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A Guide to Architecture in Japan

From Ancient Temples to Modern Masterpieces


Photo of Sendai Mediatheque, looking into glass to each floor space.

Sendai Mediatheque by Toyo Ito, 1995—2000, Sendai-shi, Miyagi, Japan

Photo of Sendai Mediatheque by Nacasa and Partners Inc. courtesy pritzkerprize.com
Metabolism architecture of individual cell-like apartments in Kurokawa's Nakagin Capsule Tower.

Nakagin Capsule Tower, 1972, by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa is an example of Japanese Metabolism Architecture.

Photo ©Damon Garrett, damon.garrett at flickr.com, attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, Japan

Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, Japan

Press photo © 2000-2006 NewOpenWorld Foundation

Rebuilt after World War II, Japan became a showcase for sleek modern design. Yet much of Japan's architecture dates from antiquity. Where to begin your journey? Here are our top picks for architecture destinations in Japan.

Chiba Prefecture:

Fukui Prefecture, Japan: Fukuoka, Japan: Hiroshima, Japan: Hyogo, Japan:

Kanazawa, Japan:

Kyoto, Japan:

Nagano, Japan:

Nagoya, Japan: Naoshima, Japan: Nara, Japan:

Okinawa, Japan:

Osaka, Japan:

Tokyo, Japan:

Historic Inns:

Modern Hotels:

Design Philosophies:

Famous Architects:

Emergency Preparedness in Japan:

Even greatest engineers can't stop earthquakes and tsunamis. But after the disasters of March 2011, experts praised Japan's sophisticated strategies for saving lives.

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