Archilab: New Experiments in Architecture, Art and the City 1950 - 2005
One of the most intriguing facets of the "style" of Tokyo (and many other Japanese cities, I'm sure) is that it has an incredibly unfocused sense of style and design. Although this is not a bad thing, it makes the city (in my eyes) more complex. Sometimes it is the smaller and less important buildings that have the more interesting and original designs. Even the people who own these buildings are from a wide range of proffesions.
Places like the Claska Hotel portray the upper echelon of Japanese culture (again, in my mind), and represent those with developed senses of space and style. But I am also truly fascinated by the little details seens everwhere in the style of Tokyo. As Donald Richie wrote, Tokyo's style is a lack of style. The architecture seems totally de-centralized, and because of this, the city is that much more interesting.
Maybe I am assuming too much, and maybe I am not seeing the truth of the matter.
My favorite art museum, the Mori Art Museum is having a show (coincidentally under the same name of this post) that seems to deal with this side of Tokyo.
I am probably totally wrong about the architeture show. I now am starting to think that it deals more with "high design" etc.
But I think it is important to recognize the seemingly ordinary design of much of Tokyo's building, houses, stations, etc. This mish mosh of style is what Tokyo is [visually] about.
Again, this is all just what I think ...