My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: October 29, 2020
This distinctive hanging-roof structure, which comes into view just a few steps from Harajuku Station, was designed by Kenzo Tange for the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games. Today, the facility still stages many sports events, as well as cultural events like concerts. The stadium is set to serve as an Olympic venue again in 2021.
Ao is a 16-story commercial structure in Omotesando, an attractive and unrivalled destination for Tokyo's fashionistas. Completed in 2009, the building was designed by Nihon Sekkei, a large architectural firm headquartered in Tokyo. The distinctive curves of the building make it a local landmark, and offer fantastic views from the upper floors. The Ao complex is home to both local and globally renowned names in fashion and beauty, as well as a high-end supermarket and restaurants ranging from casual to luxury.
Designed to blend in with the landscape, the building is roughly the same height as the zelkova trees lining the street. An atrium stretching three floors above street level and three floors below cuts through the commercial space, with tenants side by side along a gently rising spiral ramp that echoes the slope of Omotesando itself. The raw concrete walls and geometrical forms offer a glimpse of architect Tadao Ando's signature style.
SunnyHills is a shop that sells Taiwanese-style pineapple cake, and its utterly eye-catching location in Minami Aoyama was designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates. Kuma is the world-renowned architect who designed the New National Stadium for the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo. The elaborate wooden framework of the building was created using ancient Japanese joinery techniques. The pieces of wood are slotted together without the use of any nails or other similar items.
This museum, opened in 1941 to preserve and display the collection of its founder, Kaichiro Nezu, reopened in 2009 with a new main building design by Kengo Kuma & Associates. The open, relaxing interior space connects seamlessly with the lush 17,000-square-meter Japanese garden, which offers a view of the changing seasons.