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Japan: Nishi Shinjuku architecture

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Nishi Shinjuku architecture | Japan | Asia

[Visited: December 2009]

When I got off at Shinjuku station, I was prepared - this is the busiest train station in the world. But it was a Sunday, and the crowds were not as bad as I expected. After a long subterranean walk, I reached the west exit, which was the right one for a visit to Nishi-Shinjuku. From the taxi stand, I could already see the shiny skyscrapers I was looking for. I stepped out, started my walking tour of the area on one of the wide streets that were not so busy today. I soon reached a crossing where just looking up offered me the view of several tall towers. The crossing itself, on Kita-dori and Higashi-dori avenues, is interesting in that it contains a large metal rail with traffic lights.

Picture of Nishi Shinjuku architecture (Japan): View of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building

While your first idea of Tokyo might be that of a city of skyscrapers, this is not necessarily true in many areas. Nishi-Shinjuku, however, lives up to the image you might have in your head of the capital city of Japan. Originally a reservoir, development in the area was started in the 1970s, and this is obvious from the way the entire area is set up. Wide avenues, spacious sidewalks, clean designs: no historical clutter can get in the way of this modern part of the city. Some skyscrapers are greyish and mostly concrete, while others contain more glass and appear bluish. Some are square blocks, others have elegant curves.

Picture of Nishi Shinjuku architecture (Japan): Skyscrapers and traffic on a street in Nishi Shinjuku

The main building of Nishi-Shinjuku is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building, a majestic twin tower construction which was the tallest in the country when it was completed in the early 1990s. Probably the most outstanding building is the Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, which was unveiled late 2008. It is an educational building, housing three vocational schools in its 50 floors. It is remarkable because its oval shape makes it stand out against the other buildings of Nishi-Shinjuku. It reminds visitors to the area that development will not stop for now: more skyscrapers are planned and Nishi-Shinjuku will continue to be the showcase of modern architecture of Tokyo.

Picture of Nishi Shinjuku architecture (Japan): Traffic lights and skyscrapers in Nishi Shinjuku
Picture of Nishi Shinjuku architecture (Japan): View from Shinjuku station: skyscrapers of Nishi Shinjuku
Picture of Nishi Shinjuku architecture (Japan): View towards the sky in Nishi Shinjuku
Picture of Nishi Shinjuku architecture (Japan): Looking towards the sky at the central square of Nishi Shinjuku
Picture of Nishi Shinjuku architecture (Japan): The round shapes of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly
Picture of Nishi Shinjuku architecture (Japan): Grey and blue top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building
Picture of Nishi Shinjuku architecture (Japan): Modern lamp posts in Nishi Shinjuku
Picture of Nishi Shinjuku architecture (Japan): Astronomical clock in Nishi Shinjuku
Picture of Nishi Shinjuku architecture (Japan): Steel and concrete: art and architecture in Nishi Shinjuku
Picture of Nishi Shinjuku architecture (Japan): Tokyo Metropolitan Government building towers are the tallest of Nishi Shinjuku
Picture of Nishi Shinjuku architecture (Japan): Skyscrapers lining a street in Nishi Shinjuku
Picture of Nishi Shinjuku architecture (Japan): Modern art in the streets of Shinjuku: LOVE sculpture
Picture of Nishi Shinjuku architecture (Japan): Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower: a shining new skyscraper in Nishi-Shinjuku

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