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.
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.
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.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Nishi Shinjuku architecture (Japan). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Nishi Shinjuku architecture.
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