- 3-hour art and architecture walking tour in Tokyo
- Hear fascinating commentary on art, design and architecture from your guide, a Tokyo scholar
- Visit Meiji Shrine for a fine example of traditional Japanese architectural design
- Witness the subcultures of Harajuku
- View modern skyscrapers in Omotesando, including the buildings of Cartier, Prada and Dior
- See Mori Tower in the multi-use urban development of Roppongi Hills
- Enjoy personal attention on this small-group tour, limited to 6 people.
Recent Photos of This Tour
What You Can Expect
Here, you can start to appreciate how the visual landscape of Tokyo has changed in the last 200 years. Dedicated to the Emperor Meiji in the 19th century, the modest aesthetics of this Shinto shrine provide a foundation for discussing the contemporary design techniques that followed.
Spot examples of these newer techniques as you venture to Harajuku and Omotesando, two closely situated areas with quite different representations of Tokyo’s modern design. As you walk through the district of Harajuku, delve into some of the colorful subcultures that Tokyo is known for. Your guide will point out how modern Japanese values and roles are reflected in consumerism and clothing to form social identities.
As you move through the neighborhood of Omotesando, notice how luxury brands—Prada and Dior, among others—use architecture as an extension of their aesthetic principles. As a hub for design, fashion and architecture, the famous avenue is dotted with design studios and boutiques, each showcasing their own idea of Japanese beauty. View buildings by great modern architects, such as the Cartier building, the Nezu Museum, the TOD’s building, Tokyo Plaza and Gyre—a mixed-use building for retail and dining.
Your discussion in the Roppongi District may include subjects such as superflat, a postmodern art movement exemplified by Takashi Murakami, and modern forms of Japonisme. You might also wend your way toward the 21_21 Design Site, Tokyo’s first design museum and a stunning piece of architecture by Tadao Ando.
Complete your walking tour in Roppongi Hills, an urban development that integrates commercial, cultural and residential Tokyo. Real-estate tycoon Minoru Mori—who also created Omotesando Hills and the neighboring Tokyo Midtown Center—has made Roppongi a central hub for contemporary art in Tokyo, punctuated by the Mori Museum at the top of Mori Tower.
Our tour guide, Jay, was knowledgeable and passionate. He was forthcoming with information and the itinerary was very interesting. We enjoyed it immensely.
This tour gave us a chance to talk to someone one on one and get all our questions answered. Our guide was very knowledgeable and just a really nice guy! It was like spending half a day with your best friend. The tour would have been better if the weather had been better (we had snow and were just not dressed appropriately) but other than that it was quite enjoyable. He pointed out things we would have simply missed on our own, or would not have understood the significance. Nice job!