the Metabolist movement. Here is one of them, the National Art Center from Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, created by Kisho Kurokawa, architect best ... »

    23 Oct 2012: Japanese architecture - Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and a Travel Tip 

    Japanese architecture - Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and a Travel Tip
    Osaka is a city with many architecturally interesting buildings and amongst them the Aquarium Kaiyukan certainly stands out. Inaugurated in 1990, Aquarium Kaiyukan was designed by Peter Chermayeff LLC, an American company specialized in aquarium architecture. The best angle to admire its shape is ... »

    17 Oct 2012: Shinjuku Green Peas Pachinko 

    Shinjuku Green Peas Pachinko
    It is well known that the Japanese people are passionate gamers and gamblers, the most popular game is pachinko. In a pachinko parlor you will see people of all ages and conditions and, surprisingly, a lot of women. I was amazed to learn that, according to an official statistic from 2009, 1.6% of ... »

    15 Oct 2012: A very Japanese phone booth 

    A very Japanese phone booth
    Traveling through Japan, I noticed almost everywhere a special care for detail and harmony. Sometimes, the Japanese architects are going to unusual lengths to ensure it: one example is this phone booth located inside the Sumiyoshi Taisha from Osaka. The roof was designed to carefully match the ... »

    02 Oct 2012: Abeno Harukas, the New Tallest Building in Japan 

    Abeno Harukas, the New Tallest Building in Japan
    Japan's new tallest building is now officially taller than the previous record holder: the Abeno Harukas building from Osaka, still in construction, has recently surpassed the Yokohama Landmark Tower (296 meters) with several meters... Abeno Harukas, ... »

    30 Sep 2012: Japanese customs and traditions - Moon-viewing festival 

    Japanese customs and traditions - Moon-viewing festival
    Today in Japan takes place Tsukimi, the Moon-viewing festival. According to the Japanese tradition, this is the best moment to admire the moon, because during this period of the year the full moon is brighter and prettier than usual.To admire the full moon in Japan, you can visit a shrine or a ... »

    26 Sep 2012: Japanese Narrow Buildings Photo 20, Ise 

    Japanese Narrow Buildings Photo 20, Ise
    Returning to a subject which I enjoy photographing, the Japanese narrow buildings, these days I learned that narrow buildings can be found not only in large, crowded cities but also in provincial areas, like this cute little building from Ise. It is one of the narrowest buildings I found until now: ... »

    24 Sep 2012: Glamorous Japanese architecture - Uniqlo Ginza by night 

    Glamorous Japanese architecture - Uniqlo Ginza by night
    There are many glamorous stores in Ginza, Tokyo, but today I would like to show you the latest one, opened in March this year, owned by Uniqlo, the leading Japanese clothing chain.The store was designed by Masamichi Katayama, the founder of a renowned design company from Tokyo, Wonderwall. ... »

    21 Sep 2012: Japanese architecture, the Water Spaceship 

    Japanese architecture, the Water Spaceship
    One of the most spectacular buildings from Japan, Oasis 21, is located in Nagoya, in the Sakae district, right near the Nagoya Tower. Surprisingly for a building with such a modern architecture, Oasis 21 serves mainly as a... bus terminal, but there are also many restaurants and stores, located ... »

    26 Aug 2012: X-Tower, the tallest residential building in Japan 

    X-Tower, the tallest residential building in Japan
    Most Japanese homes are houses or small apartment buildings with just a few stories, but during the last years taller apartment buildings started rising here and there, some of them real skyscrapers... Among them, the X-Tower Osaka Bay, finished in 2006, stands out as the tallest residential ... »

    14 Aug 2012: Tokyo Architecture, Bunkyo Civic Center 

    Tokyo Architecture, Bunkyo Civic Center
    From the many skyscrapers in Tokyo, I would like to show you today a lesser-known one, the Bunkyō ward's government building, Bunkyō Civic Center 「文京シビックセンター」. Like the Tokyo Metropolitan Government ... »

    07 Aug 2012: Japanese architecture, Osaka Cosmo Tower 

    Japanese architecture, Osaka Cosmo Tower
    One of the most elegant skyscrapers from Japan is the Osaka Prefectural Government Sakishima Building, known also as the Cosmo Tower (and formerly known as Osaka World Trade Center Building). With a roof height of 256 meters, it is ranked the third tallest skyscraper in Japan, after the Yokohama ... »

    16 Jul 2012: Japanese architecture - Tokyo Big Sight 

    Japanese architecture - Tokyo Big Sight
    Tokyo Big Sight is the nickname of the Tokyo International Exhibition Center, the largest convention center from Japan, very popular among the anime fans because of the Comiket and the Tokyo International Anime Fair. But of course, many other important events take place here. Tokyo Big Sight is ... »

