Visitors to Japan's famous Mt Fuji have yet another vantage point for their holiday snaps, thanks to a recently completed observation deck by famed local architect Kengo Kuma. Though it sits above a nearby plateau with scenic views in every direction, the Nihondaira Yume Terrace, with a striking design and interactive exhibitions, is designed to become an attraction in its own right.

Nihondaira is a scenic area in the Shizuoka prefecture that draws visitors from all over Japan and abroad for its scenery, which includes, of course, Unesco World Heritage Site Mt Fuji. Visitors to the Nihondaira Yume Terrace can learn about the history of the area through interactive displays on the ground floor, and also enjoy refreshments in the lounge on the second floor.

But the crowning glory is the observation deck on level three, which sits well above the plateau and offers uninterrupted views in every direction. This includes a clear look at Mt Fuji itself, but also on offer are views of Suruga Bay (Japan's deepest), the 120-km-long (75 mi) Southern Alps and the Izu Peninsula.

These can be enjoyed from the open air decking or from inside via floor-to-ceiling windows, where the interior is spectacularly topped by an eye-catching arrangement of locally sourced cedar blocks, designed to appear like dense branches. This kind of playful pattern is typical of Kuma's works, and can also be seen throughout the Nihondaira Yume Terrace's interior and exterior.

That includes beneath the so-called air corridor, an exterior walkway designed to offer additional perspectives of Mt Fuji and give visitors the sensation of "walking above the ground."

Source: Kengo Kuma

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