book of tokyo

ART & ARCHITECTURE-SPOTTING ITINERARIES

BY WATTENTION

Ginza/Mita/Shinagawa Area

ALL THE FACES OF ELEGANCE

The Ginza area was the heart of Japan’s modernity in the early 20th century and it has stayed the home of stellar architecture to this day. Adding a few spots in the nearby Shinagawa and Mita areas, here are several out of many more buildings that are worth a visit.

Start from Suitengu-mae station and walk to Hakozaki Expressway Junction to see the surprising elegance of this urban structure, seen as mundane by many, yet a perfect example of Tokyo’s complexity.

Hakozaki Junction by Taiki Himeno
Hakozaki Junction
© Taiki Himeno
Follow the photographer at https://www.instagram.com/lol_hime/
Kabuki-za theatre
Kabuki-za

 

From utterly out-of-the-box thinking, to a building that is the epitome of art and tradition, start your Ginza archi-walk from the Kabuki-za Theater, designed by Kengo Kuma.

 

Check out the artistic interior and the rooftop garden of the recently opened Ginza Six Mall, before you head to Nakagin Capsule Tower, a retro-futuristic building with historical significance for architecture, and Shizuoka Shinbun SBS Building by Kenzo Tange, another textbook example of the Metabolism movement.

 

Nagagin Tower: @Zoria’sTokyo+

Fuji TV in OdaibaFuji TV in Odaiba

 

 

Hop on the train to go and see the Arimasuton building, growing from the architect’s imagination every day, and pay a visit to the AIJ Architectural Museum nearby. From there, get on the train and change to Tokyo Monorail to go to Tennozu Isle to see the models in Tokyo Archi-Depot Museum. Finally, another futuristic dream to behold is the Fuji TV building near Tokyo Teleport station.

Ginza Mita Shinagawa area walking tour
Ginza/Mita/Shinagawa area walking tour

STEP BY STEP GUIDE

From Suitengumae Station (Hanzomon Line) 3 min walk to

1. HAKOZAKI JUNCTION★

Built by Metropolitan Expressway Co., Ltd./1972〜2005/22

Hakozaki Junction © Taiki Himeno Follow the photographer at https://www.instagram.com/lol_hime/
Hakozaki Junction
© Taiki Himeno
Follow the photographer at https://www.instagram.com/lol_hime/

Walk to Nihonbashi-Hakozakicho (10min walk),
take the Hibiya line from Ningyocho Station to Higashiginza Station
(1 min walk to Kabuki-za theatre)

2. KABUKI-ZA THEATRE – Kengo Kuma (2008)

Kabuki-za theatre at night
Kabuki-za theater

(5 min walk)

3. GINZA PLACE – Klein Dytham architecture (2016)

Ginza Place
Ginza Place

(2 min walk)

4. WAKO – Jin Watanabe (1932)

wako ginza
WAKO Ginza

(1 min walk)

5. MIKIMOTO GINZA 4 CHOME STORE – Hiroshi Naito (2017)

Mikimoto Ginza 4 chome store Credit: @ACA18Tokyo

(2 min walk )

6. MATSUYA GINZA – Kenya Hara (Exterior) (2013)

matsuya ginza
Matsuya Ginza

(1 min walk)

7. LOUIS VUITTON MATSUYA GINZA – Jun Aoki (Exterior) (2013)

Credit: @Nila Bazaar

(2 min walk)

8.  TIFFANY & Co. – Kengo Kuma (2008)

Tiffany & Co., Credit: @hana

(7 min walk)

9.  MUSEE GINZA

Credit: @MUSEEGINZA

(7 min walk)

10. DE BEERS GINZA – Jun Mitsui (2007)

De Beers Ginza, Credit: @oimoman

(1 min walk)

11. MIKIMOTO GINZA 2 CHOME STORE Toyo Ito (2005)

Mikimoto Ginza 2 chome store Credit: @Peter Dai

(5 min walk)