    04 Jul 2012: Tallest railway station in the world, JR Central Towers 

    Tallest railway station in the world, JR Central Towers
    The center of Nagoya is dominated by the JR Central Towers, a 245-meters tall twin skyscraper, housing the headquarters of the Central Japan Railway Company and the JR Nagoya Station. Since the skyscraper is actually the station's building, the Nagoya Station is the tallest railway station building ... »

    01 Jun 2012: Masterpieces of Japanese architecture, Tokyo International Forum, interior wide-angle view 

    Masterpieces of Japanese architecture, Tokyo International Forum, interior wide-angle view
    Made of curved steel and glass, the Tokyo International Forum 「東京国際フォーラム」 features one of the most spectacular interiors I have seen, a monumental glass hall traversed by genially assembled walkways and ramps and covered ... »

    29 May 2012: Japanese Architecture, Maison Hermes Ginza 

    Japanese Architecture, Maison Hermes Ginza
    Strolling through Ginza, you can't help but notice quite a few buildings standing out through design, like the De Beers Ginza Building, the Mikimoto Ginza 2 or the Swarovski Ginza. Today, I would like to show you another interesting building, that captured my attention not only with its design but ... »

    19 May 2012: Japanese Architecture, Kobe Port Tower 

    Japanese Architecture, Kobe Port Tower
    Arguably one of the most beautiful towers from Japan, the hyperboloid Kobe Port Tower is the receiver of multiple awards for architecture. Built in 1963, this Kobe landmark was designed to imitate, with its lattice structure, the shape of a traditional Japanese drum used in Kabuki and Noh theaters, ... »

    10 May 2012: Masterpieces of Japanese architecture, Iidabashi Station 

    Masterpieces of Japanese architecture, Iidabashi Station
    For architecture lovers, Japan offers many "must-see" sights. Besides many well known architectural landmarks, over time I discovered a lot of hidden gems, architectural jewels lost in the backstreets, like the one in this photo, the Iidabashi Station of the Tokyo Oedo Line. This spectacular ... »

    10 Apr 2012: Tokyo Architecture, Riverside Yomiuri Building 

    Tokyo Architecture, Riverside Yomiuri Building
    On the shores of the Sumida river, close to Kiyosu Bridge, you will notice a slightly unusual building, shaped like a giant square archway: the Riverside Yomiuri Building.Finished in 1994, Riverside Yomiuri is a high-rise building, approx. 100 meters tall (20 floors). Besides offices, the ... »

    26 Mar 2012: Tokyo Tocho travel tip 

    Tokyo Tocho travel tip
    I was writing in 2010 that after visiting Tokyo for 4 years in a row, strolling through Nishi-Shinjuku was one of my favorite activities. Now, after 2 years and 4 more visits to Tokyo, I have to say that Nishi-Shinjuku is still a place where I return on every trip. And the main attraction here is ... »

    19 Mar 2012: Tokyo Architecture - Fune no Kagakukan, the ship shaped building 

    Tokyo Architecture - Fune no Kagakukan, the ship shaped building
    When you're going towards Odaiba, crossing the Rainbow Bridge, on the right side you will see, beyond the Fuji TV building, a large white ship. From that distance, the only detail indicating that it is actually a building is its tall, unusual funnel, too large to be a ship funnel and colored in ... »

    04 Mar 2012: Japanese architecture - Shizuoka Press and Broadcasting Center 

    Japanese architecture - Shizuoka Press and Broadcasting Center
    At the end of the 1950s, a group of young Japanese architects founded the architectural movement called Metabolism. The name of the movement comes from a term used in biology, referring to the chemical reactions occurring in a living body. These processes are sustaining life, allowing organisms to ... »

    13 Feb 2012: Japanese architecture, Osaka Broadcasting Station, History Museum and a travel tip 

    Japanese architecture, Osaka Broadcasting Station, History Museum and a travel tip
    If you like modern architecture, one of the most interesting cities to visit in Japan is Osaka. I already presented a few very interesting skyscrapers like the Gate Tower Building, the Rinku Gate Tower Building (second tallest building in Japan) and the spectacular Umeda Sky Building.Today, I ... »

    18 Dec 2011: Second tallest building in Japan, Rinku Gate Tower Building 

    Second tallest building in Japan, Rinku Gate Tower Building
    Many people know what is the tallest building in Japan (Yokohama Landmark Tower, 295.8 meters) or the tallest building in Tokyo (Midtown Tower, 248 meters) and almost all the other skyscrapers in the list of top 10 Tokyo skyscrapers enjoy a lot of popularity. But almost nobody knows about the ... »

