I landed in Tokyo at around 5am on Tuesday morning and caught the monorail and subway into town. I stayed at the Kangaroo Hotel which is close to the the Minami-senju stop. If you’re a fan of in situ concrete you’d like this place. Small but perfect for a couple of nights.

Above :: The Kangaroo Hotel

Down the road was the almost complete Tokyo Sky Tree, Ando’s latest project :: below

Tokyo seemed more like a huge village rather than a city – I was expecting thousands of tower blocks (which there are) but many people appear to live in stand alone houses.

After dropping my bags off I made my way into the city and spent the afternoon in Ueno Park sampling the various museums. First stop was The National Museum of Western Art :: below.  This is basically Le Corbusier in Japan and it shows – the central atrium is a must see.

Next was the Gallery of Hoyuji Treasures, designed by Yoshio Taniguchi (who also did MoMA). Perhaps my favourite of the 3 I saw today :: below

Lunch – Tempura yum!, then on to see how Tadao Ando mixed modern with old at The International Library of Children’s Literature. Must be honest, wasn’t too impressed.


Directions on how to visit

View tokyo in a larger map

Above is the map I used to navigate around and plan my days in Tokyo.  The map includes several locations I just didn’t have time to visit.

One of the great joys of a large city such as Tokyo is the beauty of public transport.  To visit The National Museum of Western Art, Gallery of Hoyuji Treasures and The International Library of Children’s Literature simply take the subway to JR Ueno station and head to the Ueno Park – all three buildings are within the park. However be sure to check their website for opening times as they’re usually closed on Mondays.