An Afternoon at Roppongi Hills


After both getting some haircuts early in the morning at a hair salon not far from our place (the area around Azuma Dori in Ikebukuro has 7-8 of them), we grab a quick lunch at home before taking the Tokyo Metro (its new official name) for a visit to the Mori Art Museum at Roppongi Hills. The latest exhibition is a collaboration with New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and so we get to see a good part of their collection. I find some nice pieces in the later part of the show, but it doesn’t compare to the massive HAPPINESS from last year. After getting a few Murakami badges (yeah, yeah, so passe, but hey, they still make me happy), a very nice t-shirt designed by Yamaguchi Akira, and a Brockmann Light figure (more on this later, and a chance for you to get one), we are refused entrance to the City View section of the Mori Building. Seems that it’s not included in the MoMA ticket, which I find to be a total rip (this would have been Yuko’s first chance at seeing this, and I was looking forward to it). We head back down, filthy lucre in my new Porter bag (my birthday present to myself), and decide to seek out a nice cafe space.

We first head to the Toraya Cafe, which I’d seen mentioned in last month’s CASA BRUTUS, only to find a queue that would mean an uncomfortable wait. A check of the menu reveals nothing but costly options, and peeking through the window doesn’t entice us any further. Crossing the street we try the Idee Caffe, and end up with a nice table on the terrace. Not a bad place, even though the music can be a bit “much” (I don’t want to be in Ibiza). An ice latte and cinamon roll later, we slowly make our way through the Roppongi Hills complex, finally ending up at one of our favorite shops, the very eclectic Village Vanguard, where Yuko uses her powers of luck to get me a fourth figure in the “Guys in Relax Town” collection (having the worst of luck when it comes to gacha gacha machines, I usually fear trying once I have 2-3 figures in a set). Yuko then grabs a bite to eat at a Taiwanese bento shop called Hige Cho, one of only 2 locations of this real Taiwan franchise in Japan. We spot a few savory looking bowls of ramen (one shop coming from Kobe, Yuko’s hometown), but fight the temptation and make our way back to Ikebukuro.

Pictured above, from left to right: the Idee Caffe terrace, Murakami flowers that help you find your way at Roppongi Hills, a print of the complex at one of the gift shops, the view from the Mori Art Museum.