    03 Dec 2011: Tokyo Architecture, Shiodome Skyscrapers 

    Tokyo Architecture, Shiodome Skyscrapers
    The skyscrapers from Shiodome are not spectacularly tall, actually none of them are in the top 10 tallest skyscrapers in Tokyo. The building from the right side of the photo, Nippon Television Tower (Nittele Tower) is 193 meters tall and is the 32nd on the list of the tallest skyscrapers in Tokyo, ... »

    30 Nov 2011: Japanese superlatives, Osaka Station 

    Japanese superlatives, Osaka Station
    Located in the busy Umeda district, Osaka Station, the most important train station in Osaka, holds an interesting record: it is the third busiest train station in the world!Although it serves only local and interregional express trains (the Shinkansen stops a few kilometers away, at the ... »

    21 Nov 2011: Masterpieces of Japanese architecture, Nakagin Capsule Tower 

    Masterpieces of Japanese architecture, Nakagin Capsule Tower
    Inaugurated in 1972, the Nakagin Capsule Tower from Shimbashi, Tokyo, was the world's first example of functional capsule architecture. Created by the Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, part of the Japanese Metabolist movement, this is undoubtedly one of the most interesting buildings ever made. ... »

    09 Nov 2011: Japanese architecture, Hotel Monterey Osaka 

    Japanese architecture, Hotel Monterey Osaka
    The hotels of the Japanese group Monterey were designed with an original concept: the buildings and the interiors are inspired by architectural landmarks, with the purpose of recreating the charm of various cities from around the world.Among them, the most spectacular building is the Hotel ... »

    19 Oct 2011: Narrow Buildings Photo 19, Ueno Matsugaya 

    Narrow Buildings Photo 19, Ueno Matsugaya
    One of the places with the largest number of narrow buildings in Tokyo is Ueno, the heart of the old Shitamachi. During the Edo period, this area was inhabited by people considered at the time "lower status classes", like merchants and craftsmen. The building spaces were very narrow and since many ... »

    04 Oct 2011: Japanese architecture, Nagoya City Hall 

    Japanese architecture, Nagoya City Hall
    Close to the Nagoya Castle you can admire the Nagoya City Hall, a building from 1933, built to commemorate the coronation of the Emperor. Registered as a Tangible Cultural Property of Japan, the Nagoya City Hall represents a unique architectural mix between the traditional Japanese architecture and ... »

    03 Oct 2011: Umeda Sky Building Observatory 

    Umeda Sky Building Observatory
    I think that the Umeda Sky Building is the most original and spectacular building from Japan, with an architecture that really stands out. And there's a lot more to see from the inside, maybe even more impressive...The two skyscrapers are connected at the top floors with the amazing open-air ... »

    27 Sep 2011: Japan Architecture, Prada Nagoya Tower 

    Japan Architecture, Prada Nagoya Tower
    The Prada Nagoya Tower is one of the most glamorous buildings I have seen in Japan. Located right across the Nagoya Station, it is the kind of outstanding building that simply cannot be ignored. Its titanium and golden surfaces change their appearance throughout the day, with a golden-amber color ... »

    23 Sep 2011: Japan Architecture - Gate Tower, the Skyscraper Pierced by a Highway 

    Japan Architecture - Gate Tower, the Skyscraper Pierced by a Highway
    One of the most interesting images seen in Osaka from the Umeda Sky Building observatory was this famous skyscraper traversed by a highway, the Gate Tower Building. Interesting, there is no connection between the two structures, the highway passes through the building like a tunnel, wrapped in ... »

    12 Sep 2011: Japan Architecture, Mode Gakuen Spiral Towers 

    Japan Architecture, Mode Gakuen Spiral Towers
    Inaugurated in 2008, the same year as the Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, from Shinjuku, Tokyo, the Mode Gakuen Spiral Towers 「モード学園スパイラルタワーズ」 from Nagoya is an educational building too, ... »

    23 Aug 2011: Umeda Sky Building 

    Umeda Sky Building
    One of the most spectacular skyscrapers from Japan is located in Osaka: the Umeda Sky Building. At only 173 meters it is not very tall, but the design is astonishing.The building was part of a project called the City of Air, which planned to interconnect 4 towers. In the end, only 2 towers were ... »

    17 Aug 2011: Japanese Companies, Mitsui Fudosan 

    Japanese Companies, Mitsui Fudosan
    Mitsui, an old Japanese family, was first known for its many generations of samurai. Around the year 1600, the head of the family, Sokubei Mitsui, opened in Matsuzaka, a city located in Mie Prefecture, a store called Echigoya, selling miso. There, he also opened a pawnshop and in 1636 the family ... »