12. TOKYU PLAZA GINZA – Nikken Sekkei (2016)

Tokyuu Plaza Ginza, Nikken Sekkei
Tokyuu Plaza Ginza

(2 min walk)

13. GINZA SONY PARK – Nobuo Araki (spatial design, 2018)

Ginza Sony Park
Ginza Sony Park

(5 min walk)

14. GINZA SIX – Yoshio Taniguchi (2017)

Ginza Six
Ginza Six

(1 min to)

15. NICOLAS G. HAYEK CENTER – Shigeru Ban (2007)

Credit: @Showcase Tokyo Arch Tours

(6 min walk )

16. NAKAGIN CAPSULE TOWER BLDG.★ – Kisho Kurokawa (1972)

NakaginBldg(本データ)
Nakagin Capsule Tower Building

(7 min walk)

17. SHIZUOKA SHINBUN SBS BLDG. – Kenzo Tange (1967)

Credit: @Arnold Austria

5min walk to Shinbashi Station ->
take the Yamanote Line to Tamachi Station ->
(10min walk)

18. ARIMASUTON BLDG.★ – Keisuke Oka/Under construction/

Arimasuton Building, Keisuke Oka, photo by Zoria
Arimasuton Building

(6 min walk )

19. AIJ ARCHITECTURAL MUSEUM

Credit: @Takayuki Tomobuchi

3 min walk to Tamachi Station ->
get on the Yamanote Line to Hamamatsucho Station ->
change to Tokyo Monorail to Tennnozu Isle Station ->
5 min walk

20 ARCHI-DEPOT MUSEUM

Credit: @建築倉庫ミュージアム/ARCHI DEPOT Museum

5 min walk to Tennozu Isle Station ->
take the Rinkai Line to Tokyo Teleport Station ->
8 min walk

21. FCG (FUJI TV HONSHA) BLDG. – Kenzo Tange (1996)

FUJI TV
FUJI TV

Omotesando/Harajuku/Roppongi Area

ArCHICtecture

Start the tour from Gokokuji station and go to St. Mary’s Cathedral, a stunning white steel bird suspended just before flying off, designed by Kenzo Tange. From there, take a train to Sendagaya station to see Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium and GA gallery and bookstore, a space dedicated to modern and contemporary architecture with a large selection of books on the topic.

St. Mary's Cathedral ©Reyni Rahmadani
St. Mary’s Cathedral ©Reyni Rahmadani
Follow at https://www.instagram.com/rahmadhanireyni/

Not only trendsetters in fashion, Omotesando and Harajuku areas have their fair share of creative architectural expression as well. Check out Laforet in Harajuku, a legendary fashion department store, and Tokyuu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku with it’s kaleidoscopic entrance and relaxing rooftop garden.

Tokyuu Plaza Omotesando
Credit: @Zoria’sTokyo+

Omotesando Hills, Omotesando Dior and Tod’s Omotesando building have the winning combination of elegance and CHIC that is so characteristic for Omotesando. Designed by the legendary Tadao Ando, SANAA and Toyoo Ito, respectively. Walking down Aoyama-dori there is no shortage of swanky buildings like SPIRAL and the nearby La Collezione and Intersect by Lexus. The last stop in this area is the Nezu Museum, beloved by architects for its integration of modern and traditional Japanese elements, a signature of architect Kengo Kuma.

Next, head to Roppongi to see Kisho Kurokawa‘s National Art Center and Tokyo Midtown complex, one of the many stylish Roppongi buildings. Finally, get on the train to Naka-Meguro station to see Daikanyama Hillside Terrace by Fumihiko Maki.

