Tour Toyo Ito´s unusual buildings

Toyo Ito, a 76 year old architect whose architectural practice is based in Tokyo, Japan, has won the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize, this is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the field and sometimos called "the Nobel Prize of Architecture".

Innovative is a word often used to describe Toyo Ito´s works. In this article I´m going to show you some of his works in Japan.

TOD’S Omotesando Building

Address: 5-1-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.
Open hours: Mon-Sun 11:00-20:00
Website: TOD´S

It´s  a commercial building for the Italian footwear retailer TOD´S, it contains offices and a boutique fronting Omotesando, a famous tree-lined boulevard in Tokyo. The concrete and glass facade try to imitate the shapes of the tall elm trees but keeping it simple. 
via[email protected]/7170634588/sizes/l/

Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture

Address: 2418 Urado, Omishima-machi, Imabari city, Ehime prefecture.
Open hours: Weekdays 9:00-17:00
Closed: Every Monday, the next day of the national holidays and 27th - 31st December.
  • Adults (18+), 800 JPY
  • Students (18+) with ID, 400 JPY
  • Children and students under 18, free
  • Disabled people (and ONE attendant) with certification, free
  • From Hiroshima Airport
    By car or taxi
    to Tadanoumi-ko Ferry Terminal→take a ferry to Sakari-ko of Omishima

  • From Hiroshima and Fukuyama
    By car
    30 mins drive from Omishima I.C., Nishi-Seto Expressway (Setouchi-Shimanami Kaido)
    By bus
    Take the Shimanami Liner Bus from Hiroshima Bus Center or Fukuyama Station to “Omishima Island”→ Take a local bus to “Tunnel-Shita”,→ Take another bus to “Tokoro Museum”→ 3 mins walk

  • From Matsuyama and Imabari
    By car
    30 mins drive from Omishima I.C., Nishi-Seto Expressway (Setouchi-Shimanami Kaido)
    By bus
    Take an express or special express bus to “Miyaura Harbour”(Miyaura-Ko) from Matsuyama or Imabari railway station→ Take a local bus to “Tokoro Museum”→ 3 mins walk
    By ferry
    Take a slow or fast ferry from Imabari port to Munakata port, Omishima→ Take a local bus to “Tokoro Museum”→ 3 mins walk
A museum dedicated to Toyo Ito´s works, it has two small buildings, one is a black steel structure that is playing with geometric figures called Steel Hut and the other one, the Silver Hut, a vaulted pavilion recalling light-weight and prefabricated structures. In the Steel Hut you will find the works by the office of Toyo Ito, meanwhile in the Silver Hut is the relocated and rebuild house that Ito used to live, now used as a workshop space for children to learn and play with architecture.

Ken Iwata Mother and Child Museum

Address:  5208-2 Munagata, Omishima-cho, Imabari city, Ehime prefecture.
Open hours: 9:00 - 17:00
Closed: Every Monday, the next day of the national holidays and 27th - 31st December.
  • Regular: 300 JPY
  • Students: 150 JPY
  • Groups (20+ people) 20% discount
Website: only in Japanese

Is a semi-open museum designed to house 44 pieces of sculptures created by the sculptor Ken Iwata. Here the visitors got to interact with the works while hearing and feeling the sounds and aromas of nature.

"Minna no Mori" (Everyone´s Forest) Gifu Media Cosmos

via[email protected]/29484446042/sizes/l/
Address:  40-5 Tsukasa-machi, Gifu city.
Open hours: 9:00 - 21:00 (The Chuo Library is open until 20:00)
Closed: Every last Tuesday of the month (if the Tuesday is a public holiday, will be closed the following day), New Year´s Holiday (Dec. 31-Jan. 3).
Admission: Free.
  • Train: 25 min walk from the JR Gifu Station or Meitetsu Gifu Station
  • Bus: Just by the Media Cosmos-mae Bus Stop and Shimin Kaikan/
    Saibansho-mae (Gifu Civic Auditorium/Court) Bus Stop
    Alternatively, 3 min walk from the Media Cosmos/Uguisu dani Koko-guchi (Uguisudani High School) Bus stop.
  • Car: 20 min from the Gifu Kagamigahara Interchange of the Tokai Hokuriku Expressway.
Website: Gifu Media Cosmos

Minna no Mori Gifu Media Cosmos is a multipurpose facility which consists of the Gifu City Chuo Library acting as a "Knowledge Hub" the Community Activity Exchange Center and the Multicultural Plaza as a "Friendship Hub" and exhibition galleries as a "Culture Hub".

This name, based on a name chosen from a list of proposed names sent in by people from across Japan, was conceived with the following wish in mind:
The wish for this facility, is to serve as a hub for cultivating knowledge, culture, and ties of friendship. From here, our desire is to spread various types of information not only throughout Japan, but throughout the cosmos. To this facility, we have added the name, "Minna no Mori," (Meaning: Everyone's Forest), to exemplify that the residents of our community along with the forest are the protagonists of this facility.
Source: spoon-tamago.comThe structure and its interior is characterized by an undulating latticed wooden ceiling. Numerous curved globes act and look like giant lamp shades as they filter natural sunlight into the space while also defining the circular “
knowledge hubs” they encapsulate. The space is a visual depiction of the facility’s concept: “From roots to branches, may our knowledge grow and blossom as we plant new seeds for the future.”

NOTE: If you suffer trypophobia you might want to skip the following buildings.

ZA-KOENJI Public Theatre

via[email protected]/8620464653/sizes/o/
Address: 2-1-2 Koenji-kita, Suginami-ku, Tokyo.
Open hours: 9:00-22:00
Closed: New Year´s holidays and for maintenance.
Admission: Free
Access: The nearest train station is Koenji on the JR Chuo Line. It takes a 5 min walk  from the station to the theatre.
Website: ZA-KOENJI
This is a theatre for contemporary perfoming arts, it produces, presents and supports a wide range of cultural activities for the community of Suginami, enabling people of all ages to see and take part in many art forms from drama and dance to music and storytelling. Inside the museum you will find a cafe called Henri Fabre, which can be used as a venue for drama readings, lectures and children activities.


Address: 2-4-12 Ginza, Chuo-ku Tokyo.
Open hours: 12:00-20:00
2 min walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza-itchome Station, exit 8
3 min walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza Station, exit C8
This boutique store is part of the Mikimoto family, one of the most famous names in Japanese jewellery with a history dating back to 1899.  Ito was inspired by the mysteriousness of a jewellery box and imagining bubbles around pearls and floating petals.

And that´s it guys! Next time you visit Japan don´t forget to take a look at these breathtaking spaces.