Do you want to visit the world famous Ise Shrine?

Ise Shrine 2

The Ise Shrine is one of Japan’s most important shinto shrines. Every 20 years, the Ise Shrine is rebuilt in what is called the Shikinen Sengu and in October 2013 the rebuilding of the Ise Grand Shrine will be completed.

We are offering the opportunity of visit the Ise Shrine following the Shikinen Sengu shrine rebuilding and consecration of the new shrine buildings as part of the September 2013 Japan Architecture Tour.

If you are interested joining the September 2013 Japan Architecture Tour and the Ise Shrine ollowing the Shikinen Sengu shrine rebuilding then contact us for more information.

http://www.japanarchitecturetours.com/contact-us.html

Ise Shrine 1

JapanArchitectureTourAd_Sep13

Japan Tours – September 2013 Japan Architecture, Art and Design Tour – Places Available. Hurry Book Now!

There are still several places available for the September 2013 Japan Architecture, Art, & Design Tour.

So if you are interested in Japanese Architecture, Art & Design, then join us to enjoy some interesting architecture, great art, Japanese gardens, delicious food and an exotic culture.

If you have ever wanted to visit Japan, then now is the time to book.

September 2013 Japan Architecture Tour

The tour cost is $4,300AUD* and includes accommodation, ground transport, 7 day JR Rail Pass, venue entries, (*exclusions apply)

Tour dates are 19 – 28 September 2013. You will need to arrive in Tokyo on 18 September.

Don’t miss out. BOOK NOW!

The tour will spend 6 nights in Tokyo and 4 nights in Kyoto.

• See some great contemporary architecture including works or Toyo Ito, SANAA, Tadao Ando;
• See some DOCOMOMO and Modern Architectural classics;
• Visit the National Museum of Western Art by Le Corbusier;
• Visit historic and traditional Japanese houses and buildings;
• See great architecture and art exhibitions;
• Visit Jiyu Gakuen School, Yamamura House & Imperial Hotel by Frank Lloyd Wright;
• Visit historic Temples and Shrines in Kyoto;
• Meet Japanese architects;
• Meet new Japanese friends;
• Enjoy the fabulous Japanese food and wonderful Japanese culture.

What are you waiting for? Book Now!
http://www.japanarchitecturetours.com/contact-us.html

*(Cost excludes airfares, meals, airport transfers and some incidental train and bus costs. Final tour cost is subject to currency fluctuations.)

Our new Japan Architecture Tours Website in online now.

Visit us at http://www.japanarchitecturetours.com/

Check out all the information about our unique tours concentrating on architecture, art, design and culture in Japan.

Book your place for the September 2012 Japan Architecture Tour when you are there.

For more information contact us through the Contact Us page http://www.japanarchitecturetours.com/contact-us.html

The June 2012 Japan Architecture Tour was yet another successful tour. Despite this one only concentrating on the Tokyo area, there was so much to see and so many great exhibitions to visit. It was a small group compared to previous tours with two cheerful architecture students from Australia, eager to complement their architectural studies at Uni and a graphic artist and university professor from Florida, our first international participant. It was a great time of the year for floral displays in Japan too with irises, hydrangeas and azaleas in bloom, including some in bonsai form. As usual there was a good number of cultural experiences mixed in with traditional and contemporary architecture and some fantastic art and architecture exhibitions.  When combined with some architectural discovery wanderings through the backstreets of Tokyo, this all added up to a very enjoyable and enriching Japan Architecture Tour. The tour was with the perfect mix of architecture, art and Japanese culture and we are looking forward to an equally successful September 2012 Japan Architecture Tour. Here are a few highlights of the June Japan Architecture Tour.

Day 1 Highlights – Kanda, Ryogoku, Sumo Training, Omotesando, Bonsai, Kuramae and a Japanese festival.

Our first stop was the Edo-Tokyo Museum (Kiyonori Kikutake) following a brief stroll through the streets of Kanda. This museum features exhibits from the Edo Period, the old name for Tokyo, when the Shoguns ruled Japan. It was a great way for the group to learn a little about the history of Tokyo and Japan. We then traveled to Harajuku and walked through Meiji Shrine. One of the most important shrines in Tokyo, it honours the memory of Emperor Meiji who ruled following the Edo Period from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. There is always something interesting to see and this time we saw a Japanese wedding and an excellent display of bonsai plants. Just around the corner is the National Gymnasium (Kenzo Tange) built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. It’s a great backdrop for the rockabilly dance troupes just across the street. We then strolled along Omotesando past some of excellent examples of contemporary architecture such as Dior Building (SANAA),  TODS Building (Toyo Ito) and Prada Building (Hertzog & de Meuron) and ended up at the Nezu Museum (Kengo Kuma). This museum houses many ancient Asian treasures and also has a beautiful and tranquil Japanese garden. It is an oasis amongst the bustle of Tokyo and a nice way to escape the heat. We had afternoon tea with my Japanese friends and then it was off to Kuramae to see the Torigo Matsuri. This is a traditional Japanese festival in which hundreds of locals carry the heaviest portable shrine in Tokyo (about 3500kg) through the streets for good luck and prosperity. What a treat!