    10 Aug 2011: Narrow Buildings Photo 18, Akasaka 

    Narrow Buildings Photo 18, Akasaka
    One of the most spectacular narrow buildings I've seen in Tokyo is a karaoke venue located in Akasaka, on Sotobori-dori, close to the Hie Shrine and Akasaka Tokyu Plaza.It is 9 stories high and how narrow it is can be appreciated by comparing it with the parked truck. And don't forget that the ... »

    02 Aug 2011: Tokyo Architecture, Tokyo Big Sight 

    Tokyo Architecture, Tokyo Big Sight
    One of the most original buildings in Tokyo and at the same time one of my favorites, is a convention center located in Ariake (near Odaiba), nicknamed Tokyo Big Sight (the official name is Tokyo International Exhibition Center). Since there are a lot of activities taking place there, I visited the ... »

    30 Jul 2011: Narrow Buildings Photo 17, Akihabara 

    Narrow Buildings Photo 17, Akihabara
    For centuries, the Japanese people excelled at living in small spaces, a lady from a Japanese museum once told me with pride, while explaining the life in the row houses. Living in small spaces has a certain charm and the Japanese people certainly know how to make the best of it. I understand this ... »

    24 Jul 2011: Toyosu 

    Toyosu
    The Toyosu area from Tokyo was relatively recently created (in 1937) by land reclamation. Knowing this and if you're not used to the audacity and professionalism of the Japanese builders, you can be surprised when, exiting the Toyosu Station, you see a couple of impressive towers...Even if they ... »

    19 Jul 2011: Nishi-Shinjuku Skyscrapers 

    Nishi-Shinjuku Skyscrapers
    The first skyscraper from Nishi-Shinjuku ("Shinjuku-West"), the Keio Plaza Hotel, was built in 1971. 3 more followed in 1974: Shinjuku Sumitomo Building, Shinjuku Mitsui Building and Shinjuku KDDI Building. By 1991, when the Tokyo Metropolitan Government was built, there were already 17 skyscrapers ... »

    05 Jul 2011: Tokyo Sea Life Park Glass Dome 

    Tokyo Sea Life Park Glass Dome
    The first Japanese public aquarium was opened in Tokyo in 1882, at the Ueno Zoological Garden. So, the Tokyo Sea Life Park, located in the Kasai Rinkai Park, was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Ueno Zoo and was opened on October 1989.The building was designed by a well known ... »

    28 Jun 2011: Tokyo Architecture, Edo-Tokyo Museum 

    Tokyo Architecture, Edo-Tokyo Museum
    Close to the JR Ryogoku Station, between the train lines and the Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo arena, you can visit one of the most intriguing buildings from Tokyo, the Edo-Tokyo Museum. Although quite a tall construction (62.2 meters), if you don't know about it you can miss it, since from many places it ... »

    05 Jun 2011: Tokyo Architecture, Mikimoto Ginza 2 

    Tokyo Architecture, Mikimoto Ginza 2
    Close to the De Beers Ginza building, the flagship store of the most important diamonds company, you ca admire another great piece of architecture, the Mikimoto Ginza 2 building, owned by the company producing the finest pearls in the world. The Mikimoto company was established by Kokichi ... »

    01 Jun 2011: Tokyo places, Shiodome SIO-SITE 

    Tokyo places, Shiodome SIO-SITE
    I generally love modern cities and I like a lot all Tokyo's skyscraper areas, but probably my all time favorite is Shiodome. Being a science-fiction fan, when strolling on Shiodome's esplanade, with the Yurikamome passing above, I can easily imagine a futuristic city... Hard to believe that a few ... »

    10 May 2011: Tokyo Architecture, Tokyo Baycourt Club 

    Tokyo Architecture, Tokyo Baycourt Club
    There are many interesting buildings in Tokyo, but some of them are located in quite crowded places, so they can be admired just from a single point. That's why I'm often preferring wider spaces and for that, Odaiba is one of the best. But I think things will change here too, I've already seen some ... »

    03 May 2011: Tokyo Architecture, Izumi Garden Tower 

    Tokyo Architecture, Izumi Garden Tower
    If you enjoyed Inception you probably remember a scene with the green building from the center of this photo...Named Izumi Garden Tower (Spring Garden Tower), this massive skyscraper is located in Roppongi, Tokyo and it hosts a high-end hotel, luxury apartments, offices, shops and restaurants. ... »

    25 Apr 2011: Tokyo Architecture, Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower 

    Tokyo Architecture, Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower
    Surrounded by the older, rectangular skyscrapers from Shinjuku, the now 3 years old "Giant Cocoon", with its blue glass and aluminum facade, stands out from any angle. The Cocoon Tower name is directly related to the skyscraper's exterior aspect, and the architects explained that "Embraced within ... »

