From an architectural viewpoint, Tokyo is unlike any other city on Earth. It’s a vast, sprawling metropolis that is constantly growing and evolving at breakneck speed. As we sit in our office on the 31st floor of the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower building, it feels like we have front-row seats to the best show in town. As far as the eye can see, ambitious new buildings under construction pepper the skyline, competing for space with shrines, parks and shotengai that haven’t changed for generations.
On the surface, it’s very difficult to understand how Tokyo works as a city. As you walk through almost any neighborhood, urban planning seems to be something of an afterthought. Brand new, high-end commercial real estate mixes with retro shopping streets and residential properties without any obvious rhyme or reason. And this is precisely why Tokyo is such a unique and fascinating place to live. It doesn’t make sense but somehow it still works.
In this issue, we were lucky enough to speak with some experts in their respective fields who were able to give us the inside track on how this city is evolving. From the interior to the exterior and everything in between, we’ve tried our best to make sense of the forces shaping the landscape of the city.
Read the feature stories online:
- Yoshiki: Rediscovering the X Factor That Propelled One of Japan’s Biggest Superstars
- Tokyo Neighborhood Guide: Ogikubo and Nishi-Ogikubo
- Chitose Abe: “If it’s not something that’s wearable, then I don’t think it has very much meaning”
- A Guide to Naoshima: A Summer Island Retreat
- Chef Natsuko Shoji Sings All the Flavors of Summer at Her Restaurant, Été
- From Jay-Z to Mary J. Blige: Atsuko Tanaka Reveals Her Favorite Photographs
- Ryuji Fujimura Talks Future and Community-led Architecture
- Cinematographer Yasu Tanida Is Creating Celluloid History in Hollywood