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Oh where to begin..

After a lot of bus/train/plane/restaurant/lecture/chair hopping, we’ve made our way back to Tokyo late last night and today we had only one planned event for 30 minutes at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I was planning to write a post here last night but I got a little bit carried away and by the time I returned to my room, I was so tired that I blacked out on the mattress. However, I did get up at 6am this morning and did just what every foreigner in love with the architecture in Tokyo would do: starchitect building hopping.

I went with a fellow architecture professor from Indonesia, Elisa, who came meticulously prepared, down to how many minutes walking distance and nearest to one tenth of a kilometer of how far each landmark (in the architecture geek sense) is from the nearest metro station. In the morning, we averaged about 1 building / hour, and in the afternoon, 1 every 1/2 hour (because we went to infamous Omote Sando street, which is a shopping street of architects) We began with Jean Nouvel, then SANAA, Nishizawa, Sejima, Tadao Ando, Toyo Ito, Renzo Piano, Herzog de Meuron, Kengo Kuma, Kenzo Tange, Shigaru Ban, Jun Aoki, Fumihiko Maki… we even found the memorial statue of the famous Japanese dog called “Hachiko” who accompanied his owner to the train station everyday. One day his owner had suffered a heart attack and never came home, but faithful Hachiko continued to wait for his master everyday for nine years until his own death.

So I’m usually not a big fan of photographing buildings, because, for one, my photos won’t turn out as good as the ones featured in coffee table books, and two, because photos can’t quite capture the sense of place and the journey you take leading up to the moment you discover the building. Admittedly, I couldn’t help myself when I saw them with my own eyes. They were so beautiful that I caved in and avariciously consumed the sights through the lens of my camera, without any hesitation, reservation or doubt.

Today also marks the day where I went on the most number of different metro cars in my entire life thus far. I’ve lost count, but I’ve been on at least 50. I’ve had to stop counting after about 20 rides. I got so carried away that I forgot to eat all day, but because we were fed so well on this trip I can probably go another week without eating.

I have so many stories to share, and so many more photos, but for the time being, I must return to Tokyo as I don’t have much time left with this magnificent city of metro ramen.

Sugoi-ne!

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