Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Beautiful Buildings!

Going to museums and galleries in Tokyo is a huge pleasure. Even when the exhibitions are nothing to write home about, the buildings are almost always completely gorgeous, especially when stumbled upon suddenly, rising out of a not-that-inspriring skyline. Caught in a very rainy Ueno Park on Saturday, the International Children's Library's atrium beckoned like some kind of holy grail

And it wasn't only because it had three floors choc-full of delicious looking picture books from Japan and everywhere else: looking into rooms through the renaissance-style building's glass additions made me feel as if I was looking into the past, or into a huge scale doll's house!

The Ueno Music Festival Hall was so much like the Royal Festival Hall on London's Southbank that I had to do a couple of double takes

 An extremely welcome rain-shelter at least. And even more so when a Kappa came up to say hi

And from there, things only got more impressive. The Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art was like another world - part aircraft hangar

part enormous scale Addams Family House complete with giant nooks and crannies

And to top it all off, the exhibition of impossibly tiny Hina doll accessories (think Sylvanian families done by master craftsmen) at the Nezu Museum were fun, but the building itself, designed by Kengo Kuma, was the highlight for me. Even before you get inside, the bamboo walkway reminded me of real bamboo groves

and the gorgeous garden

became my personal playground

...shared with an elephant deity

...and a very cosy looking  fish

...or two

There are some days when a tourist is exactly what you what to be!

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