    05 Apr 2011: Tokyo Architecture, Showa-Kan 

    Tokyo Architecture, Showa-Kan
    Near the Kudanshita Station from Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, I found one of the most unusual buildings I've seen in Japan. It looks like a huge archway clad in titanium panels, with no visible windows, creating the impression of a building from a dystopian movie... But this architectonic design is actually ... »

    31 Mar 2011: Narrow Buildings Photo 16, Cafe de Bore 

    Narrow Buildings Photo 16, Cafe de Bore
    I'm a big coffee fan, so it's only natural for me to be always looking for a place to rest while savoring a good, hot coffee (even on hot summer days!).That's how I found this lovely café located in a quite narrow building in Shinjuku, near the famous Studio Alta. To the right, in a similarly ... »

    25 Mar 2011: Tallest Lighthouse in Japan 

    Tallest Lighthouse in Japan
    Yokohama Marine Tower was built in 1961, at the anniversary of 100 years since the opening of the Yokohama Harbor. The tower was the symbol of Yokohama for over 30 years, until the tallest building in Japan, Yokohama Landmark Tower was inaugurated in 1993. With a height of 106 meters, Yokohama ... »

    21 Mar 2011: The oldest Koban in Tokyo 

    The oldest Koban in Tokyo
    Tsukishima is an artificial island built in 1892 by using the earth removed during the dredging works for the Tokyo Bay's navigational channel. The Monja Street from Tsukishima is famous for its small restaurants serving monjayaki, a local delicacy. But there is also a little known fact, that on ... »

    20 Mar 2011: Tokyo Architecture, "Gundam" Building 

    Tokyo Architecture,
    One of the most interesting buildings I've encountered in Tokyo is the Aoyama Technical College, a great example of post-modern architecture, created in 1990 by the architect Makoto Sei Watanabe. "Architecture ought to be something capable of moving people's hearts and giving them a physical ... »

    13 Feb 2011: Narrow Buildings Photo 15, Nishi-Asakusa 

    Narrow Buildings Photo 15,  Nishi-Asakusa
    One of the most beautiful narrow buildings I've seen in Japan is this flower shop from Asakusa (more exactly in Nishi-Asakusa, on a street south of Asakusa View Hotel). I particularly like yellow houses... Narrow Building, Nishi-Asakusa, ... »

    02 Feb 2011: Tokyo Architecture, De Beers Ginza Building 

    Tokyo Architecture, De Beers Ginza Building
    Designed by Jun Mitsui Architects and finished in 2007, De Beers Ginza Building, the flagship store of the diamonds company, is one of the most interesting constructions from Tokyo. With a cutting-edge architectural design, the sleek tower made of stainless steel cannot pass ... »

    20 Jan 2011: Narrow Buildings Photo 14, Yushima Station 

    Narrow Buildings Photo 14, Yushima Station
    One of the narrowest buildings I discovered in Tokyo is located in Ueno, nearby the Tokyo Metro Yushima Station.Even if it's only 2 stories tall, it requires a fire escape. But since the space is so cramped, it has no stairs, just a metallic ladder:Click on photo for higher ... »

    26 Dec 2010: Tokyo Architecture, Fuji TV 

    Tokyo Architecture, Fuji TV
    The landmark of Odaiba island, and at the same time one of my favorite Tokyo buildings, is the headquarter of Fuji Television, a building designed by the famous architect Kenzo Tange. The building stands out with an unusual architecture, which is also highly earthquake resistant.The first time ... »

    16 Dec 2010: Nishi-Shinjuku in Twilight 

    Nishi-Shinjuku in Twilight
    In 1923, when the last big earthquake hit Tokyo, the Nishi-Shinjuku area suffered less damage than the surrounding zones, proving to be more stable, so in the 1970s this area was chosen for construction of the first Tokyo skyscrapers. The first skyscraper built in Nishi-Shinjuku was Keio Plaza ... »

    02 Dec 2010: Tokyo Architecture, Tree-shaped Tower 

    Tokyo Architecture, Tree-shaped Tower
    One of the most interesting residential projects in Tokyo is Moto-Azabu Hills, built by Mori Building in 2002. Moto-Azabu Hills consists in three buildings surrounded by greenery, representing a concept called Forest City. They said: "It is not that there must be a forest in the city; the city ... »

    23 Nov 2010: Tokyo places, Nishi-Shinjuku 

    Tokyo places, Nishi-Shinjuku
    Strolling through Nishi-Shinjuku, the skyscraper business district, is one of my favorite pastimes in Tokyo. I love to wander aimlessly for while, then to climb to the Tokyo Metropolitan Building observatories to admire (and to photograph) them from above. Here's one of the views: from left to ... »

