Expert Led Tour of Tokyo: Japanese Aesthetics & Architecture
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Expert Led Tour of Tokyo: Japanese Aesthetics & Architecture
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Expert Led Tour of Tokyo: Japanese Aesthetics & Architecture

3 h
Instant confirmation
About this activity
Meet your guide—a local scholar of art history and architecture—at a central Tokyo location. Your expertly trained guide uses a multidisciplinary approach to help you understand Tokyo’s contemporary visual culture, starting with traditional concepts of Japanese architecture at the Meiji Shrine.

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, Tokyu 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.
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  • Small Group Guided Tour
  • Guaranteed Departure
Not included
  • Gratuities
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Children 12 and younger are not permitted on group tours
  • Tour operates rain or shine
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Guaranteed departure
  • Hotel pick-up not available
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers
Jeoffrey T
5 | 2018-03-31

Great tour! Our guide is truly a scholar and showed us many amazing places. This tour was a real education not just in Japanese Architecture, but in culture and mentality too. Book this now!

Joseph T
5 | 2016-07-12

This tour was excellent in every way. The company that provided the scholar was excellent to work with, and the scholar was knowledgeable, personable and made it informative and interesting. I would recommend this tour. Miranda Nadel

Yasmin E
5 | 2016-06-24

Our tour guide was amazing! Definitely wear comfy shoes because he took as long, pergolas longer, than 3 hours. A different lens with which to see Tokyo. A must do!

Lloyd C
4 | 2016-05-31

Great tour. Our guide was intelligent, articulate and gave us a great insight into Japan's recent history, through the subject of architecture. We walked nearly 20km with him, and found it stimulating, informative and really, really helpful. We would wholeheartedly recommend this. Good value, very stimulating.

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