Tokyo, Japan

Architect Peter Marino, creator of stores for Louis Vuitton, Dior and Chanel, reveals the traditional secrets of one of his favorite cities

He may be the visionary behind some of the flashiest high-tech buildings in the Ginza district (Chanel's new 10-story flagship) or along Omotesando Avenue (Louis Vuitton's 36,000-sq.-ft. monolith), but when New York City--based architect Peter Marino heads to Tokyo, he seeks out the city's more traditional--and simple--sites, including the shitamachi, or low city. "This city is a succession of villages, and in each one the atmosphere is that of a different world," he explains. One of his favorite routes is from Waseda University down to the Minowabashi station on the Arakawa tram line. "It's a part of Tokyo that did not...

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