In a recent post, Robert takes through a nice tour of the Kanda/Jinbocho area. He’s got me wanting to go there now, especially to the Tokyo Random Walk design bookstore! And that Saboru cafe looks excellent (I think he’s mentioned once wanting to bring me there). In his words, “a great place to go and forget about the ebb and flow of time.”
It’s a nice sunny Saturday, and we leave our place unusually early (noon) in order to make it to the Muji flagship store in Yurakucho for lunch at Meal Muji. After a nice healthy lunch and a bit of shopping, we make our usual stop at the Okinawa shop (picking up a Taco Rice kit and some Chinsuko cookies), and then head out to the Ginza Graphic Gallery for the Danish Posters show. We then make our way to the Apple Store, with the purpose of finding out how much it would cost to replace the dead battery in my iBook (a replacement is the same price as a new one: too damn expensive). While waiting for my turn at the Genius Bar, I play around with a 17″ Powerbook. Sweet. Before leaving Ginza, we make a stop at the Matsuzakaya depachika (basement food court), and get loads of great things to eat.
The following day is dedicated to heading out to Todai for some studying (something we were planning on doing after what was supposed to be a “quick” stop in Ginza the previous day). Arriving in Hongo, we start the afternoon by making our regular stop at the Mermaid Cafe. Leafing through a pamphlet, I find out that there’s also one in Daikanyama. After an afternoon of studying (well, that and reading the newspapers and recent issues of TIME and NEWSWEEK), we exit the campus and decide to check out the Neo Sitting Room (moblog entry here), a nice little cafe I’d spotted in a magazine (can’t remember which one). Their specialty is Japanese style desserts (I have a delicious Agepan Ice), but the other people there have ordered tasty looking noodle based dishes. We’ll try them out next time. A Happy End album is playing, and I’m very happy to hear my favorite song by them, “Kaze wo Atsumete.”
Tokyo remains the world’s most expensive city, according to the latest cost of living survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting released Monday. London was ranked 2nd, Moscow 3rd, with Osaka and Hong Kong rounding out the top five most expensive cities, while Asuncion in Paraguay is the least expensive city in the survey of 144 urban areas.
Great, we’re tops again! No wonder I can’t go out as much as I’d like to. Read the rest of the article here.
We finish up our week of pics from Roppongi Hills with this shot of the Hige Cho Taiwanese bento shop. According to Yuko, it’s the only memorable thing at Roppongi Hills (well, that and Village Vanguard).
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.