Monday, February 14, 2011

Tokyo International Forum

The Tokyo International Forum is a multipurpose center in the Chiyoda ward. Located between the Yurakucho, and Tokyo Station, a short walk from Ginza, that is unjustly overlooked by visitors.

The building with seven halls (one of them with 5,000 seats), 2 museums, 33 meeting rooms, shops and restaurants, is one of the main convention centers and a popular concert hall in Tokyo.

The building designed by the Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly, has one of the most bold and distinctive structures in the center of Tokyo. The building sadly goes mostly unnoticed; as the view is blocked by the JR elevated tracks next to it, and by the tall buildings surrounding it.

The most impressive structure is undoubtedly the hall atrium or glass building, a 7 floors, ship shaped glass structure that has become a symbol of the internal structure exposed.

Interestingly in the glass building, there is a statue of general Ouda Dokan, a famous officer from the Muramachi period. The statue is a remainder of the tenant of the previous building, and now part owner of the new building, the Tokyo Metropolitan government.

The plaza gets normally busy on weekdays when people working in the area, purchase lunch from food vans parked on the premises, and eat at the plaza on good weather days, The vans offer great meals at budget prices.

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