Aoyama Architecture Tour

TABlog tags along with a group of building-seekers.

In Photo Reports by William Andrews 2009-11-05

It was a rather wet and gloomy day but that was not going to deter Robert Day and his small group of architecture enthusiasts. Robert is an Australian architect who lived in Tokyo fifteen years ago but has regularly returned to work. He also runs short and intimate architecture tours in Tokyo, and even goes down to Kyoto to explore the surviving Frank Lloyd Wright buildings.

From Shibuya Station we headed through the backstreets to this Transformer-like building, the Aoyama Technical College, designed by Sei Watanabe.And then this to this stark white building, tall, with funky windows, tucked behind Aoyama Round Theatre

Back on the main road and towards Omotesando junction we passed this impressive new department store.

Opposite, Spiral, designed by Fumihiko Maki.

Watarium by Mario Botta.

Opposite there is the Tower House (塔の家) (1966) by Takamitsu Azuma, built on 25 metres square.It is the office of an architect, appropriately enough.

There is a basement floor, but you'd need it on this postage stamp lot.

Go down a side street and you find this concrete

There are church tours every Wednesday at 12:00.Round the corner was this steel girder building, which turned out to be...

A spectacles shop!

On our way to our next destination we passed some designer stores, including the Prada building by Herzog and de MeuronThe Cartier store.

Although it sits at an unremarkable junction...

The newly-reopened Nezu Museum is striking.

For more on the tours Robert Day organizes and for information on some of the projects he has undertaken in Japan, visit his website.

William Andrews

William Andrews. William Andrews came to Japan in 2004. He first lived in Osaka, where he was a translator for Kansai Art Beat. Arriving in Tokyo in 2008, he now works as an writer, editor and translator. He writes a blog about Japanese radicalism and counterculture ( and one about Tokyo contemporary theatre ( He is the author of Dissenting Japan: A History of Japanese Radicalism and Counterculture, from 1945 to Fukushima. » See other writings


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