Japan Architecture Tours – Robert Day Travel Blog

Unique Japan Tours in Architecture, Art, Design and Culture by Robert Day Travel

Japan Architecture Tours – October 2010 Tour Highlights

The October 2010 Japan Architecture Tour has just concluded and again it was a great success. The tour was enjoyed by all with the perfect mix of architecture and Japanese culture.

On this tour we were able to visit another one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings in Japan, the Jiyu Gakuen School. It is a remarkable building and by far one of the tour highlights. Another highlight for the group was the chance meeting with Glenn Murcutt on a Tokyo street.

Along with these special moments we also saw several interesting architecture exhibitions, a Van Gogh exhibition and a Man Ray exhibition. We braved torrential rain to see an open-air architectural museum at Kawasaki, we saw the 3-5-7 Children’s Festival at Meiji shrine and a traditional Japanese wedding. Here are a few photographic features of the tour.

Day 1 Highlights – Roppongi, Shinjuku & Ebisu

  • 21-21 Design Sight (Tadao Ando)
  • National Art Center Tokyo (Kisho Kurokawa)
  • Van Gogh Exhibition
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Observation Level (Kenzo Tange)
  • Ebisu Beer Museum
  • Sushi Dinner

21-21 Design Sight Gallery at Tokyo Midtown by Tadao Ando

National Art Center Tokyo by Kisho Kurokawa

Van Gogh exhibition at NACT

Not much of a view from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Sushi dinner

Day 2 – Shiodome, Ikebukuro, Iidabashi, Ryogoku, Asakusa & Ueno. Highlights include:

  • Nakagin Capsule Building (Kisho Kurokawa)
  • Shiodome Towers (Richard Rogers, Jean Nouvel and others)
  • Jiyu Gakuen School (Frank Lloyd Wright)
  • Iidabashi Subway Station – Makoto Sei Watanabe)
  • Edo Tokyo Museum (Kiyonori Kikutake)
  • Ashahi Beer Hall (Philippe Starck)
  • Ueno Markets

Nakagin Capsule Building by Kisho Kurokawa

Nippon TV Tower by Richard Rogers

Jiyu Gakuen School by Frank Lloyd Wright

Jiyu Gakuen School dining room

Iidabashi subway station entry by Makoto Sei Watanabe

Asahi Beer Hall by Philippe Starck

Ueno markets

BBQ your own seafood dinner

Day 3 – Kawasaki & Ginza. Highlights include:

  • Nihon Minkaen – Japanese Open Air Architectural Museum
  • Mikimoto 2 (Toyo Ito)
  • Maison Hermes (Renzo Piano)
  • Nicolas Hayek Center (Shigeru Ban)
  • Sony Building (Yoshinobu Ashihara)
  • Dinner with Japanese friends
  • MOD Bar

Nihon Minka-en

Nihon Minka-en

Nihon Minka-en

Sony Building by Yoshinobu Ashihara

Mikimoto 2 by Toyo Ito

Wako Building, Ginza corner

San-Ai Building, Ginza

Birthday dinner at Ganko with Japanese friends

4.4m x 1.6m MOD Bar in Ginza

Day 4 – Shibuya, Gaienmae, Yoyogi, Harajuku and Omotesando. Highlights include:

  • Shibuya Subway Station (Tadao Ando)
  • Aoyama Technical College (Makoto Sei Watanabe)
  • Watarium (Mario Botta)
  • Sou Fujimoto Exhibition at Watarium
  • Tower House (Takamitsu Azuma)
  • Meeting Glenn Murcutt
  • GA Gallery – Terunobu Fujimori Exhibition
  • 3-5-7 Festival at Meiji Shrine
  • Olympic Gymnasium (Kenzo Tange)
  • Omotesando Hills (Tadao Ando)
  • Prada Boutique (Herzog & de Meuron)
  • TODS Boutique (Toyo Ito)

Shibuya subway station by Tadao Ando

Aoyama Technical College by Makoto Sei Watanabe

Harajuku Church by Ciel Rouge Creation

Watarium Gallery by Mario Botta (Sou Fujimoto exhibition)

Surprise chance encounter with Glenn Murcutt

Tower House by Takamitsu Azuma

Cosplay cyclists in Harajuku

GA Gallery for Terunobu Fujimori exhibition

3-5-7 (Shichigosan) Festival at Meiji Shrine

Mikoshi portable shrine in Meiji Jingu

1964 Olympic Gymnasium by Kenzo Tange

Prada Building by Herzog & de Meuron

TODS Omotesando by Toyo Ito

Dior Boutique Omotesando by SANAA

Day 5 – Kawagoe & Kawaguchi. Highlights include:

