It rained in the morning – no fancy architecture, just your usual Tokyo apartments bathed in sunlight after the rain. Beauty is effortless.

balcony 1

The rain eased and I left to visit Akagi Jinga & Park Court Kagurazaka. No DSLR in hand but the iphone did the trick. Everything looks better on instagram anyway. I snapped a picture and sent it to you then and there, it’s by Kengo Kuma you replied. Another of Kuma’s modern interpretation of traditional Japanese architecture. It made sense though, Kuma’s striated aesthetic alongside elegant wooden detailing was evident in the complex.

kuma 4

Akagi Jinga & Park Court Kagurazaka, in such a quiet and secluded residential neighbourhood. Gates marked the entrance which leads to wide concrete steps before arriving at the shrine. It’s an interesting look, reconstructing the old with a modern twist such as the addition of glass railings.

kuma 1kuma 6kuma 2

Third encounter, Shibuya Station. Never ending flow of people like fish in the sea. We were to go to Daikanyama, “you may like the place if you like archi. most stylish TSUTAYA in Tokyo.” Stylish it was. It was a brief walk from the station down alleys of boutique stalls, enough to make it removed from the major roads. The white concrete T’s make up a brilliant facade, clever use of branding without making the actual building iconic. Did you know the architects are British? Klein Dytham Architects, Mark Dytham lectured in Auckland once. This is one of my favourite projects by them.

And so it was here I found a most impressive collection of architecture books, including a good range of English ones too. GA document, El Croquis, countless monographs, my eyes beamed. And the best part is the reading table where you are invited to look through the books at your own pace. Starbucks is next door and there is also wifi as well as power points. If I lived here I could see myself spending many nights just chilling in this very spot. It opens till 2am after all.

Daikanyama, such a contrast to the bright lights and crowds of Shibuya. I will need to come back to visit Hillside Terraces by Maki. Next encounter perhaps?



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