Metropolitan cities sprawl out in every direction, buildings shooting up into the sky with clouds, birds & skyscraper neighbors for company, maximizing the limited space as people flood into the swelling city looking for jobs, to shop, or in our particular case – just to walk.
Tokyo then, was unsurprisingly the perfect example of a metropolis filled with the daily migration of people for business and pleasure, and the jumble or architecture feats of modern design and construction, and the buildings of Tokyo’s past that remain preserved either extremely well or barely at all.
Nice Building – SNAP. Oh! Another! – SNAP
Whether walking the streets or viewing from the panorama platform of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (pictured above), looking out for great architecture is one of our favourite interests. We take picture after picture & discuss how glad we were to catch them.
So, here our 6 unmissable buildings in Tokyo that we think other people should definitely see:
#1 – Asahi Beer Hall, Sumida
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Referred to locally as ‘the Golden Turd’ by Tokyo’s own inhabitants, there is actually plenty to love about this building especially once seen from the opposite bank with the surrounding buildings side-by-side. Though beautiful to look at from the outside, on attempting to enter we found that all there was to see was a westernized restaurant – somewhat disappointing.
#2 – TOD’S Italian Fashion, Omotesando
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Finding Italian brand TOD’s branch in Omotesando was pure coincidence – honestly, Italian fashion is certainly not Franca’s thing*. The whole area of Omotesando is filled with the largest brands imaginable and buildings as grand as this. However, the pavements are filled almost as much with Western tourists too, but don’t let that deter you.
*unless there are any offers of Italian travel clothing forthcoming 🙂
#3 – Tokyo International Forum, Chiyoda
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We stumbled upon this large exhibition centre just a stones throw away from the Imperial Palace & the golden shopping district of Ginza. Stopping to see the gathering crowds of protesters against the World Banking Organisation’s meeting at the time, we saw the building & wished the security had been slightly more relaxed for some exploration time.
#4 – Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, Shinjuku
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Holding the title of second tallest education centre in the world after the Moscow State University, this spectacular building houses a fashion school, design school & school of nursing education; and it’s arguably the prettiest we’ve ever seen.
#5 – Cartier Building, Ginza
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What we would describe as ‘Gold Alley’, Ginza’s main shopping boulevard has a great many grand contemporary buildings housing the collections of Bvlgari, Chanel, Hermes, not forgetting Apple & Sony. One of the most spectacular in particular; the Cartier building & the building behind it, which together look fantastic.
#5 – Random Black Building, Ginza
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Also in Ginza & just a few steps from the grandness that is the Cartier building, is this small building which sits completely dwarfed by the scale of the magnificent buildings around it stands this little uniform black structure either as a closed business or a shop about to start it’s life amongst the heavy hits in the district. Cute.