Heading to Kanda station

Construction site near Kanda station

A sneak peak of a sumo training session at Ryogoku

Edo-Tokyo Museum by Kiyonori Kikutake

Diorama of Asakusa Bashi at Edo-Tokyo Museum

Unagi Lunch

Japanese Wedding at Meiji Jingu

Bonsai Azaleas at Meiji Jingu

Tokyo National Gymnasium by Kenzo Tange

Rockabilly Dance Troupe at Harajuku

Omotesando Hills by Tadao Ando

Louis Vuitton Boutique by Jun Aoki

TODS Boutique by Toyo Ito

Prada Boutique by Hertzog and de Meuron

Prada Boutique

Nezu Museum by Kengo Kuma

Bamboo lined entry to Nezu Museum

Nezu Museum Interior

Japanese Garden at Nezu Museum

Japanese Garden at Nezu Museum

Collezione by Tadao Ando

Mikoshi Portable Shrine at Torigoe Matsuri

Torigoe Matsuri

Day 2 Highlights – Tsukudajima, Roppongi, Cezanne exhibition, 21-21 Design Sight, 1980’s bubble economy building mini tour, Shibuya.

One of the advantages of joining my Japan Architecture Tours is being able to visit parts of Tokyo that tourists wouldn’t normally find such as Tsukudajima. It’s an old fishing village that over the years has been swallowed up by the burgeoning Tokyo metropolis and somewhat of a forgotten part of Tokyo dating back to the Edo period. Many of the tiny row houses are hundreds of years old and have survived countless earthquakes, fires and the bombings of WW2. We then moved to Roppongi to the National Art Center Tokyo (Kisho Kurokawa) for the Cezanne, Paris – Provence exhibition. I love this building and it’s always a pleasure to visit it. Just around the corner is the 21-21 Design Site (Tadao Ando). We saw a great exhibition featuring traditional manufacturing industries and practices of the Tohoku region of northern Japan. We then embarked of a mini tour of strange buildings built during the Japanese bubble economy period of the 1980s. These included Unhex Nani-Nani (Philippe Starck), Aoyama Technical College (Makoto Sei Watanabe), the Shibuya Koban (Edward Suzuki) and Cinema Rise (Atsushi Kitagawara). We ended the day with wander though the bustling streets of Shibuya.

Canal at Tsukudajima

Interesting houses in Tsukudajima

Inari Shrine at Tsukudajima

Nice downpipe detail

Brick storehouse at Inari Shrine

Hydrangeas at Inari Shrine

Purification trough at Inari Shrine

Colourful Irises at Tsukudajima

National Art Center Tokyo by Kisho Kurokawa

National Art Center Tokyo Interior by Kisho Kurokawa

Exhibition posters at NACT

Tokyo Midtown

21-21 Design Sight by Tadao Ando

21-21 Design Sight by Tadao Ando

Unhex Nani-Nani by Philippe Starck

Energy drink Super Hero. Very odd!

Aoyama Technical College by Makoto Sei Watanabe

Cool Ferrari in Shibuya

Shibuya Koban (police box) by Edward Suzuki

Cinema Rise by Atsushi Kitagawara

Who can resist a visit to the Disney Store?

Shibuya scramble crossing

Day 3 Highlights – Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku skyscraper district, Ikebukuro, Jiyu Gakuen School, Asakusa, Ginza.

Today was such a big day. I really couldn’t believe just how much we saw and just how far we walked. Firstly we found the wonderful little Reflection of Mineral house (Atelier Tekuto) and then walked through the Shinjuku skyscraper district on our way to Shinjuku station. It’s the busiest train station in the world handling more that 2 million passengers a day. It was then off to Ikebukuro to visit the Jiyu Gakuen School by Frank Lloyd Wright, one of only three remaining Wright buildings in Japan. After a delicious MOS Burger lunch we set off for Asakusa. Philippe Starck’s Asahi Beer Building continued the 80s weird building theme of yesterday, and the Tokyo Sky Tree was just visible through the rain mist. Asakusa is famous for the Kaminarimon Gate and Sensoji Temple, however the latest addition to Asakusa is the new Tourist Information Center by Kengo Kuma. What a nice building. Despite all of what we had seen so far, there was still more. Leaving Asakusa we headed for Ginza, one of Tokyo’s centres for contemporary architecture. Some of the great examples include Mikimoto 2 (Toyo Ito), Maison Hermes (Renzo Piano), the San-Ai Dream Center and Nicholas Hayak Center (Shigeru Ban). What a day!

