Omotesando, the fashionable street

Hi there! How are you doing? Today, I want to show you around Omotesando, Tokyo. Omotesando is the front approach to Meiji Shrine. (Please check out the article of Meiji Shrine here.) Zelkova trees along side the Main Street are so beautiful and the trees have been there since Taisho Era (1912-1926), however, most of the trees have been vanished because of Tokyo Air Raid in 1945 (World War II).  The trees have been replanted in 1950.

皆さん、こんにちは。今日は東京の表参道散歩をお伝えします。表参道は、その名の通り明治神宮へと続く参道の一つです。(明治神宮の記事はこちらをご覧ください。)表参道のケヤキ並木は美しく大正時代(1912-1926) からありましたが、1945年の東京大空襲により焼失してしまい、現在のケヤキは昭和二十五年(1950年) に植え直されたものです。

Omotesando is believed to be one of the most fashionable streets in Tokyo, and there are flagship shops of world famous fashion brands. If you go to Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku, you can take really photogenic pictures. I recommend you to drop by if you want to take an unique and one of a kind photo.

表参道はお洒落な街並みの代名詞とも言えるところで、世界の有名ブランドの旗艦店が一堂に会しています。東急プラザ表参道原宿へ行くと、とてもユニークで面白い写真が撮れます。写真好きな方にはオススメの場所です。

I also paid a visit to Omotesando Hills that was designed by a world famous architect, Tadao Ando. The shopping mall was so stylish and Ando did a really good job turning  the narrow premises into a layered high fashion building.

世界的な建築家、安藤忠雄が設計した表参道ヒルズは、狭い空間を上手に利用していて洗練されたスタイリッシュな空間でした。

This is the exterior of Omotesando Hills.

外観はこちら

The logo is so Japanese. However, Omotesando Hills was built after dismantling a legendary apartment, Aoyama Dojunkai Apartment that had so much historical value. I know that there are good enough financial reasons to dismantle the apartment. I fully understand that there are numerous natural disasters in Japan such as earthquakes and heavy rains so that the safety aspect was prioritized. Even though, I personally feel so sad  that we couldn’t conserve the good old architecture. I hope that the public opinion gets more matured to support preserving such a historical and worthwhile architecture.

ロゴのデザインが和の風合いが出ていて良いですね。しかしながら、表参道ヒルズは東京では伝説的だった青山同潤会アパートを解体して、その跡地に建てられました。諸般の事情があるにしろ、歴史のある美しい建築物が取り壊されてしまったことを、やはり悲しく思ってしまいます。日本は地震や大雨などの自然災害が多い国なのですが、古き良きものを保存維持してゆく方向に世論がもっと成熟すればと考えます。

Omotesando is one of the spots that introduced cafe culture to Japan.

また、表参道は日本にカフェ文化を根付かせた場所の一つでもあります。

I love spending time at a cafe all by myself, sipping tea and relaxing, writing or reading a book or texting. It’s one of my favorite time and I can’t do without it. And a cafe in Omotesando taught me to spend time like that for the first time when I was 18. I spent my university days in Tokyo, and I learned the rich and personal inner joy by spending time at a cafe. And I assume not few people have the same kind of experience when stepping into their adulthood. Walking around Tokyo and picking up some sentimental memories is not so bad indeed….

一人カフェでお茶をしてゆっくりと寛ぎながら、書き物や読書やメールを打ったりしながら過ごす。そういう時間が大好きで、大切な日常の一コマとなっていますが、私にそういう時間の過ごし方を初めに教えてくれたのは、表参道のカフェでした。大人の入り口、大学生の頃に少し背伸びをしたくて、表参道や或いは少し非日常を感じさせるお洒落なカフェに通っていた人も多いのではないでしょうか。東京センチメンタルな思い出を拾って歩く散歩道も悪くないですね。

***I’m writing this blog for Tokyo Architecture Walking Tour, Showcase Tokyo. If you are an architecture lover, it’s a must to go to Omotesando. There are quite a number of world famous architecture in Omotesando area, and our Showcase bilingual guides who are all national-licensed will give you very informative knowledge and the best hospitality. If you are in love with architectural, academic, and artistic things and culture, I promise you will be satisfied. Go check our website here for further information. Or you can see our Facebook page here.

That’s all for today. Blessings to each one of you!

それでは今日はここまで。皆さんに豊かな祝福がありますように!

 

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