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mydeco on tour – Greetings from Tokyo 31 December, 2009

Posted by katiehodgkiss in Uncategorized.
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For the mydeco team, the festive season isn’t just about broadening our waistlines, but our cultural horizons as well. I’m currently in Tokyo, Japan getting ready to celebrate the New Year as it should be – with a full three-day holiday to recover from your hangover. Before the hedonism gets underway however, I thought I’d take a few minutes to write a quick blog-postcard, and share a few of Tokyo’s architectural treasures with you.

 

Image credit: mydeco

I am lucky enough to be staying in Roppongi – once known as the ‘district for sleaze’ (you can imagine how disappointed I was on finding it no longer lives up to this reputation), this area is now home to some of the most impressive cultural buildings in the capital, such as the National Art Centre ( pictured above).

Image credit: Japanese Lifestyle

A few minutes down the road from the art centre is Roppongi Hills – a high-rise, inner urban community that boasts a whole city’s worth of services in one skyscraper. Designed to eliminate commuting time and thereby ‘improve quality of life’, the mega-complex incorporates apartments, offices, shops, a museum, hotel and outdoor amphitheatre (a necessity to any community). 

Image credit: Makoto Architect

The Roppongi Hills tower is undoubtedly impressive, but it was hardly exemplary of the kitsch Japanese architecture I had expected to find in Tokyo. Luckily, I didn’t have to go too far to find the antithesis to modern elegance –  the Aoyama Technical College (above) is located just West of Roppongi, and unmistakably Japanese in design. Nicknamed ‘Gundam’ after a popular Japanese cartoon about robots, the postmodern structure is a wonderful anomaly amongst the unassuming residential buildings which surround it.

That’s all from your Tokyo correspondent for now, but I’ll try to post another blog before I leave, so make sure you keep checking for updates. A very happy new year to you all!

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