TOKYO ARCHITECTURE RUNNING TOUR – 13K

Tokyo has hundreds of buildings worth seeing for architecture lovers! This tour is an attempt to create a route, which will be filled with as many such gems as possible in only 13 km of running.

TOKYO ARCHITECTURE RUNNING TOUR - 13K
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TOKYO ARCHITECTURE RUNNING TOUR - 13K

Runner on the ground - IHOR

Dive into a 13 km architectural exploration designed for enthusiasts and professionals alike, showcasing the vibrant innovation of Tokyo’s cityscape. This running tour is your gateway to experiencing some of the world’s most significant modern architectural feats, all located in the western part of central Tokyo.

The tour starts with the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, an architectural gem by Kenzo Tange. Its sweeping, suspended roof and innovative use of concrete set the stage for our exploration of Japanese Modernism. Here, you’ll learn about Tange’s influence on post-war architecture and his vision of integrating Western modernist aesthetics with traditional Japanese techniques.

Another sports facility is the National Olympic Stadium, designed by Kengo Kuma for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. This impressive venue is a masterpiece of sustainable architecture, utilizing locally sourced wood and greenery to blend with the surrounding landscape. Kuma’s design philosophy focuses on “harmonizing with the environment,” and the stadium is a testament to this approach, same as other buildings by this architect we’ll witness on this tour, such as Sunny Hills ‘Pineapple Building’, inviting nature into the structural design, and Nezu Museum, an escape from urban chaos into the sanctuary of tranquility.

In Harajuku, Omotesando, and Aoyama, the landscape is dotted with works by dozens of well-known architects, including Tadao Ando, Toyo Ito, Fumihiko Maki, already mentioned Kengo Kuma, and others. These buildings transform the area into a vibrant street-side gallery of contemporary architecture and cutting-edge urban design, where functionality meets futuristic aesthetics.

Witness Tadao Ando’s Omotesando Hills, where his mastery of light and natural materials crafts a serene shopping experience amidst the urban rush. Further, the Prada Building by Herzog & de Meuron mesmerizes spectators with its crystalline structure, challenging perceptions with its interplay of light and glass.

In Daikanyama, the T-Site by Klein Dytham architecture is a must-see for design aficionados. It’s a perfect example of how architecture can enhance community space, making it a popular gathering spot that reflects the neighborhood’s chic, laid-back character.

Our guides are passionate architecture and urbanism enthusiasts and Tokyo lovers, equipped to cater to the interests of both casual admirers and architectural professionals. They are adept at matching their pace with yours, turning each run into an interactive podcast about Tokyo’s architecture and architects. As you move through the city, you’ll receive real-time insights and stories, making every building and design come alive as if you’re walking through a live documentary with visual illustrations unfolding with each step you take.

Note that this tour focuses solely on modern and innovative architecture rather than historical buildings and only on the western part of central Tokyo. To cover all the architectural gems the city has to offer would require running a full marathon, and expanding to the Tokyo metropolitan area would mean tackling an ultramarathon! If your interest leans more toward historical and traditional architecture, we recommend exploring one of Tokyo’s historical tours as a complement to this modern journey.

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Facts about the tours

13 km

Private tour

Moderate

Individual

Ukrainian, Japanese

Flexible

Run start location - Hotel meetup or Standard Meeting Point

Price

1 person88.00/person

2 persons66.00/person

3 persons60.50/person

4-20 persons49.50/person

Standard Meeting Point

Moyai's head is located just 40 meters away from the famous Hachiko statue. It is another popular meeting spot, but much less crowded, than Hachiko. Facing Hachiko, go to the left around the station building towards the bus stop - the head will be on the left.

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