The capital of Japan always seems to be ahead of the curve. In fact, many of the people behind futuristic films and television shows look to Tokyo for inspiration on how to design a city to be as modern and cutting edge as possible.
When it's dark, the already innovative buildings throughout the city often light up in multiple colors, making Tokyo look even more advanced than it does in the daytime. Pictures of the city at night are magical and can often take your breath away. Here are a few examples of some of the modern advancements in Tokyo looking their most futuristic.
Some of the best pictures of Tokyo at night have been taken by photographer Tom Blachford in his photo series entitled "Nihon Noir." Blachford had an appreciation for the architecture and aesthetic of buildings in Tokyo, such as the Edo-Tokyo museum.
This museum, which chronicles the city's Edo era (1603-1838), is asymmetrical and has what seems to be an extra, incomplete piece of building jutting off to the side. Blanchard said the building reminded him of a "robotic bulldog." This is futuristic-looking even by today's standards, but it turns out this building was finished in 1993!
This photo also comes from Tom Blanchard, who noted that the building resembled the Tyrell Corporation Headquarters from Blade Runner. Once again, although this building looks modern, it was built in 1996.
Also known as the Tokyo International Exhibition Center, this building is the largest exhibition and convention center in the entire country of Japan. There's no overlooking this building—those giant mounted inverted pyramids will surely grab your attention as you walk past. Check it out if you're ever in the Ariake Minami district of Tokyo Waterfront City.
This fortress almost looks otherworldly, doesn't it? But no, it was intended to be a regular apartment building—all the way back in 1972. Talk about ahead of the curve! Designed by Kisho Kurokawa, this building was designed with the idea that rooms could be added and removed as needed.
It was supposed to be the future of buildings, and while it's certainly innovative, it hasn't seemed to catch on yet! While you can still rent an apartment there, the building is said to not be in the best shape at the moment.
This building was designed by Kenzo Tange, who is kind of considered the father of the "metabolist" architectural movement. The Shizuoka Press and Broadcasting Center was built in 1967, and similar to the Nakagin tower, it looks as if rooms are bolted on sporadically to the core center piece.
It was also built with the idea that rooms could be taken off or added on, but it has yet to change from its original amount of rooms. This tall, narrow building, especially in the dark, is nothing short of revolutionary.
The Tokyo Skytree is technically a broadcasting and observation tower, but above anything, it's a tourist attraction. Completed in 2012, the Skytree is lit up with LED lights at night. Typically, the colors will alternate between blue and purple, but on special occasions, you'll get a variety, as seen in this picture.
During the day, it remains the bluish-white color it was originally painted. We're sure you can agree that the Skytree at night with all its light is a bit more spectacular! One of the original hopes for the design was that it would "revitalize" the city, and it seems like that goal was met!
No need to question what they're selling at Yodobashi Akiba. The ads for all their products are right on the building! If an entire nine floors of gadgets and technology wasn't futuristic enough, the ginormous advertisements lighting the night sky up with color are the definition of modern times.
There isn't just technology inside, however. There are also restaurants, a record store, a bookstore, clothing stores, a spa, a golfing range, and a batting center. This store managed to become a hot nightlife spot!
Yes, even cemeteries can be given a modern upgrade in Tokyo. Operated by the Koukokuji Buddhist Temple, this resting place has 2,046 small altars containing ashes. Loved ones are given a card that can access their ashes, and a corresponding glass Buddha statue will light up in response, signifying where the remains are. The ashes are stored for 33 years before being buried.
Is there anything more futuristic than altars made for the deceased being lit up with an LED Buddha? The lights are actually very beautiful, so it's understandable why some would find this particular resting place a fitting tribute for their deceased loved one.
So that ginormous robot that's larger than a building is just chilling there? The people of Tokyo are used to it by now. The Unicorn Gundam statue is around 64.5 feet tall and is a rendering of a character that has been popular in Japan since 1979.
This guy resides in front of DiverCity Tokyo Plaza and does frequent "shows" throughout the day where he'll transform from his "Unicorn" mode to "Destroy" mode. The statue moves and lights up, and of course that's particularly awesome when it's dark out. Nothing says future more than a giant robot!
The Fuji Television building is already surreal-looking enough during the daytime, but at nighttime, the building's futuristic appearance is taken to a whole new level. Innovative designer Kenzo Tange also designed this building, and construction on it was finished in 1997.
That giant ball weighs about 1,350 pounds and doubles as an observation deck where you can view Tokyo as well as Mount Fuji. This building serves as the headquarters for the Fuji Television Network, and while it may be bizarre-looking to us, it's just another average day at the office for the people who work there.
The "Kingdom of Light" show at Huis Ten Bosch amusement park is truly a sight to see. The park is decorated every year during the winter, and last year's show included 13 million lights in total.
This is one of the biggest displays of lights ever in Japan, and seeing it in person will have you transported to a whole other world. Tokyo always goes all-out and commits itself to an aesthetic, and winter decorations are no different. If this is what the future looks like, it appears to be beautiful and bright.