Deepen your understanding of Japan’s people, places, and culture.


Spectacular Buildings - Sendai’s Legacy of Architecture and Art

Anton Schweizer, Germany

  • History
  • Arts, Architecture, Design
  • People
Spectacular Buildings

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Since the discovery of Japan by the West in the second half of the nineteenth century, foreigners have fallen in love with the restrained elegance of it’s traditional wooden architecture. However, it is often overlooked that there is also a distinct line of elaborately decorated buildings that should be seen as equally representative of Japan’s architectural heritage.
This exuberant style is best known from the huge mausoleum complex of the first Tokugawa shogun Ieyasu in Nikko. Another great place to experience what somewhat inadequately has been labeled Japanese Baroque is the city of Sendai and nearby Matsushima Bay.

The genius of Sendai’s early modern material culture finds a strange counterpart in another gem of contemporary architecture: the Sendai Mediatheque, a multimedia information center with a built-in public library and exhibition space, designed by renowned architect Ito Toyo in 1995.

The Gardens and Landscape of Tohoku

In March 2019, two experts from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in Richmond, London, traveled to this northeastern region of Japan to explore the history, flora, and crafts that produce these highly developed human adoptions of nature. (✪ [PDF/2.4 MB])

The Gardens and Landscape of Tohoku