    12 Nov 2010: Tokyo Architecture, Roppongi 

    Tokyo Architecture, Roppongi
    Many areas in Tokyo feature buildings with noteworthy architecture, but often, because of dense buildings or because of vegetation, they pass unremarked...One case is this housing compound near Roppongi-itchōme Station. From the street it is unnoticeable, but from the Roppongi Hills ... »

    20 Jul 2010: Tokyo Sky Tree building site Photo Report 

    Tokyo Sky Tree building site Photo Report
    About 11 months ago, I was writing about the construction of the Tokyo Sky Tree tower. Yesterday, I went again to visit the construction site, to see how the work progressed.Well, 2 years after the start of construction, the progress is simply amazing: The tower will soon surpass the ... »

    19 Jul 2010: The tallest building in Japan... in 1964 

    The tallest building in Japan... in 1964
    Can you believe this? Some 40 years ago, with its 72 meters, the New Otani Hotel was the tallest building in Japan (Tokyo Tower being considered a structure, not a building). The building opened in 1964, has 17 floors, and it remained the tallest building in Japan until 1968. The round structure ... »

    09 Jun 2010: Shiodome High-rise 

    Shiodome High-rise
    Shiodome High-rise, View from Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Nikon D80 Lens: VR 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6G Focal Length: 30mm Aperture: F/5.6 Shutter Speed: 1/400s ISO Sensitivity: ISO 100Yesterday's Japan Photo: Traditional Japanese ... »

    10 May 2010: Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 13, Yodobashi Camera Ueno 

    Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 13, Yodobashi Camera Ueno
    Yodobashi Camera Multimedia from Ueno is not actually a narrow building, but the proportions of its northern corner, located close to the Ueno Station, justify its presence in the narrow building category. Yodobashi Camera Ueno Click on ... »

    19 Apr 2010: Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 12 

    Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 12
    This is an interesting group of four buildings, three of them quite narrow, located on Asakusa Dori, close to the Ueno Station. This group draw my eye (and camera) with its variety of architectural styles... The building on the left, quite old, is covered in copper plates, which was one ... »

    16 Apr 2010: Skyscraper Skyway 

    Skyscraper Skyway
    St. Luke's Tower, TokyoNikon D80 Lens: VR 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6G Focal Length: 18mm Aperture: F/5.6 Shutter Speed: 1/200s ISO Sensitivity: ISO 200 Yesterday's Japan Photo: Waiting for the Date... at Shinjuku ... »

    26 Mar 2010: Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 11 

    Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 11
    Here is a narrow building I've actually visited, an anime figures shop ("Toys Golden Age") from Akihabara. I've presented in this series several narrower buildings, but the ratio between height and width is quite impressive on this one... :)Obviously, I have no pictures from inside, because, ... »

    19 Mar 2010: Reversible Destiny Lofts 

    Reversible Destiny Lofts
    Reversible Destiny Lofts, TokyoNikon D300 Lens: 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5G Focal Length: 29mm Aperture: F/7.1 Shutter Speed: 1/1000 ISO Sensitivity: ISO 640 Related article:Unusual Architecture in Tokyo: Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka Yesterday's Japan Photo: Stone ... »

    31 Jan 2010: Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 10 

    Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 10
    The 10th installment of the Japanese Narrow Buildings series features two shops located near the Ueno Station. I especially like the design of the left one, with the vertical red stripe, that seems made to emphasize the "thinness" of the building.Al 10-lea articol din seria ... »

    17 Jan 2010: Old and New Architecture in Tokyo - Photo 5 

    Old and New Architecture in Tokyo - Photo 5
    This is an old building that I like very much, on Asakusa Dori. I passed by it on every trip I made to Tokyo...... and when I returned home I discovered that I never took a picture with it. I always delayed, whether because I didn't like the light, or the street was too crowded... or I ... »

    10 Jan 2010: Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 9 

    Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 9
    In the 9th installment of the Japanese narrow buildings series, let's visit Chuo-ku, on the banks of the Sumida river, where groups of small buildings give the area a certain charm...... and your attention is relentlessly drawn to a narrow 5 stories building, not wider than 2 meters... ... »

    10 Jan 2010: Chuo Apartment Buildings 

    Chuo Apartment Buildings
    Chuo Apartment Buildings, TokyoNikon D90 Lens: 18-70mm F/3.5-4.5G Focal Length: 38mm Aperture: F/5.6 Shutter Speed: 1/640s ISO Sensitivity: ISO 200 Yesterday's Japan Photo: Rain in ... »

    07 Dec 2009: Old and New Architecture in Tokyo - Photo 4 

    Old and New Architecture in Tokyo - Photo 4
    Another join between old and new from the Tokyo's mixed architecture attracted my camera in Ikebukuro, this time because of the traditional look of the old building.This old building remained between three tall new buildings and, although it seems deserted, gives to the place a certain ... »

