Thursday, July 13, 2006  11:55 AM


(Tokyo Architecture Walk)
YABE, Tomoko (矢部智子) (Ed.), blues interactions inc., Tokyo (2004)
ISBN 4-86020-089-6

This is a sort of "lifestyle" book rather than a heavy-duty architectural guide. It introduces 25 different buildings in Tokyo (and despite the title one or two in Yokohama) which are architecturally interesting as well as being nice places to visit. It covers some of the less prominent sites rather than "big name big buildings", such as the Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan or Meguro's central ward office (although Roppongi Hills does get a page or two).

Altogether it's a nice book to have and to use to plan daytrips in Tokyo with. There's even a little architechture glossary at the back, and for some reason hidden away an article on the Dojunkai apartment buildings, which are gradually disappearing from Tokyo. It mentioned one fact I didn't realize about the new Omotesando Hills complex (which opened this year on the site of the old Aoyama Dojunkai apartments): the new building's roofline echoes that of the old apartments, both as a sort of architectural tribute and as a way of maintaining the area's identity.

The staircase on the book's cover is from the Institut franco-japonais de Tokyo (東京日仏学院)