DoggyMan Kansai Logistics Center
A dachshund-shaped building was designed by Nikken and completed in 2011. It functions as DoggyMan’s warehouse and distribution center and is located in Osaka. It can be seen if you’re driving along the Hanshin Expressway No. 4. An outline along the roof lights up at night, allowing drivers to see the adorable shape even when its dark.
Kirin Beer Factory (Nagoya)
Located along the Tokaido Shinkansen Line (and viewable as you’re pulling out of Nagoya Station) is the Kirin Beer Factory. The tanks are immediately recognizable because they’re painted to look just like a tall glass of beer: golden brown on the bottom with white foam at the top. If you’re actually in Nagoya you can also schedule a free tour and tasting! (They even have a hip-looking restaurant)
Meiji Chocolate Factory (Osaka)
In 2011 Meiji, known for their chocolate candy, decided to refurbish their first factory that was originally built in 1955. Since then it’s been a magical place for kids and the company wanted to instill that same magical spirit into their new factory. Given that the JR Kyoto train line runs directly south, Taisei Design proposed an idea that to make the entire façade look like a gigantic bar of chocolate that can be seen from the train. It’s 28 m high and 166 m long, which is equivalent to 38,000 bars of chocolate. If you want to visit, they offer free tours as well.
(This one is my favorite.)
Taru Tonneau in Okinawa
In Okinawa there’s a bar and eatery known as the Barrel Restaurant. The real name is Taru Tonneau (taru means barrel in Japanese) and the shop is shaped like a gigantic whiskey barrel. It’s been around since at least 2012 but its website looks like it’s from the 90s. It’s one of the more wild novelty architecture designs we’ve come across but it certainly does the trick in announcing its business.