I read somewhere recently that because Japan has limited natural resources design is its biggest economic asset. And excellent design is apparent everywhere you look-strategically based vending machines, presentation of food, gadgets of all types and traditional and modern architecture are just a few examples.
The first time I walked into the The National Art Center in Tokyo it made me want to come back in my next life as a gifted architect. A recent addition to Tokyo’s ever-changing skyline the low-rise Art Center designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa opened in 2007.
The sophisticated simplicity of the building allows for natural light to flow through three-story glass curves. The interior is a slice of serenity in one of the world’s most populated and frenetic cities. It’s no coincidence that I chose to visit it to get my travel Zen on a few hours before the schlep to Narita and boarding a 13-hour flight back to New York.
The National Art Center does not host a permanent collection. Instead it features several art exhibitions at once within its 45,000 square feet, which also houses a restaurant, café and museum shop. Check its Web site to see what is on. Located in Roppongi to reach the Center take the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line to Nogizaka Station, Exit 6. Admission is free to enter the building but you must buy tickets to individual exhibits. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (8 p.m. on Friday) Wednesday-Monday.