Reflection of a Mineral House by Atelier Tekuto

Reflection of a Mineral House by Atelier Tekuto

Tokyo streetscape

Which one shall I drive today?

Tokyo Metropolitan Office Building by Kenzo Tange

Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower by Tange Associates

Shinjuku Station

Jiyu Gakuen School by Frank Lloyd Wright

Jiyu Gakuen School Interior

Jiyu Gakuen School Dining Room

Light Detail

MOS Burger. Yum!

The Vegetable Super Hero Girls

Asahi Beer Hall by Philippe Starck with the new Tokyo Sky Tree in background

Asahi Beer Hall by Philippe Starck

Asakusa Visitor Center by Kengo Kuma

Asakusa Visitor Center Interior

Asakusa Visitor Center Interior

Sensoji Temple Asakusa

Tokyo International Forum by Rafael Vinoli

The impressive roof structure of Tokyo International Forum by Rafael Vinoli

Mikimoto 2 by Toyo Ito

Sony Building by Yoshinobu Ashihara

Maison Hermes by Renzo Piano

Dior Boutique by Kumiko Inui

San-Ai Dream Center by Nikken Sekkei

Wako Building by Jin Watanabe

Nicholas G Hayak Building by Shigeru Ban

Swatch Elevator

Lion Beer Hall

Uniqlo Flagship Store Ginza

Day 4 Highlights – Tokyo University, Nezu, Nezu Shrine,  Sendagi, Yasuda House, Ueno, National Museum of Western Art.

It was another huge day with even more walking than yesterday. Commencing at Tokyo University, we met up with Ryan Moroney, a previous Japan Architecture Tourist and now student at Tokyo University. Ryan gave us a tour of Fukutake Hall (Tadao Ando) as well as the Architecture School which he now attends. The messy undergrad studio brought back memories for us all. We then walked to Nezu Shrine, a famous shrine in Tokyo dating from the Edo Period. A quick coffee break and we were off on foot again to Sendagi in search of the historic Yasuda House. Wandering through the meandering backstreets, we stumbled across Sudo Park, a charming little oasis amongst the extreme urbanism of Tokyo. The Yasuda House was built in 1918 and recently underwent a lengthy restoration period. The house is now operated and managed by the Japan National Trust. It is a fine example of Taisho Era architecture, a nice combination of refined Japanese simplicity and European flair. Such a wonderful house now able to be enjoyed by the public. Our next stop was the National Museum of Western Art design by Le Corbusier, home to the outstanding Matsukata Collection of Western Art from the 17th – 20th centuries. We also saw the “Renaissance to Rococo: Four Centuries of European Drawing, Painting and Sculpture” exhibition from the collections of The National Museums of Berlin. A snack on a panda pork bun and a brief shopping expedition to the Ueno markets to finish off an exhausting, yet thoroughly enjoyable day. It’s hard to believe that we could see so much.

Aka Mon Gate at Tokyo University

Fukutake Hall by Tadao Ando

Tokyo University

Undergrad Studio at Tokyo University Architecture School

Checking out Kengo Kuma design lab at Tokyo University Architecture School

Students sleeping in the Undergrad Studio at Tokyo University Architecture School

Ryan Moroney and Robert in front of Tokyo University Architecture School

Colourful hydrangeas

Backstreets of Nezu

Nezu Shrine

Local wildlife at Nezu Shrine

Nezu Shrine

Tori Gates at Nezu Shrine

Backstreets of Nezu

Backstreet of Nezu

Sudo Park Sendagi

Backstreets of Sendagi

Kyu Yasuda-tei or Yasuda House

Western sitting room of Yasuda House

Carvings in Yasuda House

Yasuda House Interior

Gardens of Yasuda House

Yasuda House

Yasuda House

Yasuda House

Tokyo Opera House by Kunio Maekawa

National Museum of Western Art by Le Corbusier

Skylight detail of National Museum of Western Art

The Thinker by Rodin

Rodin sculpture gallery at National Museum of Western Art

Renaissance artworks at National Museum of Western Art

Renaissance artworks at National Museum of Western Art

Renoir at National Museum of Western Art

Monet at National Museum of Western Art

Monet at National Museum of Western Art

Gaugin at National Museum of Western Art

Signac at National Museum of Western Art

Miro at National Museum of Western Art

Picasso at National Museum of Western Art

The Gate of Hell by Rodin at National Museum of Western Art

The Burghers of Calais by Rodin at National Museum of Western Art

National Museum of Western Art by Le Corbusier

Ueno Koban by Tetsuro Kurokawa

Walking the dogs in Ueno Park

Yummy Panda Pork Bun

Ueno Markets

Day 5 Highlights – Mitaka, Ghibli Museum, Nogizaka, Gallery MA, Roppongi, Roppongi Hills Sky Deck, Marunouchi.

