5 Spots to Experience the Architecture of Tokyo’s Literary Period
Tokyo is Japan's biggest and most modern city, but even here remain buildings where you can feel history. In this article we will introduce sightseeing spots that have historical buildings that will make you feel like you've slipped backwards through time.
1. Tokyo Station's Marunouchi Station Building
JR Tokyo Station's Marunouchi Station Building is a historical building that was constructed in 1914. It was designed by the architect known for designing the Bank of Japan, Tatsuno Kingo, and he based the design on England's Queen Anne style of architecture. The distinct style of using red brick and white marble was called the Tatsuno Style, and it became an architectural style that combined British architecture will still reflecting the atmosphere of Japan in that era. The 3rd floor's domed roof was crushed during the fire bombings in World War II, but it has been reconstructed to look exactly as it did in 1914. This should definitely be a stop on your trip so you can experience the retro atmosphere of this beautiful building.
2. Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Garden
The Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Garden, a tangible cultural property near Ueno's imperial park, is a building designed by the British architect Josiah Conder as a principal residence for the founders of Mitsubishi Group, the Iwasaki family, in 1896. Along with the Western-style house that showed the Western style of living, there was also a Japanese-style house that reflected the traditional style of Japanese residential architecture. There was also a billiards hall built to look like a Swiss alpine hut, so it was a building that blended Japanese and Western styles to create a unique environment. There are a variety of plants growing in the garden, and it is especially pretty when the cherry blossoms are in bloom and when the leaves are changing their colors, so if you get the chance, you should definitely visit Japan then.
3. Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, in Minato Ward's Shirokanedai, is also called Kyu-Asakanomiya-tei, and was originally used as a residence for the royal family. It was built in 1933 using France's art deco architectural style. The Japanese architect, Youkichi Gondou was in charge of the architecture while the French interior designer Henri Rapin took over the art deco-style interior. It's a precious building that allows you to not only admire the harmony of Eastern and Western styles but also manages to showcase the charms of the era's art deco style in today's world.
4. The Crafts Gallery at The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
The former site of Edo Castle is in the very heart of Tokyo but it is also the biggest area of nature in the city. Currently it's an area containing many important historic landmarks including the current palace. The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, is also in the area and the Crafts Gallery was built in 1910 in a Gothic style and stands out due to the red bricks that it is covered in. In that time period many Japanese architects used architectural styles from the West, but since many of them have since been destroyed, the Crafts Gallery is well-known as an important building that allows us to experience the scene of that period.
Inside the Crafts Gallery, pieces made of porcelain, glass, and Japan's representative lacquerware are exhibited. Please come and enjoy not just the building itself but also the painstakingly-made crafts.
5. Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum
The Edo-Tokyo Open-Air Architectural Museum is an outdoor theme park in Koganei, Tokyo. Many culturally important buildings were relocated or reconstructed here for the public's viewing pleasure. The building styles cover a lot of ground, so you are able to see a range of buildings from regular city residences to mansions belonging to daimyo, as well as police stations and shops. The 30 buildings range from the Edo Period (1603-1868) to the beginning of the Showa period (1926-1988). Even people who don't have much interest in architecture will enjoy these building styles that you can't easily see in modern Japan. The entrance fee is 400 JPY per adult.
Of course, these spots are perfect for people who are interested in architecture, but it's also great for people who want to see places that were made with retro Japanese aesthetics. These are some sightseeing spots that anyone can enjoy.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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