FRIDAY 16 JUNE
Highlights – Olympic Gymnasium, Nezu Museum, National Arts Centre and Omotesando Hills,
This morning we tour the Yoyogi National Gymnasium built for the 1964 Summer Olympic Games, a venue that has become an architectural icon for its distinctive design. Designed by one of Japan’s most famous modernist architects, Kenzo Tange, the gymnasium is a hybridisation of western modernist aesthetics and traditional Japanese architecture.
After the visit to the Gymnasium, proceed to the Nezu Museum which was founded to conserve and exhibit the collection of pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art that Nezu Kaichiro (1860-1940) had passionately built. The building was designed and supervised by Kengo Kuma and completed in 2009. Kuma tried to create a sense of harmony between the building, its collection of artistic masterpieces and the garden, a serene and characteristically Japanese design.
Next stop is the Kisho Kurokawa designed National Arts Centre for a stroll through the grounds and the impressive lobby area.
At this point you will have the option to visit the exhibits at own expense or continue the tour with a stroll to Tokyo’s totally off-beat Takeshita Street. This is a crucible of youth fashion where you might run into goth, punk and Lolita-inspired fashionistas, all rubbing shoulders in this small corner of Tokyo and bringing their contribution to the landscape. From here it is a short stroll to Harajuku, Tokyo’s ‘Champs Elysees’; Omotesando Hills, designed by Japan’s architect-of-the-moment Tadao Ando. The coach will return to the hotel, or you may wish to partake in some retail therapy and return to the hotel at leisure.