I had not visited The Ghibli Museum at Mitaka before so it was a new experience for me and a first for the Japan Architecture Tours. We arrived early and waiting patiently in line with the hundreds of other people. The museum as a very sensory experience with movie screenings, cartoon cells displays and recreated scenes from Ghibli Studio productions. We made the not so short walk back to Mitaka and headed to Gallery MA at Nogizaka for the exhibition of the architectural works of Korean/Japanese architect Jun Itami. As is always the case with Gallery MA, the exhibition was excellent, with many drawings and models on display. We strolled through the streets of Roppongi to the huge Roppongi Hills development. Completed in 2005, Roppongi Hills is one of the largest urban renewal and consolidation projects in Tokyo. It features a 52 level office tower, high-rise apartment buildings, townhouses, a shopping centre, cinema complex and TV studio. At the top of the Mori Tower is the Tokyo City View and Mori Art Museum. It was such a nice, sunny day, that we decided to go all the way to Sky Deck on the rooftop. From here we had an excellent view of Tokyo, however it just wasn’t clear enough to see Mt Fuji. Marunouchi was the next stop where we checked out the new JP Tower and redeveloped Central Post Office Building, one of Japan’s first buildings of the “Modern Movement”. We also checked on the progress of the ongoing restoration of the Tokyo Station Building (Tatsuno Kingo). Much of the building was destroyed during WW2 and it was hastily rebuilt following the end of the war, however not in it’s original form. Over the past several years, the station building has been undergoing restoration to it’s original form to reinstate the third level and domed roofs.

Ghibli Museum, Mitaka

Ghibli Museum

Ghibli Museum

Ghibli Museum

Cat Bus at Ghibli Museum

Ghibli Museum

Tempura soba. Yum!

Jun Itami Exhibition at Gallery MA

Jun Itami Exhibition at Gallery MA

Jun Itami Exhibition at Gallery MA

Jun Itami Exhibition at Gallery MA

Jun Itami Exhibition at Gallery MA

Jun Itami Exhibition at Gallery MA

Mori Tower at Roppongi Hills

Louise Bourgeois sculpture at Roppongi Hills

View of Tokyo from Roppongi Hills 270m Rooftop Sky Deck

View of Tokyo from Roppongi Hills 270m Rooftop Sky Deck

Prease use the rockers

Tokyo Central Post Office & New JP Tower

Tokyo Central Post Office & New JP Tower

An old photo of Tokyo Station prior to WW2

Tokyo Station by Tatsuno Kingo undergoing restoration

Day 6 Highlights – Yushima, Iwasaki House, Saitama Architects Association, Koshigaya Laketown, Kondo Architects Office, Yoshi’s New House, Shabu-shabu Dinner

Traditionally as part of the Japan Architecture Tours, we spend a day with the Saitama Architects Association and today was the day. We met Yoshi Takeuchi at the Kyu Iwasaki-tei. It’s the former estate of the Iwasaki family, founders the Mitsubishi zaibatsu, famous for shipbuilding, banking, insurance, automobile and aircraft manufacturing. Just a few of it’s many business activities. The compound originally comprised more than 20 structures. Today only three survive, namely a traditional “shoin” Japanese building which was the main residence of the Iwasaki family, a Western-style two-storey guesthouse and a billiard hall both of which were designed by British architect Josiah Conder . The Western-style guesthouse was completed in 1896 and is an example of some of the finest Western architecture in Japan. The gold-embossed wallpaper throughout is a most spectacular feature. Leaving this wonderful “time capsule” from the 19th Century we travelled with Yoshi to a 21st Century “master planned” township called Koshigaya Laketown which featuring one of the largest shopping malls in Japan. Here we met up with another from the Saitama Architects Association, my former boss Toshi Kondo. Following a delicious tempura lunch we headed to Mr Kondo’s office. Not much has changed in the 20 years since I worked there. Higashi Kawaguchi has changed a lot though. There are many new apartment buildings including a rather ugly one where my house used to be. We then left Kondo Kikaku Sekkei to what turned out to be the highlight of the day and one of the highlights of the whole tour. On that last Japan Architecture Tour, Yoshi showed us designs for his new house and today we were able to visit his house just before he and his family moved in. We walked along the streets past many plain and boring houses in the new subdivision when all of a sudden we encountered Yoshi’s house. What a surprise! It stood out from the surrounding mediocrity like a beacon. A wonderful 3-storey off-form concrete triangular shaped house on a 100sqm block of land featuring Oya stone floors on the ground level and Japanese cedar walls throughout. Oya stone was what Frank Lloyd Wright used for the Imperial Hotel and Yamamura House. What a wonderful and clever design on such a small block. We loved Yoshi’s explanation about the techniques he employed to create an illusion of space in such a small house. The day was topped off with a shabu-shabu dinner with Mr Kondo, Mr Takeuchi and Mr Tanaka from the Saitama Architects Association and of course my good friend Mr Nojima

