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A Day and Night in Aoyama

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We head out for Aoyama late in the afternoon (Saturdays tend to start late for us) and get there around 4:30. I start by checking the map at the Omotesando station koban to find out where the newly opened BOOK246 shop is, only to find out that’s a bit out of the way (it’s close to the Aoyama 1-Chome station). As we haven’t eaten yet, we start by going to the Dragonfly Cafe for a nice late lunch, and are suprised to find out that they have now opened a new branch of Cow Books (the Nakameguro bookshop) inside the cafe. It’s a very similar selection of books, and I buy a nice bookmark. After eating, we go to the nearby Cafe Chum (just across the road, down the dead end street) which we had spotted on our way to Dragonfly. It’s nice to continue sitting outside while enjoying our caramel lattes, surrounded by lots of plants. The plan is then to head to Spiral, but we stop at Gallery 360 on our way there. They are presently showing works by Yoko Ono (“Add Color Painting I LOVE YOU”), but I’m mostly interested by the books on sale (and we admire a beautiful dog hanging out on a chair). After checking out the Asian furniture at R-Shop, we then go to Spiral, or more specifically Spiral Records, where I ask for Toyama Takeo’s HELLO 88, which they don’t have. We then walk through the exhibition space (lots of red), and spend some time at the Spiral shop. As we leave the building, we turn left on the first street we encounter, and find quite a few nice cafes, bars and restaurants, one of them being the Cafe Lesjeux Grenier, which we’ll get back to later. We finally end up at the Las Chicas complex, where I want to have a look at the Intelligent Idiot used bookshop, only to find out that it’s already closed for the day (it’s now past 8). As we still want to do some walking, we head towards Nadiff, on the chance that it’s still open (it’s not). We then go back to the street near Spiral to have some coffee (me a cafe au lait, Yuko a coffee soda) and desert at the Cafe Lesjeux Grenier. It’s a nice funky place with an old feel to it, and it’s nice to sit at the balcony with the nice cool breeze to keep us refreshed. An hour or so later we’re heading out, and getting back to Ikebukuro. A stop at Santouka for some ramen marks an end to a fine day.