Travel By Design: Top 5 Places In Tokyo For Design Lovers
Japan is home to some mighty fine design minds. Known for its meticulous attention to detail and minimalist attitude, it is without a doubt that the country is home to some of the world's most breathtaking architecture and interiors. Here are five spots in Tokyo that every design lover should know:
Tokyo-based Klein Dytham Architecture was responsible for the woven T-shaped facade that adorns the buildings of Daikanyama T-Site. Comprising a series of low-lying structures in the chic, leafy district of Daikanyama, T-Site is a space in which visitors can browse and buy books, music, films, stationery and more. There’s also a library, a restaurant (Ivy Place, which is great for brunch) and a pet-care service.
Daikanyama T-Site, 〒150-0033, 17-5 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; real.tsite.jp/daikanyama
Tokyo Whisky Library
Just off Aoyama-dori, this chic whisky bar was designed around the idea of “whisky-music-serendipity.” Whisky takes the stage, with more than 1,000 bottles of the spirit lining the double-height walls that give the bar a private library feel.
Brick walls, vintage-style chandeliers and leather banquettes set the tone. It feels like an old boys’ club, and whether or not you’re a whisky lover, you’re bound to appreciate the classically comfortable atmosphere.
Tokyo Whisky Library, Minamiaoyama santakiarakyoukai 2F, 5-5-24, Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo; tokyo-whisky-library.com
À tes souhaits! Glace et chocolat
Oki Sato is one of Japan’s most famous design exports. He’s wowed the world over with his thoughtful creations, which are designed to make you smile—and that's exactly what this Kichijoji dessert store does. It may be small, but it’s a perfect example of the Nendo founder’s design ethos.
Softly curving brick walls in subdued shades of chocolate, cappuccino, almond and hazelnut resemble slices of ice-cream cake, as they slowly melt towards the back of the store. Then there’s the geometric tiled floor, a modern take on traditional Japanese ceramic patterns.
À tes souhaits! Glace et chocolat, 3-8-8 Kichijoji Higashicho, Kasa Kichijoji 2, Musashino 180-0002, Tokyo; nendo.jp
Acclaimed architect Kengo Kuma designed the Nezu Museum. With its massive, angular roof and clean lines, it sits quietly just off Omotesando, a hidden haven away from nearby streets and shops. The surrounding garden and leafy trees, along with the bamboo tree-lined pathway into the museum, are an integral part of the experience that Kuma created.
He also separated outside from inside with floor-to-ceiling sheets of glass, allowing people to feel connected to the greenery while admiring the Buddhist statues housed in the museum.
Nezu Museum, 6 Chome-5-1 Minamiaoyama, Minato, Tokyo; nezu-muse.or.jp
Designed by Rie Azuma of Azuma Architects & Associates, this hotel redefines the ryokan, bringing the concept of the traditional Japanese inn to this modern city. Located in Otemachi, one of Tokyo’s key financial districts, Hoshinoya Tokyo is a serene retreat hidden behind a latticed facade. Tatami mats line every floor in the guest areas while furnishings are pared-down and modern.
The outdoor bath, fed by the alkaline waters of the local hot spring, is a sight in itself. As are the public outdoor areas that boast landscaping by Hiroki Hasegawa. Here, exquisitely sculpted trees and artisanal wood and ceramic pieces make for a peaceful urban space.
Hoshinoya Tokyo, 1-9-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; hoshinoyatokyo.com