Backstreets of Yushima

Kyu Iwasaki-tei, former residence of Iwasaki family, by Josiah Conder

Entrance tower of Iwasaki House

Beautiful ceramic tiles at Iwasaki House

Gold embossed wallpaper detail from Iwasaki House

Iwasaki House by Josiah Conder

Billiard Room at Iwasaki House by Josiah Conder

Colourful hydrangeas

Stunning pink hydrangeas

A very public toilet in Ueno Park

Koshigaya Laketown Shopping Mall

Koshigaya Laketown Shopping Mall

You can get anything at Koshigaya Laketown including Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Le Corbusier furniture

Tempura lunch. Yum!

Lake at Koshigaya Laketown

Bicycle parking at Koshigaya Laketown

Robert and Mr Kondo outside Kondo Kikkaku Sekkei Office

Mr Kondo and Mr Hashimoto in Kondo Architects Office. Hashimoto sits where I used to.

Stephanie and Isabel get a quick lesson in Japanese construction from Mr Hashimoto

The tour group with Mr Takeuchi and Mr Kondo in Kondo Architects Office

Tour group and Kondo Architects staff

Yoshi Takeuchi’s new house on 100sqm block

Yoshi’s new house

Entrance of Yoshi’s house

Fabulous interior with oya stone floor and Japanese cedar walls.

Living area of Yoshi’s house

Dining area of Yoshi’s house

Looking over the void to the living area

View to outside from the dining area

Mr Kondo questions some safety aspects

What a great stair detail

Japanese bathroom

Oya stone floors. The same stone that Frank Lloyd Wright used for the Imperial Hotel and Yamamura House

The shoes box at the front entry

View from roof

Yoshi points out the local landmarks from the rooftop

Stephanie, Isabel and Yoshi on the rooftop

Yoshi and Robert on the roof

Yoshi made a home for these “good luck” swallows

Robert, Yoshi and Mr Kondo at the front door of Yoshi’s house

Mr Kondo explains some Japanese detailing to Isabel, Stephanie and KIm

Yoshi’s house is surrounded by uninspiring houses such as these. No wonder it stands out.

Roadside vegetable stall just down the street. Fresh veges everyday

Shabu-shabu dinner with Saitama Architects Association

Shabu-shabu dinner with Mr Tanaka and the Saitama Architects Association

Group photo outside all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu restaurant

Day 7 Highlights – Shimbashi, Nakagin Capsule Building, Shiodome,  Bridgestone Museum of Art, Imperial Palace.

Our last day of the tour started at the first train station in Japan, well, a replica at least, of Shimbashi Station. A short stroll and we were at the Nakagin Capsule Building by Kisho Kurokawa. Kurokawa was one of the leading figures of the Metabolist Movement of Japanese Architects in the 1960s and 1970s. Widely reported to be demolished, it will be such a pity to see this iconic building lost. What a shame there isn’t a wealthy Japanese industrialist willing to buy it and save it from demolition. Following this we visited the Bridgestone Museum for a 60th Anniversary exhibition entitled “Bridgestone Museum of Art at Sixty: You’ve Got to See These Paintings”. The exhibition featured the works of many of the masters from the 19th and 20th century. Finally we walked, in the rain, to the Imperial Palace for the obligatory photo in front of Niju Bashi Bridge and then back to the comfort of a dry restaurant where we discussed some of the great things that we saw and wonderful experiences that we had on the June Japan Architecture Tour. Everybody said that the tour exceeded their expectations and are keen to join us again on another Japan Architecture Tour in the future.

Replica of Old Shimbashi Station

Nakagin Capsule Building by Kisho Kurokawa

Nakagin Capsule Building by Kisho Kurokawa

Shiodome Nippon TV Tower by Richard Rogers

Bridgestone Museum of Art exhibition

Bridgestone Museum of Art exhibition

Imperial Palace, Tokyo

Stephanie and Isabel with Nijubashi Bridge at Imperial Palace

Replica of Josaih Conder’s Mitsubishi Building in Marunouchi

Are you interested in Japanese Architecture, Art & Design?

Then join us to enjoy some interesting architecture, great art, Japanese gardens, delicious food and an exotic culture.

So if you planning an overseas trip and ever wanted to visit Japan, then now is the time to book so that you take advantage of the great exchange rate against the Yen.

September 2013 Japan Architecture Tour

The tour cost is $4,300AUD* per person. Twin share is even cheaper.
Tour dates are 19 – 28 September 2013. You will need to arrive in Tokyo on 18 September.

