The free observation decks on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (Tocho) have panoramic views of the city. At 243 meters, it was the tallest building in Tokyo when it opened in 1991.
Tokyo – Been There

How Tokyo moved a 200-year old teahouse into a skyscraper 


Photo by Ton Koene

Tokyo – Been There How Tokyo moved a 200-year old teahouse into a skyscraper 


In Tokyo the serenely austere design of a teahouse – be it up in the air or firmly on the ground – is never far removed from something rich in contrast.

Jurriaan Teulings
Jurriaan Teulings Travel Writer

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the Akasaka district of Tokyo embodies Japan’s paradoxical spirit. When this five-star luxury property first opened its doors, the press release was a veritable laundry list of superlatives: Rolls Royces, Rolexes, skyscraping heights, supersonic elevators, and wallet-busting room prices.

But perhaps most captivating of all was its 200-year-old traditional teahouse perched high above the gridded rows of concrete and glass down below. It symbolizes Japan’s signature mix of tradition and advancement.

The Ritz’s teahouse was scooped up from its native setting in a far-flung corner of Japan and plunked atop the tallest, most luxurious skyscraper in Tokyo. Although it may at first feel as though the authenticity of the experience has been stripped away due to its unusual positioning, there’s something quite magical about indulging in one of Japan’s most coveted traditions amid modern surrounds.

Japan is undoubtedly a land of paradoxes. It’s a land where the traditions of local culture are endlessly rehearsed and repeated, and meticulously perfected to the most minute detail. Yet at the same time there is a constant push-and-pull relationship between ritual and innovation. Subtlety intermingles the outrageous, and the serene flirts with chaos.

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Sumo wrestlers have to wear traditional clothes in public, including wooden sandals. There has no weight classes in the sport, so weighing as much as possible is an important factor for any high-level competitor. Photo by Ton Koene

Ton Koene

Ton Koene

Canon EOS 5D- III

Aperture
ƒ/9
Exposure
1/160
ISO
160
Focal
24 mm

Sumo wrestlers have to wear traditional clothes in public, including wooden sandals. There has no weight classes in the sport, so weighing as much as possible is an important factor for any high-level competitor.

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