Omotesando/Harajuku/Roppongi area
Omotesando/Harajuku/Roppongi area walking tour

STEP BY STEP GUIDE

Start from Gokokuji Station on the Yurakucho Line
(10 min walk)

1. ST. MARY’S CATHEDRAL IN TOKYO★ – Kenzo Tange (1964)

St. Mary's Cathedral - by Kenzo Tange
St. Mary’s Cathedral – by Kenzo Tange

(10 min walk) ->
Gokokuji Station to Ichigaya Station
(change to Chuo Sobu Line/Local) to Sendagaya Station->
(2 min walk)

2. TOKYO METROPOLITAN GYMNASIUM★ – Fumihiko Maki (1990)

TokyoMetropolitanGymnasium
Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium

(10 min walk)

3. GA GALLERY

Credit: @谷尻 誠 / Makoto Tanijiri

(4 min walk) -> Kita-Sando Station on the Fukutoshin Line to Meiji-jingumae “Harajuku” Station ->

(4 min walk)

4. LAFORET HARAJUKU – Irie Miyake Architects & Engineers (1978)

La Foret Harajuku
La Foret Harajuku

(3 min walk)

5. TOKYU PLAZA OMOTESANDO HARAJUKU – Hiroshi Nakamura (2012)

Tokyuu Plaza Omotesando
Credit: @Zoria’sTokyo+

(3 min walk)

6. DIOR OMOTESANDO – SANAA (2003)

Credit: @heny | founder & creative

(2 min walk)

7. OMOTESANDO HILLS – Tadao Ando(2006)

Credit: @KeN

(3 min walk)

8. TOD’S OMOTESANDO BLDG. – Toyo Ito (2004)

Credit: @hckbln

(4 min walk)

9. SPIRAL – Fumihiko Maki (1985)

Credit: @TODAY BORN SUPER architect

(5 min walk)

10. INTERSECT BY LEXUS – TOKYO★ – Masamichi Katayama (Space Design) (2013)

Intersect by Lexus
Intersect by Lexus

(2 min walk)

11. MINAMIAOYAMA FROM 1ST BLDG. – Kazumasa Yamashita (1975)

Credit: @ますだ ひろみち

(1 min walk)

12. LA COLLEZIONE – Tadao Ando (1989)

Credit: @RT Studio

(1 min walk)

13. NEZU MUSEUM★ – Kengo Kuma (2009)

Nezu Museum
Nezu Museum

(11 min walk)

14. THE NATIONAL ART CENTER, TOKYO – Kisho Kurokawa (2007)

Credit: @Zoria’sTokyo+

(8 min walk)

15. TOKYO MIDTOWN – Building complex –
Kengo Kuma, Tadao Ando, Nikken Sekkei, Jun Aoki and more (2007)

Tokyo MIDTOWN
Tokyo MIDTOWN

(6 min walk) -> Roppongi Station on Hibiya Line to Naka-Meguro Station ->

(9min walk)

16. DAIKANYAMA HILLSIDE TERRACE★ – Fumihiko Maki (1969〜1998)

Daikanyama Hllside Terrace
Daikanyama Hllside Terrace

BONUS BUILDING:

TAMA ART UNIVERSITY LIBRARY★

Tama Art University Library
Tama Art University Library
Tama Art University Library
Tama Art University Library (interior)

Located in Hachioji, about 1 hour train ride from Tokyo’s central areas, the Tama Art University Library is a must visit for architecture admirers. Designed by Toyo Ito, its arches and open space give fluidity and movement to the concrete interior.

HOW TO GET THERE:

Shinjuku Station (Keio Line bound for Hashimoto (Limited Express)) to Hashimoto Station ->
Bus Stop No. 6 at Hashimoto Station North Exit. /Bus for Tama Art University (Tama Bijutsu Daigaku) ->
(8min walk)

 


WATTENTION WRITER PROFILE

Zoria April
Zoria is a writer, of the rare poet variety and a passionate photographer. If you see somebody around Tokyo taking photos of concrete walls, it must be her. She loves to dress fashionably and go drink as many cups of coffee as humanly possible, preferably in cafes with a view.
Ninja ID: zoria

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