Through a personal selection of your guide this tour forms an eight-hour introduction to Japanese architecture. Buildings in Tokyo include an enormous variety of designs, materials, and techniques. Some of the styles are more than a thousand years old, while at the same time the most innovative buildings by contemporary architects can be found only a few blocks away. Both old and modern architecture are widely discussed in this tour. Also, no foreknowledge of architecture is required to request this tour.

In the morning the guide first introduces some of the fundaments of traditional Japanese architecture. Here he or she explains the choice of specific materials, the relation between design and functions of buildings as well as traditional practices such as the enigmatic rebuilding of shrines. After this, you will visit a so-called landscape garden and some of its characteristics. In particular, the fluidity between in and outdoor of Japanese garden architecture influenced many Western architects in the twentieth century.

In the afternoon you will learn about modern Japanese architecture. You and your guide visit pre and post-war buildings where architects attempted to create a national style or went against old architectural traditions. In post-war Japan, the architecture of some of Japan’s biggest names today flourished. Among them, we find Kenzo Tange, Ando Tadao, and Kengo Kuma. Of all these architects you and your guide will view one or more buildings.

Finally, in the last part of the tour, your guide will take you to West Tokyo. Here many works by some of the most interesting contemporary architects can be seen. Some of them consciously revive old construction techniques that we had seen in the first part of the tour. Others cross traditional boundaries and enjoy great international acclaim due to their innovative designs. At the end of the tour, the guide will provide information on more interesting buildings you can visit yourself during your time in Tokyo.

Please email us at [email protected] if you’d like to book this tour!


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