One of the most inspiring things about living in Tokyo is the constant aspiration that surrounds you. Pick up any fashion magazine and it will tell you how to dress better, eat better, style your hair better, be better, cram more into your day, learn more, and not to be ashamed of trying to be better. It is an idea that is at the heart of character of the city and whether it manifests itself in extreme creativity or middle-aged men burning themselves out at their desks, there is something noble about it. For me, the building that embodies this idea is the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium that I end up speeding through at around 8:00AM every weekend. Even at that early hour when admittedly most of the city is still snoozing, I am delighted to see people working out, playing tennis, etc, all bettering themselves amidst truly aspirational architecture.
The architect in question is the futurist Fumihiko Maki, and in his soaring lines, vents and speeding chevrons you feel like you could do anything.