    01 Dec 2009: Top 10 Tokyo Skyscrapers Short Guide 

    Top 10 Tokyo Skyscrapers Short Guide
    If we compare the Tokyo's tallest buildings with the skyscrapers from other countries, most probably they won't impress much: the tallest building from Tokyo is only the 145th in the world, with a height of 248 meters, while the tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa, 828 meters. ... »

    29 Nov 2009: Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 8 

    Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 8
    Another narrow building (or pencil building, as we learned from takranke) that caught my attention in Tokyo is in Chuo-ku, close to the Suitengumae station.At the first floor seems to be a small shop, with the usual flower pots at the front entrance. I like that the rooms from upstairs, ... »

    11 Nov 2009: NTT DoCoMo Yoyogi Building 

    NTT DoCoMo Yoyogi Building
    With its 240 meters, the NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building is the third tallest building in Tokyo. But this building also holds a more interesting record, being the tallest clock tower in the world, ahead of the Palace of Culture and Science from Warsaw (237 meters).The clock was not there from ... »

    01 Nov 2009: Green spaces in Tokyo 

    Green spaces in Tokyo
    In Tokyo, every square inch of green space is precious and must be used at maximum. Since long time ago, those who have not been able to have a garden, have found a simple and beautiful solution: the flower pots placed on the floor or on the sidewalk, near the entrance.The ... »

    29 Oct 2009: Shinjuku Mitsui Building 

    Shinjuku Mitsui Building
    With a height of 224.9 meters, the Shinjuku Mitsui Building is now only the 8th tallest building in Tokyo, but it had its moment of glory. Between September 1974 and March 1978, it was not only the tallest building in Tokyo, but also the tallest building in Japan. It lost the first place in 1978, ... »

    25 Oct 2009: Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 7 

    Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 7
    Here's one of the tallest narrow buildings I've encountered in Tokyo, located near the Suidobashi Station (close to the Tokyo Dome). The building is squeezed on a narrow strip of land, between the street and the Kanda River: Iată una dintre cele mai înalte clădiri înguste ... »

    22 Oct 2009: Cool Architecture in Tokyo - Museum of Maritime Science 

    Cool Architecture in Tokyo - Museum of Maritime Science
    As you already know, I like modern buildings, with unusual or daring designs, and for this reason Odaiba is one of my favorite places. Actually, even the first building ever built in Odaiba, in 1974, had an unusual design: Fune no Kagakukan (Museum of Maritime Science).The building's ... »

    21 Oct 2009: Casual sightseeing in Yokohama - The Mazu Miao Temple 

    Casual sightseeing in Yokohama - The Mazu Miao Temple
    In Yokohama's China Town you can find the Mazu Miao Temple, one of the most colorful and ornamented temples I've seen. Unfortunately, because I was there at noon and the sun was intense, I couldn't take a panoramic view, but I can offer you some details and a great view of the gate:Click on ... »

    15 Oct 2009: Sightseeing Tokyo - Sompo Japan Building 

    Sightseeing Tokyo - Sompo Japan Building
    One of my favorite buildings from Tokyo's skyscraper district Nishi-Shinjuku is the headquarter of Sompo Japan Insurance, one of the big financial companies from Japan (Sompo means "property insurance"). Also, at the 42nd floor, there's a Museum of Art dedicated to the Japanese painter Seiji ... »

    11 Oct 2009: Old and New Architecture in Tokyo - Photo 3 

    Old and New Architecture in Tokyo - Photo 3
    Again about Tokyo's mixed architecture, this time a small and old building from Ueno, on Asakusa Dori, "squeezed" between two newer and larger buildings. View Larger MapIn the same neighbourhood, behind the newer buildings, there is an old buildings area, with much charm... But ... »

    07 Oct 2009: The tallest building in Japan 

    The tallest building in Japan
    The tallest building in Japan is the Yokohama Landmark Tower (295.8 meters), Minato Mirai 21, Yokohama.Tokyo Tower is 332.5 meters tall, but it is not a building, so it is considered the tallest artificial structure. The Tokyo Sky Tree, in construction, will be ready in December 2011 and ... »

    04 Oct 2009: Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 6 

    Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 6
    An example of Tokyo's crowded architecture, a group of 3 narrow buildings occupying the space for a single building, on Asakusa-dori, right near the Inaricho Station: This summer I walked pass them almost every day and it became a familiar sight. Only after returning home I realized how ... »

    17 Sep 2009: Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 5 

    Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 5
    A narrow building on a narrow street, Center Gai, in Shibuya. Center Gai is famous for its clothing and music stores. Not a very good looking street, but interesting to visit, as it is considered representative for Shibuya.The building looks bad, it seems squashed between the larger ... »