The tour will spend 6 nights in Tokyo and 4 nights in Kyoto.

• See some great contemporary architecture including works or Toyo Ito, SANAA, Tadao Ando;
• See some DOCOMOMO and Modern Architectural classics;
• Visit the National Museum of Western Art by Le Corbusier;
• Visit historic and traditional Japanese houses and buildings;
• See great architecture and art exhibitions;
• Visit Jiyu Gakuen School, Yamamura House & Imperial Hotel by Frank Lloyd Wright;
• Visit historic Temples and Shrines in Kyoto;
• Meet Japanese architects;
• Meet new Japanese friends;
• Enjoy the fabulous Japanese food and wonderful Japanese culture.

What are you waiting for? Book Now!
http://www.japanarchitecturetours.com/contact-us.html

*(Cost excludes airfares, meals, airport transfers and some incidental train and bus costs. Final tour cost is subject to currency fluctuations)

The October 2011 Japan Architecture Tour was one of the best tours so far simply due to the many architecture related exhibitions and events that were on as part of the UIA World Architecture Congress in Tokyo.

There were plenty of cultural experiences mixed in amongst the architecture. We saw several world-class art exhibitions including American Art from Phillips Collection in Washington and Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art Washington. There were a couple of traditional Japanese weddings, some Japanese festivals and we were also able to explore some of the hidden parts of Tokyo not usually frequented by tourists. Add to this the fabulous Japanese food at some of the most compact restaurants and bars you will ever see.

One of the highlights was surely Tadao Ando’s Church of Light which we visited for the first time. Another was the Nihon Minka-en open air architecture which contains many traditional farmhouses and buildings from various parts of Japan.

We visited the three remaining Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in Japan, the Jiyu Gakuen School, the Yamamura House and the Imperial Hotel again which is always special and we caught up with the Saitama Architects Association again and spent a day with them in historic Kawagoe. Finally, to round it the tour off we visited some of Kyoto’s most famous temple and gardens and Hikone Castle, one of the few original castles in Japan which is nearly 400 years old.

The tour was with the perfect mix of architecture, art and Japanese culture and we are looking forward to an equally successful April 2012 Japan Architecture Tour. Here are a few photographic features of the October 2011 tour.

Day 1 Highlights – Nihonbashi, Kanda, Omotesando, Ikebukuro & Roppongi

  • Open-Architecture Tour of Takashimaya Dept Store
  • Nobuyoshi Araki “Higan” Exhibition at Rat Hole Gallery
  • Koji Tanada Exhibition at Spiral Building (Fumihiko Maki)
  • Fukuro Matsuri
  • UIA World Architecture Congress Welcome Party

Mitsui Building

Takashimaya Department Store, Nihonbashi

Interior of Takashimaya

Backstreets of Kanda

Nobuyoshi Araki "Higan" Exhibition at Rat Hole Gallery

Spiral Building by Fumihiko Maki

Koji Tanada Exhibition at Spiral Building

Fukuro Matsuri in Ikebukuro

Fukuro Matsuri in Ikebukuro

Locals at Fukuro Matsuri

Interesting dress code for Fukuro Matsuri

UIA World Architecture Congress at Tokyo City View, Roppongi Hills

UIA World Architecture Congress at Tokyo City View, Roppongi Hills

Yakitori dinner

Yakitori bar in Kanda

Day 2 – Gokokuji, Yurakucho, UIA Architecture Congress. Highlights include:

  • Sky House (Kiyonori Kikutake)
  • UIA World Architecture Congress
  • Christo Lecture – UIA 2011 Tokyo
  • Tadao Ando Lecture – UIA 2011 Tokyo

Sky House (2011) by Kiyonori Kikutake

Sky House 1958 by Kiyonori Kikutake

UIA World Architecture Congress at Tokyo International Forum

Tokyo International Forum by Rafael Vinoly

Christo Lecture

Christo's Umbrella Project - Japan

Christo's Gates Project - New York

Czech Modernism Lecture by Vladimir Slapeta

Tadao Ando Lecture

Tadao Ando's Water Temple

Day 3 – Tsukudajima, UIA Architecture Congress, Asakusa. Highlights include:

  • Tsukudajima “Nagaya” Row Houses
  • Namiyoke Inari Jinja (Wave Protection Fox Shrine)
  • UIA World Architecture Congress
  • SANAA Lecture – UIA 2011 Tokyo
  • Tokyo Sky Tree

Tsukudajima, Tokyo

Nagaya Row Houses in Tsukudajima dating from the Edo Period

Namiyoke Inari Jinja (Wave Protection Fox Shrine)

