Tokyo was as I had expected, and I suppose all Asian metropolises look more or less the same (I might be wrong).
However, Kyoto was a very nice surprise. It didn’t look like a large Japanese city even if its population is close to 1.5 million. No wonder Kyoto is on the position 12 on the list published by the lifestyle magazine Monocle.
You cannot come to Japan without visiting Kyoto.
‘Kyoto Tower’, the tallest structure in an otherwise very flat city, from Wikipedia:
Kyoto Tower has been the subject of controversy since it was in its planning phase. Public opposition not only stemmed from the tower’s ¥380 million ($1.056 million in 1963) price tag, but also from the fact that many believed the needle-shaped spire was too modern looking for the ancient capital. The construction regulations in Kyoto that restrict a building’s maximum height increases the sense of proportion between the tower and the low machiya and ferroconcrete apartment blocks below. These municipal regulations have ensured that the tower maintains its status as the tallest man-made structure in the city since its construction and will likely help it to hold the distinction for many years to come.
Today, reaction to Kyoto Tower remains divided. Many foreigners who come to Kyoto seeking an elusive sense of old Japan are surprised to see both the modern, glass and steel Kyoto Station and the imposing steel tower directly across the street. Alex Kerr, an expert on Japan’s fading past, has called the tower “a stake through the heart” of the city.