Old vs. New

The dichotomy of Japan’s attempt to maintain centuries-old traditions while staying on the cutting edge of the modern world is most striking in its architecture. Tokyo has ancient shrines and historic gardens resting in the shadows of skyscrapers dozens of stories tall. In Ginza, a small shop built over 100 years earlier is literally sandwiched between two modern multi-story buildings. Unfortunately the Tokyo land value is proving too much for historic buildings with many being demolished. Some notable examples of historic architecture have been relocated in full to the Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum, worth a day trip to the Western Tokyo suburbs for historical architecture buffs.

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