7 Unique Buildings in Tokyo that are an Architect’s Dream

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  • Tokyo, the capital of Japan, has many impressive buildings that showcase the city as a hub of modern architecture and human advancement. You might have seen Tokyo Tower, Skytree, Roppongi Hills, and other architectural wonders in Tokyo that are of high touristic significance. However, if you are looking for some unique buildings that give you a whole different feel, here are the seven best buildings in Tokyo to check out.

    1. Tokyu Plaza

    Omotesando is a trendy district in Tokyo with super cool buildings hosting flagship stores, attracting hundreds of visitors every day. Tokyu Plaza in Omotesando and Ginza are not just buildings with a bunch of clothing stores, but also modern architectural specimens.

    Right from the interiors to the exteriors, Tokyu Plaza attracts you after just a small glimpse. The Harajuku Plaza has an entrance with elevators that take you through mind-boggling mirror art on the walls, which you won’t see anywhere else. The Ginza building is made entirely of glass.

    The interior of the building rings every aesthetic nerve in our bodies with elegant designs reflecting modern urban movement. Ginza is a must-visit shopping district in Tokyo where you can take an architecture walk, admiring the creativity of Japanese architectural achievements.

    Tokyu Plaza website
    Access (Omotesando)
    Access (Ginza)

    2. Nakagin Capsule Tower

    You may have heard of capsule hotels in Japan. They tend to be cheaper than regular hotels and look like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. This building, named Kisho Kurokawa, is an entire tower that looks like a bunch of washing machines arranged one above another like LEGO bricks. This is a place for single busy-bees who would like to rent a cheaper apartment with all amenities.

    Nakagin Capsule Tower website *Japanese only

    3. Reiyukai Shakaden Temple

    There is a building in the middle of Tokyo that resembles something like an alien spaceship with its unique pyramid style design and dark granite exteriors. It is the home of the Japanese Reiyukai Movement, a Buddhist sect determined to spread peace through the spiritual teachings called the “Lotus Sutra” of Buddha. Built in 1925, this building has a huge meditation hall with mind-blowing interiors like no other, where you can also get free Japanese lessons!

    Reiyukai Shakaden Temple website

    4. St. Mary’s Cathedral

    St. Mary’s Cathedral is arguably the most beautiful building in Japan that is made entirely of stainless steel. Built by Kenzo Tange, this cathedral is like no other church with its striking exteriors and interiors containing sloped walls and dramatic halls.


    5. Asahi Beer Buildings

    Asahi Beer is a popular Japanese brand that beer lovers must try at least once in Japan. Most people recognize the brand name Asahi as it can be seen in most stores and bars across the country. The building shaped like a glass of beer is the headquarters of the company and is located along the beautiful banks of the Sumida River near Tokyo Skytree. Right next to it is the Super Dry Hall, a black building with a golden flame on top which catches your attention right away.

    Asahi Beer Building website

    6. The Cocoon Tower

    Mode Gokuen Cocoon Tower is located in Shinjuku, one of the most happening parts of Tokyo where you can see many institutions, shopping centers, and corporate offices. If you have visited Shinjuku, you may have already spotted this unique 50-storey cocooned shape building that is actually the tallest educational center in Asia.

    The Cocoon Tower website

    7. 2121 Design Sight

    The list would be probably incomplete if there was no mentioning of Tokyo’s first ever design museum located in Minato-ku of Tokyo midtown area. Designed by one of the greatest architects of all time, Tadao Ando, 2121 Design Sight houses design collections of some well-known local and international designers. Some interesting facts about this building include that it looks like a grasshopper and more than half of the entire building is underground with well-lit halls.

    2121 Design Sight website

    These are the seven wonderful rare developments you should see if you want to explore the modernity of Tokyo’s buildings. Next time you visit Japan’s capital, keep an eye out for these impressive displays of modern architecture.

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