    08 Sep 2009: Cool Architecture in Yokohama - Cross Gate 

    Cool Architecture in Yokohama - Cross Gate
    Japan is rich in unusual architecture, you can easily find examples of creative designs, ultramodern, futurist, funny or (why not?) ugly buildings. A building that drawn my attention in Yokohama was the Cross Gate, designed to resemble a ship deck and a gate. I'm not sure about the ship deck ... »

    27 Aug 2009: How they clean the Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower 

    How they clean the Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower
    The owners of the Mode Gakuen Tower wanted it to be a round building. But a cocoon-shaped building, with aluminum bars and entirely covered with blue glass is not easy to clean.The cleaning workers are sitting on a special platform, suspended from a crane located on top of the ... »

    24 Aug 2009: Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 4 

    Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 4
    A new photo with a (very) narrow building, this time located in the expensive Tokyo district of Ginza, near the Wako department store:And, to the right, another one, slightly wider... :) Încă o fotografie cu o clădire îngustă din Tokyo, de data aceasta din ... »

    18 Aug 2009: The Tokyo Sky Tree tower - progress report 

    The Tokyo Sky Tree tower - progress report
    I love tall buildings, especially the towers, so one year ago, when the construction of the Tokyo Sky Tree tower was started, I was enthusiastic.Today, I went in Sumida to see the site and the construction status and I discovered that the progress is clearly visible. The tower will be ... »

    31 Jul 2009: Unusual Architecture in Tokyo - Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka 

    Unusual Architecture in Tokyo -  Reversible Destiny Lofts Mitaka
    Today I discovered in Tokyo a strange yet beautiful building complex, Reversible Destiny Lofts. This unusual architectural concept, created by Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins, is accompanied by a very interesting theory, saying that people, at home, shouldn't relax, they should be in an ... »

    27 Jul 2009: Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 3 

    Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 3
    Another photo with a narrow building from Tokyo, this time a very modern one, from Shibuya, close to the United Nation University. I wonder where are the stairs... You can go around it in Google Street: Încă o fotografie cu o clădire îngustă din Tokyo, de data asta o ... »

    02 Jul 2009: Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 2 

    Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 2
    Another photo with a very narrow building, squeezed between the street and the train rails, found in Setagaya, close to Gotoku-ji temple: And the Google Maps location: O altă fotografie cu o casă foarte îngustă pe care am descoperit-o în Setagaya, în apropiere de templul ... »

    01 Jul 2009: Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 1 

    Japanese Narrow Buildings - Photo 1
    I don't know how it is for those who live or work in this very narrow building from Tokyo, but for me, these buildings are delightful.Photo taken in Shibuya, close to 109: Nu ştiu ce părere au cei care trăiesc sau lucrează în aceste clădiri foarte înguste din ... »

    26 Jun 2009: Old and New Architecture in Tokyo - Photo 2 

    Old and New Architecture in Tokyo - Photo 2
    Like I wrote three weeks ago, for me, part of Tokyo's charm consists in the combination of old and new buildings. Here's another photo, this time from somewhere between Shibuya and Harajuku, near Meiji Jingumae station: And the Google Maps location: După cum scriam acum trei ... »

    18 Jun 2009: Ugly architecture in Asakusa 

    Ugly architecture in Asakusa
    I wrote many times about beautiful buildings in Tokyo, but I think it would also be interesting to show the... other side. This building from Asakusa, with those three cow sculptures, the mock-up shrine from the top and a terrible combination of colors, seemed to me worthy to be photographed, as ... »

    12 Jun 2009: Funny architecture in Tokyo - photo 2 

    Funny architecture in Tokyo - photo 2
    An "American club" in Kabukicho, with a huge gorilla (King Kong? :-k), at the limit between funny and kitsch:Un club "American" din Kabukicho, cu o gorilă imensă (King Kong? :-k), la limita dintre nostim şi ... »

    04 Jun 2009: Old and New Architecture in Tokyo - Photo 1 

    Old and New Architecture in Tokyo - Photo 1
    For me, a part of Tokyo's charm consists in the combination of old and new buildings. Even more when the older buildings are really small and the new ones are imposing... Photo taken in Akihabara: Pentru mine, o parte din farmecul oraşului Tokyo constă în combinaţia de ... »

    02 Jun 2009: Funny architecture in Tokyo - photo 1 

    Funny architecture in Tokyo - photo 1
    The Kappabashi street (Kappabashi-dori), located between Ueno and Asakusa, also known as Kitchen Town, is famous for its restaurant supply shops, selling from knives, furniture and ovens to the typical Japanese plastic food models. Located right next to the entrance to the southern end of the ... »