Brick Storehouse at Namiyoke Inari Jinja

Carving Detail at Namiyoke Inari Jinja

Contemporary House in Iran

UIA Congress

Testing Japanese Carpentry skills at UIA Congress

SANAA Lecture at UIA Congress

Tokyo Sky Tree by night

Day 4 – UIA Architecture Congress, Asakusa. Highlights include:

  • UIA World Architecture Congress
  • Japan Building Show
  • Christoph Ingenhoven Lecture – UIA 2011 Tokyo
  • Fumihiko Maki Lecture – UIA 2011 Tokyo

Christoph Ingenhoven Lecture - UIA Congress

Stuttgart Station Project, Christoph Ingenhoven Lecture - UIA Congress

European Investment Bank, Christoph Ingenhoven Lecture - UIA Congress

UIA World Architecture Congress at Tokyo International Forum

Fumihiko Maki Lecture - UIA Congress

Day 5 – Roppongi, Azabu, UIA Odaiba, Yurakucho. Highlights include:

  • International House – Open Architecture Tour
  • Making of Tokyo Sky Tree Exhibition
  • Tokyo Midtown
  • Restaurant under Railway Tracks, Yurakucho

International House, Roppongo by Kunio Maekawa, Junzo Sakakura & Junzo Yoshimura

International House, Roppongo by Kunio Maekawa, Junzo Sakakura & Junzo Yoshimura

International House Restaurant and Gardens

Joule-A Building by Edward Suzuki

Fuji Television Building by Kenzo Tange

Tokyo Sky Tree Exhibition

21-21 Design Sight by Tadao Ando

Kanda streets by night

Restaurant under railway tracks, Yurakucho

Day 6 – Ueno, Nogizaka & Roppongi. Highlights include:

  • Gallery of Horyuji Treasures (Yoshio Taniguchi)
  • National Museum of Western Art (Le Corbusier)
  • Alejandro Aravena Exhibition at Gallery MA
  • National Art Center Tokyo (Kisho Kurokawa)
  • The Phillips Collection Exhibition at NACT
  • Roppongi Hills
  • Metabolism Exhibition at Mori Art Museum

Oden food cart in Ueno Park

Walking the dogs in Ueno Park

Gallery of Horyuji Treasures by Yoshio Taniguchi

National Museum of Western Art by Le Corbusier

Rodin sculpture gallery, National Museum of Western Art

Ueno Markets

Alejandro Aravena Exhibition at Gallery MA

Alejandro Aravena Exhibition

National Art Center Tokyo by Kisho Kurokawa

National Art Center Tokyo by Kisho Kurokawa

Phillips Collection Exhibition at National Art Center Tokyo

Metabolism Exhibition at Mori Art Museum

Metabolism Exhibition at Mori Art Museum

Setting sun over Tokyo skyline from the roof deck of Mori Tower

Tokyo skyline from the roof deck of Mori Tower

Tokyo skyline at night from the roof deck of Mori Tower

Day 7 – Kawasaki & Ginza. Highlights include:

  • Nihon Minka-en, Japanese Open Air Architectural Museum
  • Mikimoto 2 (Toyo Ito)
  • Maison Hermes (Renzo Piano)
  • Sony Building (Yoshinobu Ashihara)
  • Dinner with Japanese friends

Traditional Japanese Inn - Nihon Minka-en

Nihon Minka-en

Nihon Minka-en

Nihon Minka-en

Nihon Minka-en

Nihon Minka-en

Nihon Minka-en

Nihon Minka-en

Nihon Minka-en

Metabolising Tokyo Exhibition

Mikimoto 2 Building by Toyo Ito

San-Ai Dream Center by Nikken Sekkei

Sony Building by Yoshinobu Ashihara

Maison Hermes by Renzo Piano

Ginza by night

Day 8 – Shimbashi, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Yoyogi, Harajuku and Omotesando. Highlights include:

  • Nakagin Capsule Building (Kisho Kurokawa)
  • Aoyama Technical College (Makoto Sei Watanabe)
  • Jiyu Gakuin School (Frank Lloyd Wright)
  • Tadao Ando Exhibition at GA Gallery
  • Japanese Wedding at Meiji Shrine
  • Thank You Doll Festival at Meiji Shrine
  • Olympic Gymnasium (Kenzo Tange)
  • TODS Boutique (Toyo Ito)
  • Prada Boutique (Herzog & de Meuron)

Nakagin Capsule Building by Kisho Kurokawa

Aoyama Technical College by Makoto Sei Watanabe

Jiyu Gakuin School by Frank Lloyd Wright

Jiyu Gakuin School Dining Room

Tadao Ando Exhibition at GA Gallery

Traditional Japanese Wedding at Meiji Shrine

Thanks Doll Festival at Meiji Shrine

Tokyo Olympic Gymnasium by Kenzo Tange

Rockers at Harajuku

Rockers at Harajuku

TODS Boutique by Toyo Ito

Prada Boutique by Herzog & de Meuron

Prada Boutique by Herzog & de Meuron

Boutique by SANAA

Ukiyoe Exhibition at

Day 9 – Kawagoe & Kawaguchi. Highlights include:

