An Afternoon in Ginza, Yurakucho, and Marunouchi


Last Saturday I left early in the afternoon for Ginza to have a look at this month’s Ginza Graphic Gallery exhibition, “Graphic Wave 2004” (more here). After that, I slowly made my way to the Apple Store, comfortably walking in the middle of the street as it was closed off from car traffic. At the Apple Store, I was obviously drawn to the new iMacs, as everyone else there was also. I assure you, they look even better up close, and it was hard to find one that didn’t have someone playing around with it.

Following my usual route when I’m in the area, I headed towards Yurakucho to stop at the Okinawa store (taco rice set, chinsuko cookies, and A&W root beer), and then to Muji. The Yurakucho Muji superstore is currently undergoing some renovations (re-launches September 23), and most of the floorspace was closed off, including the whole 3rd floor, and the Meal Muji cafeteria. I’m definitely curious as to what it is they’ll be unveiling next week.

I then walked through the Tokyo International Forum, which is always a kick (I’ll put some pics up in the next few days to give you an idea of why it’s worth checking out), and then figured that I could easily walk to the Marunouchi Building (or Maru Biru). I sometimes forget that the different areas of Tokyo are so close by, because all these places are stops on the train/subway to me. So a short 5/10 minute walk brought me to Maru Biru, where I found an art event happening (see this moblog pic, and I’ll feature some more pics over the next few days). It’s to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the shopping/lifestyle center. I’d read in TOKYO WALKER last week that Dragonfly Cafe had opened a new branch in the area, but never ended up finding it because of a typo in the magazine (it said it was on the 36th floor, which I checked out, but it’s actually at street level in another building adjacent to Maru Biru). I tried going to another cafe called D’Cross, but the place was packed, and I didn’t feel like waiting in line.

One interesting thing about that day is that it cost me so little. I’ve been complaining a lot lately about not having a lot of money to do stuff, but what I’ve just described shows that it’s actually possible to enjoy the city with next to no money (just the transportation costs to get there and back). The exhibitions at the GGG are always free, and my stop at the nearby Apple Store included some time on the 4th floor using one of their many internet-connected iMacs (where I wrote this post). The Muji store is always fun to visit, and you usually have the Atelier Muji that you can check out (I hope they don’t lose this in the renovations). The Tokyo International Forum is a nice piece of architecture that you can appreciate, and then Maru Biru had the free art event, with works being on display throughout. And tonight I’m going to the free Takemura Nobukazu event at the Apple Store. It’s nice to know that all these things are out there.