|Yes, that's a giant beetle on the side of that building. Photo ©Darren Bradley|
We actually spent most of our time in Tokyo. We rented an apartment there, as we wanted to live like locals and experience it beyond what tourists would normally see. Our apartment belonged to a Westerner (a Canadian), and was on the 45th floor of a tower on a man-made island in the Shibaura district, not far from the Ginza. Here's the view from the place:
|View from our rented apartment in the Shibaura District of Tokyo. This was on New Year's Eve. Note the absence of fireworks or other festivities. New Year's is one of the quietest nights in Tokyo. Photo ©Darren Bradley|
Most of all, I loved the architecture. Here are some examples:
|Kenzo Tange's Shizuoka Press and Broadcast Office (1967) is another classic.|
|Mikimoto Building by Toyo Ito (2005). Photo ©Darren Bradley|
|A peak inside the Mikimoto Building by Toyo Ito. Photo ©Darren Bradley|
|The Tiffany Building by Kengo Kuma (2008). Photo ©Darren Bradley|
|DeBeers Building by Jun Mitsui (2008). Photo ©Darren Bradley|
|Tokyo International Forum by Rafael Vinoly (1996). Photo ©Darren Bradley|
The area around Omotesando and Aoyama is like a museum of modern architecture. It seems like every well known architect in the world is represented with at least one building here.
|Tod's Building by Toyo Ito (2004). Photo ©Darren Bradley|
|Christian Dior Building by SANAA. Photo ©Darren Bradley|
|The Prada Building by Herzog & de Meuron (2003). Photo ©Darren Bradley|
|Another view... Photo ©Darren Bradley|
|Tokyu Plaza by Hiroshi Nakamura (2012). Photo ©Darren Bradley|
Asakusa is known for its Buddhist Temple. But there's also some interesting modern architecture there. And Kappabashi Street, nearby, has a lot of character. It's known as the place to buy kitchen and cooking supplies. But it also has some interesting buildings and is very typical of Tokyo architecture.
|Doesn't this look like fun? This is the entrance to the Temple at Senso-ji in Tokyo's Asakusa District. Photo ©Darren Bradley|
The Visitor Center across the street from the temple is more my speed...
|Asakusa Cultural Tourist Information Bureau by Kengo Kuma (2012). Photo ©Darren Bradley|
And a few blocks from there is Kappabashi - the Chef's District.
|In the context of Tokyo, a giant cartoon character on a building seems normal. Beetles, too. Photo ©Darren Bradley|
For more on Tokyo architecture, stay tuned for part 2...