Fuji…TV Headquarters by htkay
April 10, 2009, 9:27 pm
Filed under: Architecture, Culture, Development, Photography, Tokyo, Travel

Odaiba, an artificial island situated in Tokyo Bay is home to a couple of Tokyo’s landmarks. The large red and white ferris wheel and the Fuji TV headquarters.


The building is predominantly office space but contains ten studios, spread over 25 stories and rising 125 meters above our heads.


We had seen the building in the UR Model and in magazines, but the other-worldly quality is made ever more apparent by the shear size of the thing.

The ball that seems to have lodged itself into the otherwise very rational grid like structure weighs 1200 tonnes and is 36 meters in diameter, but it appears so alien that you find yourself thinking it must be hovering, weightless, unsupported by the intersecting beams.


The studio was designed by Kenzo Tange Associates, with construction  starting in 1993 and lasting three years, The design is up to scratch in standards for quake tolerance.

Upon entering we are met with yet another Tokyo gift shop, and even though we had taken the rather elaborately loopy train from central Tokyo we didn’t pay the 500 yen for a tour and entrance to the ball. The Odaiba Island is worth the visit though; to see the development that is ongoing, the Rainbow Bridge and a rather odd slightly smaller scale model of the Statue of Liberty.










Ever so slightly saturated by nim
April 6, 2009, 3:44 pm
Filed under: Architecture, Development, Photography, Tokyo




Mori Tower (the boys toys tower) by nim
April 6, 2009, 2:43 pm
Filed under: Architecture, Development, Photography, Tokyo

The journey up to the top of the tower took no more than 10 seconds, thanks to the super hi-speed, ear popping elevator. We were expecting impressive views of the city- what we got was an impressive 360 degree city panoramic view with a sexy car exhibition to frame it all. It was an unusual combination, but it gave us a chance to contemplate one of life’s more demading questions: how did they get an entire supercar showroom up 54 stories? Never the less, the alliance of fast lifts and fast cars prompted some dymnamic behaviour on our behalf- from this height there really is a lot to see!



The Island of Urban Renaissance by nim
April 5, 2009, 12:20 pm
Filed under: Architecture, Development, Education, Group, Photography, Tokyo





These are some internal and external views of the Harumi Island, where the UR is based. The place contains a mish-mash of styles; concluding with this “Brindley Place” (Birmingham, UK) style garden. This is not a “Zen” garden by any means of the word- but the presence of a small river, a delicate water fountain, and a bending bridge are very suggestive of this popular Japanese style. Both the internal and external spaces are very polished- it is almost like the island is a 3D travel brochure; corporate in its majesty. Alas this is not the true Tokyo- we wanted to see something more Raw…*insert sushi joke here*


Urban Renaissance by htkay
April 5, 2009, 7:15 am
Filed under: Architecture, City Studies, Development, Education, Tokyo

The Urban Renaissance Agency (UR) is working throughout Tokyo confronting social problems and problems that may arise in the future;

“Japan is currently faced with various new challenges that must be confronted in order to revive attractive and energetic cities in which people shine with joy”

As part of their presentation the UR took us to their presentation room at Harumi Triton Square which had a huge scale model of central Tokyo.



The model has taken three years to construct, and is a working progress as the development of Tokyo is ongoing

The model has taken three years to construct, and is a working progress as the development of Tokyo is ongoing


The UR revolves around its five ‘core factors’;

  1. Revival of “idle land” into multipurpose communities
  2. Creation of new bases for the upcoming generations in which people, products and culture are entwined
  3. Aiming for the realisation of safe cities that can withstand earthquakes and fire disasters
  4. Realisation of comfortable living with work and living spaces within close proximity
  5. Renew cities and lifestyles by reconstructing old housing


There are reclaimed islands in Tokyo Bay on which planning permission is being sought and final surveys are being carried out

There are reclaimed islands in Tokyo Bay on which planning permission is being sought and final surveys are being carried out



The UR presentation made sense of the apparent organised madness we had seen up to this point and was a brilliant way to start our week of exploring Tokyo.

More information on the UR and their five ‘core factors’ can be found at their website;