Speaking from first-hand experience, Japan is an architecture fan's wildest dream, and worst nightmare come to life. There are so many fantastic and fascinating designs and buildings. But a lot of them are hard to find, or exist in the most unlikely (to Western eyes) places. Most of my greatest discoveries in Japan have come when I've been lost and wandering down alleys.
If you want to be more productive than that, CScout offers guided tours that are a cut above the usual tour bus fare -- they go to actual architects' places of work and you get a chance to talk with the creative professionals.
I can't vouch for the quality of the tour because I haven't been on one. But the flyer makes it seem like a great experience.
You can read the entire press release below, and don't forget to visit our Japanese architecture web page, Tokyo Architecture Info.
archiTokyo: Japanese architecture immersion for Summer 2010
(TOKYO, April 8, 2010) World-renowned for its cutting-edge urban architecture, Japan is a nation with grave limitations on space and resources, forcing local architects to be daring in their use of materials and design.
The casual visitor, however, cannot experience much of this innovation beyond photos and facades.
Developed by trends agency CScout Japan, archiTokyo is an exclusive 6-night, 5-day design immersion that takes visitors up to and into some of the most dazzling sites of this architectural power. Traversing both ultra modern Tokyo and elegantly traditional Kyoto, writer, filmmaker and photographer Roland Hagenberg will be guiding a select party of professionals and serious enthusiasts this July.
"The most dynamic forces in architecture today come out of Japan. Rooted in the minimalist tradition of Zen, Japanese architects influence how we build all over the world," says Hagenberg, author of 20 Japanese Architects and past interviewer of cultural icons from Andy Warhol to scandalous photographer Nobuyoshi Araki.
Participants will dine on Japanʼs culinary delights and stay in quality accommodation, but archiTokyo is not a "tour" in the traditional sense: It is an immersion. archiTokyo will visit the studios and workplaces of world-renowned Japanese architects, offering exclusive chances to engage intimately with these creators and their teams.
Throughout the week, archiTokyo introduces architecture lovers to extraordinary structures from the inside-out, including private residences that are off-limits to outsiders who are typically resigned to the street-view. From Jun Aokiʼs O-House to the Copper House by Terunobu Fujimori, going inside these meticulously designed homes participants will observe how people live their lives inside these works of art.
With SANAA (Ryue Nishizawa and Kazuyo Sejima) receiving the 2010 Pritzker Prize honor, there has never been a more timely chance to get closer to the movers and shakers behind the most exciting contemporary architecture in the world.
archiTokyo runs July 11~16, 2010, priced €9,500 ($13,000) per person, including all tour transport, quality meals, and hotel accommodation in Tokyo and Kyoto. For more information, please visit www.architokyo.com
More information about Roland Hagenberg can be found at www.Hagenberg.com.