Tōkyō International Forum – 東京国際フォーラム

Lobby Gallery (ロビーギャラリー)

A ship made of steel truss and glass – in the centre of the city

A German version of this posting you can find here.
Eine deutsche Version dieses Artikels finden Sie hier.

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum (bird’s eye view)

The „International Forum“ may not be the newest sparkling star in the sky of architectural achievements in Japan’s capital, but it is still able to arouse fascination. It is the largest centre for conventions, exhibitions and performing arts in the city and does not only offer eight large halls (one of them is the most spacious theatre hall of Tōkyō, providing more than 5,000 seats – if you have a little money to spare and would like to invite for some larger family event, you can rent this hall for as little as 30,000 Euros a day…), but also quite a number of conference halls, restaurants and shops.

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum

In this article, however, we want to take a look at the so-called „Lobby Gallery“, which is also very simply called “Glass Building” by the proprietors of the Tōkyō International Forum (51% owned by the metropolitan government, 49% in private hands).

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum

This complex by the architect Rafael Viñoly, completed in 1996, is a breathtaking hall made of steel truss and glass. Its swooping curves remind very much on a large ship (have a look at the first picture above). There are escalators at the tapering narrow sides of this huge auditorium, leading down to the reception area about two stories below. All the other stories of the gallery can be reached by elevators, stairs and escalators. The most stupendous part of the building are, however, the runways, bridges and paths leading to the top of the hall and crossing it in vertiginous height. And don’t be deceived by the pictures here: Reality is far more impressive than the pictures suggest!

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum

Tōkyō International Forum

By the way: Until 1991 the Tōkyō City Hall was standing here, before its functions were moved to the Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku.

Tōkyō International Forum / Ōta Dōkan

Tōkyō International Forum / Ōta Dōkan

At the northern entrance to the Lobby Gallery you will meet a statue of Ōta Dōkan (太田 道灌 / おおた どうかん) (1432 – 1486), which should not go unmentioned, because Ōta was, in a way, one of the founding fathers of Tōkyō. He was the one who had the castle of Tōkyō (at that time still called “Edo”) built (1446 – 1457).

This castle would have seen a much earlier decline, if it hadn’t been for Tokugawa Ieyasu (徳川 家康 / とくがわ いえやす), the first shōgun of the Tokugawa dynasty, who took over the castle when he came to reign over the country. He made it the centre of luxury and splendour of his and his family’s rule.

This way the castle was in use for 300 years longer and finally saw its sad decline at the end of the 19th century when the Tokugawa dynasty lost the ruling power and Imperial reign was re-installed.

For all those who don’t know: Part of the area which was once covered by the castle of Edo, is now home to the Imperial Palace. For this palace new buildings were erected in 1888, after a considerable part of the castle’s buildings burnt down during a fire in 1873. Most of these newer buildings were lost again during World War II. and were replaced by modern-style structures in 1968.

Tōkyō International Forum / Ōta Dōkan

Tōkyō International Forum / Ōta Dōkan

Address of the Tōkyō International Forum:

3-5-1 Marunouchi
Chiyoda-ku
Tōkyō 100-0005

〒100-0005
東京都千代田区丸の内三丁目5番1号

How to get there:

Japan Rail (JR)

1 minute from Yūrakuchō station (有楽町駅 / ゆうらくちょうえき)
5 minutes from Tōkyō station(東京駅 / とうきょうえき)

Subway (Tōkyō Metro) (東京メトロ)

Yūrakuchō line (有楽町線 / ゆうらくちょうせん)
– there is an underground connection to the Yūrakuchō line (exit D5)

Hibiya line (日比谷線 / ひびやせん)
– 5 minutes from Hibiya station (日比谷駅 / ひびやえき)
– 5 minutes from Ginza station (銀座駅 / ぎんざえき)

Chiyoda line (千代田線 / ちよだせん)
– 5 minutes from Nijūbashimae station (二重橋前駅 / にじゅうばしまええき)
– 7 minutes from Hibiya station (日比谷駅 / ひびやえき)

Marunouchi line (丸の内線 / まるのうちせん)
– 5 minutes from Ginza station (銀座駅 / ぎんざえき)

Ginza line (銀座線 / ぎんざせん)
– 7 minutes from Ginza station (銀座駅 / ぎんざえき)
– 7 minutes from Kyōbashi station (京橋駅 / きょうばしえき)

Subway (Toei Subway) (都営地下鉄)

Mita line (三田線 / みたせん)
– 5 minutes from Hibiya station (日比谷駅 / ひびやえき)

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One Response to Tōkyō International Forum – 東京国際フォーラム

  1. […] English version of this posting you can find here. Eine englische Version dieses Artikels finden […]

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