My Japan, by Kengo Kuma

One of Japan's foremost architects describes his perspective on his country

One of Japan’s most acclaimed architects, Kengo Kuma is designing the country’s new National Stadium ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.


Which Tokyo neighbourhood do you live in?

I live in Kagurazaka, one the few districts of Tokyo that still has a maze of narrow alleys. I designed my home – I’m proud of the spacious terrace, where people can get together and enjoy drinks looking up at the sky.

What’s your favourite Japanese rail journey?

The train that runs along the northeast coast to Tohoku is my favourite journey. It’s so close to the sea, it feels as if the water might come up to the track.

What’s your most memorable experience in Japan?

I love spending time in the small hot-spring towns on Japan’s southern Kyushu Island, such as Yufuin and Kurokawa. They are close to each other, but each has its own unique culture.

What’s your favourite city in Japan?

My favourite city is Toyama in Hokuriku (northwest of Tokyo). This coastal region is burdened by heavy snow in winter, but this creates a beautiful landscape.

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