Hayashi Fumiko Memorial Hall

Hayashi Fumiko was a famous author who lived in Tokyo in the mid-20th century. Her and her husband Ryokubin, a painter, built this beautiful house in the Ochiai area in northwest Shinjuku surrounded by a small but lovely traditional Japanese garden. Their house was actually two buildings due to building restrictions around the war time,…

Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum

The value of land in Tokyo has created some difficult decisions when it comes to preserving historic buildings. One way Tokyo has dealt with this issue is the construction of the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in Koganei Park. Historic buildings on valuable plots of land were relocated and rebuilt in this museum, which contains…

Keio Rail-Land

Keio is not the most well-known of the Tokyo train lines, but those who live in the outskirts of Western Tokyo are thankful for the Keio line providing service into the busy Shinjuku hub. 45 minutes outside of Shinjuku, however, you can find the Keio Rail-Land, a small but impressive museum of the Keio rail…

Miraikan

Miraikan, also known the┬áNational Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (probably why people call it “Miraikan”), is located on the man-made island of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay. Suspended above the entry hall is the Geo-Cosmos, a one-of-a-kind globe covered with OLED panels that displays real time weather patterns and other important geographic data. Miraikan is…

Fuji TV Building

Looking across Tokyo Bay at the man-made island of Odaiba, the Fuji Television building stands out even among a crowd of architectural marvels. Designed by Kenzo Tange and completed in 1997, it is the headquarters of one of Japan’s major networks. The sphere on the upper floors has a viewing deck that is open to…

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…

Ghibli Museum

Those who love “My Neighbor Totoro”, “Spirited Away” or countless other animated masterpieces will have the Ghibli Museum on their short list of places to visit in Tokyo. Located in a quiet suburb of Western Tokyo called Mitaka, the museum sits on the edge of Inokashira Park, which is beautiful in its own right. You…