Our day started by checking out 3331 Arts Chiyoda - a art gallery and series of artist studios that are in the building of a former junior high. Much of the layout is of the original school, including the gymnasium. Unfortunately a number of the exhibit spaces the artists do are in-between shows, and the main exhibit space was a documentation of what appeared to be a kinda of grass-roots collaborative initiative, which videos of various presentations, photographs, mobile coffee structures - but it was all in Japanese and hard to know for certain.
After a bowl of ramen we then continued North towards Ueno park and starting by walking through the open air market Ameyoko, in which there are about 180 shops in close proximity to the Ueno station. Here I picked up a bag of matcha flavoured Kit-Kat. The day started out rainy but thankfully cleared up by the time we got to this area. In the park are many museums including the National Museum of Western Art which was designed by the architect Le Corbusier, and his only work in the Far East. The building was not so exciting from the exterior. At one time the artwork was only lit by natural light through a series of troughs - however they are apparently not longer in use (we didn't actually go in to any of the museums).
Continuing north we headed into the area of Yansen, which is an area that survived much of the bombings of WWII so there are a lot of preserved historical structures - many shrines and cemeteries. We also headed towards the Nezu Shrine, which was supposedly established 1900 years ago, but relocated to this area in the 17th century.
The Nezu Shrine is located at the northern most end of the University of Tokyo so we took the opportunity to walk through the campus, as there was another Kengo Kuma building at the south end. However this building was not as interesting as the others we had seen, but we did come across an Auditorium Annex building which had an interesting parabolically curved copper roof.
From the university we took the subway to near Tokyo Station to check out the Tokyo Forum - a convention centre like space with an enormous glass atrium. For some reason they had these fabric screens suspended in the ceiling area, so we were not able to get a full sense of the height in here. We also walked into the Muji store just up the street - the one in Toronto is just a small shop but here it store is closer to an ikea - with a restaurant, large bookstore, furniture, show suites, a model of the Muji House, services for clothing alterations and interior design consultation. From here we walked south into the Ginza area an upscale shopping area to look at the Mikimoto building by Toyo Ito and the Nakagin Capsule Tower from Kisho Kurokawa - the capsules on the building were designed so that they could be removed over time and replaced with upgraded units. However this has never happened.
We then headed to the Roppongi area as Nicole had yet to go and we wandered around for a bit until we found a sushi place to eat at and had a variety of nigiri including some tuna belly. We then headed back to the apartment to pack up as we would both be heading out the next day - Nicole back to Taiwan, and me off to Hida-Furukawa for the school program.