Modern architecture in Tokyo recommended by an international student studying Japanese architecture

Our guide today is Hana Greer from New Zealand. Hana says, “The details and the beauty of balance of Japanese architecture is the best in the world. I feel their high-level technique and designing skills in the buildings that are simple and elegant yet playful. ” We asked her to list the buildings in Tokyo that especially impressed her.

Shibaura House

The building that Hana felt as “Simple yet unique” is Shibaura House (built in 2011) designed by Kazuyo Sejima. The office building equipped with a free space has glass walls for the entire building and its unique floor plan is visible from outside as well.


TOD’S Omotesando (built in 2004), which expresses the branches of zelkova tree to match the row of zelkova trees standing along the streets of Omotesando, is the work of Toyo Ito. Hana says, “The harmony with the trees outside and the balance of concrete and glass are beautiful.”

TOD’S Omotesando

Address: 5-1-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo


Dior Omotesando (built in 2003) stands on the same street as TOD’S. Hana says, “The acrylic drapes on the inside of the windows are beautiful. I recommend seeing it at night when it is lit up.” It was designed by SANAA, an architectural firm of previously mentioned Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa.

Dior Omotesando

Address: 5-9-11 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Nezu Museum
(C)FUJITSUKA Mitsumasa
the Approach of Nezu Museum
(C)FUJITSUKA Mitsumasa

Nezu Museum (built in 2009) in Omotesando that exhibits antique works of art from Japan and the Orient is the work of Kengo Kuma. Hana says, “This building blends tradition and modern times. The large hipped roof, bamboo ceiling inside and garden are fascinating.”

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Nakagin Capsule Tower (built in 1972) in Ginza has many fans attracted to its eccentric design with cubes piled up on top of each other. This is the work of Kisho Kurokawa. Hana says, “I can see the longing for the future at that time in the 70’s.”

Nakagin Capsule Tower

Address: 8-16-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

*Visitors are allowed to see outside only

All of these are Japanese architecture with a beautiful and unique design which pays attention to small details. You should go see their beauty with your own eyes.