This walking tour is a good review of Japanese modern architecture. The guide is knowledgeable and laid-back. Recommended for the casual fan of architecture, but not for those with previous knowledge because it may seem superficial. There were some slight logistical problems (meeting place, glare from iPad, time over-run), but these did not take away from the overall experience and insight provided, especially into the development of the smaller-scale Tokyo neighborhoods behind those large boulevards. Note to guide: In the future, try to avoid the phrase "I try not to know everything" because it sounds pretentious and dismissive.
Our tour guide, Mike, was very knowledgeable,attentive, and enthusiastic about sharing his passion for Tokyo's architecture and architecture in general with us! And since I was the only one on the tour who is not an architect, Mike patiently answered my questions, and clearly explained architecture concepts that I was not familiar with. After Mike's tour, I have a much greater appreciation and expanded perspective of Tokyo's beautiful buildings and overall city layout,as well as Japanese philosophy and culture. I will definitely sign up for another tour with Mike, the next time I go back to Tokyo!
Very enjoyable tour with knowledgeable guide who was thoughtful and tailored it to us. We got to see the great buildings and Mike told us all about the whys and wherefores of each building too. We were told anecdotes and stories that don't appear in guidebooks. We loved to see the narrow lanes with smaller shops and houses, as well things like Prada you see on the boulevards. We ended up knowing where the Apple store was too and bought a tax-free tablet after the tour. There was a pineapple bread cafe and we loved the innovative restrooms there.
We recommend it for anyone with any interest in the buildings.
This was a great tour, which Mike runs with great enthusiasm and knowledge - some really good insights into modern Japanese architecture. 1 minor complaint - a little less use of the IPad in hard-to-view locations would be an improvement, but I would still highly recommend it to anyone interested in architecture. .
I'm into modern architecture and thought this was a well planned out, informative and efficient and fun tour. Really well planned out, and I got to see more than I would have on my own and buildings I had already passed with different point of view. Also seems to attract interesting people. I'm SO glad I did this!
The tour was just great!
Mike made a really interesting selection of spots and the walk through them was beautiful. I very much appreciated the solid context and architects' background that he provided for each building, as well as mechanical or material details.
It was a fantastic way to get introduced to Tokyo's contemporary architecture and I definitely recommend it.
The tour finished elegantly in a fancy cafe with a pineapple cake where all my remaining questions on traditional and contemporary japan were answered!