  • Kita-in Temple
  • Unagi Lunch
  • Kurazukuri Storehouses
  • Masako san’s Tea House
  • Shabu Shabu Dinner

Kita-in temple gardens, Kawagoe

Kita-in temple, Kawagoe

Tour group at Kita-in temple

Unagi (eel) lunch

Kurazukuri storehouses at Kawagoe

Kurazukuri & Time Bell Tower, Kawagoe

Japanese Tea Ceremony at Masako-san's House

Shabu-shabu dinner with Mr Kondo and Japanese friends

Day 6 – Osaka & Kyoto. Highlights include:

  • Mt Fuji from Shinkansen
  • Museum of Art Osaka (Cesar Pelli)
  • Man Ray Exhibition at Osaka
  • Kiyomizu Dera
  • Yakisoba dinner

Shinkansen to Osaka

Mt Fuji from shinkansen

Man Ray exhibition at NMAO

National Museum of Art Osaka by Cesar Pelli

Pagoda at Kiyomizu-dera

Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto

Kiyomizu-dera market street

Yakisoba restaurant in Osaka

Day 7 – Ashiya & Kyoto. Highlights include:

  • Yamamura House (Frank Lloyd Wright)
  • Garden of Fine Art (Tadao Ando)
  • TIMES Building (Tadao Ando)
  • Pontocho

Yamamura House by Frank Lloyd Wright

Yamamura House by Frank Lloyd Wright

Yamamura House interior by Frank Lloyd Wright

Japan Architecture Tour group at Yamamura House

Garden of Fine Art by Tadao Ando, Kyoto

Garden of Fine Art by Tadao Ando

TIMES Building by Tadao Ando, Kyoto

Pontocho, Kyoto

Day 8 – Kyoto. Highlights include:

  • Nijo-jo Palace
  • Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion)
  • Ryoanji Zen Rock Garden
  • Ninnaji Temple
  • Chikurin Bamboo Forest
  • Steam Locomotive & Piano Museum

Nijo-jo (Shogun's Palace)

Nijo-jo garden

Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion)

Ryoanji zen rock garden

Ryoanji zen rock garden

Ninnaji temple gates

Ninnaji temple

Ninnaji temple gardens

Chikurin bamboo forest

Steam locomotive & grand piano museum

Day 9 – Inuyama & Kyoto. Highlights include:

  • Kyoto Station Building (Hiroshi Hara)
  • Meiji Mura Open Air Architectural Museum
  • Imperial Hotel (Frank Lloyd Wright)
  • Yakiniku Dinner

Kyoto Station Building by Hiroshi Hara

Imperial Hotel by Frank Lloyd Wright, Meiji Mura, Inuyama

Imperial Hotel by Frank Lloyd Wright, Meiji Mura, Inuyama

imperial Hotel interior by Frank Lloyd Wright, Meiji Mura

imperial Hotel interior by Frank Lloyd Wright, Meiji Mura

Uji Yamada Post Office (Mei Pref) Meiji Mura

Snail Cottage (Tokyo) Meiji Mura

Villa of Prince Kimmochi Saionji (Shizuoka Pref) Meiji Mura

Sapporo Telephone Exchange, Meiji Mura

Kamogawa Riverbank, Kyoto

Day 10 – Kyoto, Kanda & Nihonbashi. Highlights include:

  • Philosopher’s Path
  • Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion)
  • Kanda Backstreets
  • Kappabashi Fake Food Shops

Philosopher's Path, Kyoto

Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion)

Kougetsudai (Moon Viewing Dais)

Ginkakuji gardens

Fugu (blowfish) restaurant in Kanda, Tokyo

Kanda station area

Fake beer, Kappabashi area, Tokyo

Day 11 – Nezu & Ochanomizu. Highlights include:

  • Fututake Hall (Tadao Ando)
  • Nezu Shrine
  • Japanese Wedding
  • Dandy Café
  • Sushi Lunch

Fukutake Hall by Tadao Ando

Fukutake Hall by Tadao Ando

Nezu Shrine, Tokyo

Japanese wedding, Nezu Shrine

Red Torii gates at Nezu Shrine

Dandy Cafe, Nezu

Tokyo International Forum by Rafael Vignoly

Last beers, Ginza Lion Beer Hall


One comment on “Japan Architecture Tours – October 2010 Tour Highlights

  1. Rictor of Kew
    November 25, 2010

    Robbie san,
    well done, great to see some recognised sites but Mt Fuji, Red Tori Gates, Hall by Ando, Garden of Fine Art, gallery of fine art by mario botta, ayoma college,Nihon Minkaen and chance encounter with Glenn Murcutt look like great additions to your tour. Glad to see photo’s of Micheal, tour no 1 host and the shabu -shabu dinner with Mr Kondo are featured events. You have reinforced your tour credentials…..

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