  • Kita-in Temple
  • Unagi Lunch
  • Kurazukuri Storehouses
  • Shabu Shabu Dinner

Kurazukuri Storehouses in Kawagoe

Kurazukuri Storehouses in Kawagoe

Time Bell and Fire Lookout Tower in Kawagoe

Unagi Lunch

Lunch Meeting with Saitama Architects Association

179 Year Old Unagi Eel Restaurant, Kawagoe

Kitain Temple, Kawagoe

Bell, Kitain Temple

Kitain Temple, Kawagoe

Interesting signage at Kitain Temple, Kawagoe

Shabu-Shabu Dinner

Day 10 – Kyoto & Ibaraki. Highlights include:

  • Mt Fuji from Shinkansen
  • Festival
  • Man Ray Exhibition at Osaka
  • Kiyomizu Dera
  • Yakisoba dinner

Mt Fuji from the Shinkansen to Kyoto

Kitano Tenmangu Festival

Kitano Tenmangu Festival

Church of Light by Tadao Ando

Church of Light by Tadao Ando

Church of Light by Tadao Ando

Antique Print Shop in Kyoto

Yakiniku BBQ Dinner

Pontocho by Night

Pontocho by Night

Day 11 – Kyoto & Ashiya. Highlights include:

  • Ryoanji Zen Rock Garden
  • Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion)
  • Yamamura House (Frank Lloyd Wright)

Ryoanji Rock Garden

Ryoanji Temple

Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion)

Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion)

Interesting signage

Yamamura House by Frank Lloyd Wright

Yamamura House by Frank Lloyd Wright

Contemporary House in Ashiya

Udon Noodle Dinner

Udon Noodle Restaurant

Day 12 – Kyoto. Highlights include:

  • Nijo-jo Palace
  • Heian Jingu
  • Impressionist Exhibition from National Gallery of Art Washington
  • Kiyomizu-dera

How do your parking skills compare?

Nijo-jo

Nijo-jo Palace

Nijo-jo Gardens

Nijo-jo Tourists

Kyoto Canal

Tori Gates

National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto by Fumihiko Maki

Impressionist Exhibition from NGAW

Impressionist Exhibition from NGAW

Heian Jingu

Heian Jingu Gardens

Heian Jingu Gardens

Kiyomizu-dera Shopping Street

Kiyomizu-dera

Good Luck Wishes, Kiyomizu-dera

Kiyomizu-dera

Tea House, Kodai-ji

Kodai-ji Gardens

Time Bell, Kodai-ji

Gion by Night

Pontocho by Night

Kyoto Bar

Day 13 – Inuyama, Kyoto & Osaka. Highlights include:

  • Meiji Mura Open Air Architectural Museum
  • Imperial Hotel (Frank Lloyd Wright)
  • Okonomiyaki & Yakisoba Dinner in Osaka

Imperial Hotel by Frank Lloyd Wright at Meiji Mura

Interior of Imperial Hotel by Frank Lloyd Wright at Meiji Mura

Interior of Imperial Hotel by Frank Lloyd Wright at Meiji Mura

Sake Brewery at Meiji Mura

Kabuki Theatre at Meiji Mura

Traditional Japanese House at Meiji Mura

"Snail House" at Meiji Mura

Mie Prefectural Government Building at Meiji Mura

Tour Group at Meiji Mura

Okonomiyaki Restaurant in Osaka

Okonomiyaki Restaurant in Osaka

Day 14 – Hikone & Tokyo. Highlights include:

  • Hikone Castle
  • Samurai Armour Exhibition
  • Sushi Dinner in Kanda

Hikone Castle sits on a hill overlooking Hikone Town

Entry Bridge to Hikone Castle

Hikone Castle completed in 1622

Impressive Timber Joints in Hikone Castle

Massive Timber Beams in Hikone Castle

Hikone Castle is one of only a few original castles in Japan

Samurai Armour

Samurai Armour of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the 1st Shogun

Sushi Dinner in Kanda

Day 15 – Kanda,  Akasaka & Harajuku. Highlights include:

  • Hokusai Ukiyoe Print Exhibition
  • Yousuf Karsh Photography Exhibition
  • Harajuku Streetlife

Kanda Station

Kanda Streets

Fishing near Akasaka

Hokusai & Reviere Exhibition at New Otani Art Gallery

Hokusai's Great Wave Ukiyoe Print

Hokusai Ukiyoe Print

Yousuf Karsh Photography Exhibition

Yousuf Karsh Photography Exhibition

Scooters in Harajuku

Doggy Bag?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.