Don’t Visit Tokyo Without This
A new offering from an independent mapmaker puts the spotlight on the Japanese capital’s spectacular 20th-century architecture
In an age of endless reviews from the likes of TripAdvisor, Google, and Yelp, access to curated travel offerings can feel as elusive as ever. Thanks to independent publisher Blue Crow Media, however, those of us who crave beautiful yet informed urban discovery aids are in luck: The mapmaker, which has been steadily gaining renown since starting in 2009, offers an utterly delightful portfolio of maps dedicated to architectural and cultural themes in cities from New York to Moscow to Sydney and beyond. The latest? A tour de force guide to Tokyo’s 20th-century architecture titled “Concrete Tokyo Map.”
The Tokyo map, which opens with an introduction by Tokyo-based design writer Naomi Pollock, offers an amalgamation of photographs and descriptions of the city’s 50 most iconic concrete structures dating from the 1930s onward. Some buildings will surely be familiar: work from Tadao Ando, Le Corbusier; and others, like those from Tengo Kanze and Kunio Maekawa, emerge as to-be-discovered treasures. The structures, shown in elegant black-and-white imagery by photographer Jimmy Cohrssen, offer a cross-section of city’s modernism that feels more complex and nuanced than the due concrete is typically given.
A peek inside the map: