Some Architectural Sites in Tokyo

in Architecture+Design2 months ago (edited)

Visiting Tokyo in Spring 2019 was a good traveling experience I’ve got. Upon landing at Haneda Airport, a friend of mine and I took an airport bus to our hotel, Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku. After checking in and claimed our room, we went out and walked to look around the city. Before leaving the room, I took a picture showing Tokyo City from above. It looks amazing city with a great architectural view.


Then, we went down and took a walk. It’s really a clean and beautiful city. Soon after getting out of hotel lobby, we found a great sidewalk. This sidewalk is well constructed, paved very well and precise. And there is yellow mark for blind. It’s located in the middle of sidewalk. The form of blind walk is a bit elevated from the sidewalk’s surface, it’s constructed with a small yellow tiles that mark a safe walk for blind. I really appreciate the design of the city. And it has surrounding view with some cherry blossoms trees.


Actually, bikers may also take this sidewalk to bike around. It’s really important benefit of a sidewalk for a transportation, where it may avoid accident since pedestrians and bikers won’t do need to use main road.


We keep walking on the sidewalk. Our destination is Meiji Jingu Shrine. It’s only about 3 Km from Keio Plaza Hotel and about 30 minutes walk. During our walk, I found a brown building constructed by red bricks. The building look so great and different with other surrounding building. It seems the brown building is an apartment.


A few blocks later, I found another eye catching building. It’s also a flat. According to wiki a flat or an apartment is a self-contained housing unit that occupies only part of a building, generally on a single story. Apartment has been found in ancient Rome. It was an insulae (singular insula), a apartment building where lower and middle class of Romans made their life and dwelled in it.


We kept walking while sightseeing. Finally, we arrived at a pedestrian crossing. The crossing is really fine. And the traffic is absolutely well arranged.


After crossing the lane, we just needed to keep walking to reach Meiji Shrine. We were really amazed with the city views and buildings.


A few minutes later we arrived at another sidewalk. It’s made by asphalt. The surrounding is very clean, neat, and quite. It was really peaceful place. And it was a really nice walk we had.


After about 30 minutes walk from Keio Plaza Hotel, finally we arrived at the gate of Meiji Shrine.

Meiji Shrine

The gate is called torii, which is a traditional Japanese design gate, it’s a symbol mark of transition from the mundane to the sacred. It was a big moment for me to stand before torii, that finally we arrived at an iconic place of Tokyo.


The Meiji Shrine was built for being dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shôken. When I was there, I could feel that the shrine was so great, where the people of Japan pay huge attention for their leader, their emperor.

The shrine was started to build since 1915 under the leadership of Itō Chūta. The building was finished in 1926. So, it needed 11 years with hard work from many labor, and supported by government and some donation from many parties. It was a great moment for us to visit this special shrine. I could imagine how difficult to build this shrine. It was told that the main materials like timbers were from Kiso in Nagano and Alishan in Taiwan.


This shrine is typically traditional style building with really high cost, it’s estimated ¥5,219,00 in 1920 (approximately US$26 million today). So, I was there to enjoy the greatest historical building. Many travelers visited the shrine. We were taking some pictures and videos. Unfortunately, we could only enjoy the exterior and surrounding spot, we could’nt go inside to take a look at its interior.

We were excited to have a pretty nice moment at the shrine. However, we had to leave it and walk to Harajuku.

Harajuku Kaiwai Walk

Harajuku is a district in Shibuya. This area is so famous not only in Japan, but also in the world. As travelers, we have already searched about Harajuku. And we have already planned to visit Harajuku Walk spot, to enjoy the moment and architectural experience in “The Champs-Elysees” of Japan.


I believe this area was designed like Champs-Elysees street in Paris. I have visited Paris in 2017, and I found the area of Shinjuku Walk is really much resemble Champs-Elysees area in Paris. We could found many fashion stores, cafes and restaurants here.


And you know, I was absolutely surprised when I found a sign that show the Harajuku Walk is a true copy of Champs-Elysees in Paris.


So, I was sitting close to the sign, and asked my friend to take a picture for me.


After Harajuku Kaiwai Walk, we continued exploring other area in Shinjuku. We were leaving Harajuku Street and headed for Shibuya Crossing.

Wikipedia ~ Sidewalk
Wikipedia ~Meiji Shrine
Wikipedia ~ Apartment


Hello @razack-pulo, that must have been a refreshing walk. The presence of vendo machines in every street corner was fascinating to me during a trip to Tokyo in 2019 and apparently, the Vendo machines are there in case of any calamity such as earthquakes and for easy accessibility for pedestrians who suddenly feel thirsty or hungry.

I noticed a pyramid glass structure mini version of the one from the Louvre in the pedestrian lane photo. Where was that taken? Was it close to the Champs Elysee of Japan too?

Great post and welcome to Architecture + Design Community!

Thank you @discoveringarni. I am not an Architect, but a doctor who love traveling :) I am amazed with wonderful buildings or structures I found during I am traveling.

Yeah, I just noticed the Pyramid structure. I am doing a search, and finally I found that the glass pyramid (like Louvre museum) is located in front of Aiao Nessei Building. It’s just about six minutes walk from Keio Plaza Hotel (where we stayed during in Tokyo). It’s still in Shinjuku district.


Hello Doc 😊 thank you so much for locating this and sharing it with us. Interesting to have spotted this structure there.

Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing. I didn't know these buildings existed in Tokyo.

Thank you :) Yeah, Meiji Shrine is in Tokyo

That indeed is a beautiful city to travel. Loved the fact that from modern to traditional, every style got its place in the city. Great Post, Have a lovely week :)

Hi @sahiba-rana, thank you. Though I am not an architect, I really love to see any nice and special buildings or structures I found during travelling. I think this community is really great to share our story about that.. :)

I haven’t spent much time in Tokyo but when I first got there, I stayed at Keio Plaza Hotel. I was fascinated by some of the surrounding architecture and surprised by the summer heat.

Wow. That’s nice. Keio Plaza Hotel provide great hospitality. And it’s located perfectly in the heart of city, Shinjuku.. and it’s near the station

Yes. Really great service and hospitality. It was a warm welcome to Japan. There was more I wanted to see in the area but I was fighting with jet lag. Haha!

Greetings @razack-pulo! It's a great delight to know that we have a doctor in the house who also loves our content! As an avid traveler yourself, you'll have lots of opportunities to explore wonderful buildings and other amazing elements of our built environment.

Thank you for sharing your architectural experiences in Tokyo with us and we warmly welcome you to the Architecture+Design Community! I'm simply fascinated with the Torii or Japanese Gate as this is certainly a symbolic presentation of their unique culture! Have fun here - we're excited to see more of your publications soon!

@storiesoferne.. Thank you so much for warm welcome to the Architecture+Design :)
Yeah, that’s why I think the community is one of my home to publish traveling experiences regarding wonderful building I find during i am traveling. And hopefully, Covid-19 pandemic may disappear soon, then we may traveling again freely and safely.

Greetings @razack-pulo, what an interesting architectour in Tokyo!

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Thank you so much @aplusd :)