Friday, June 30, 2006

See, wasn't this shorter?

If it's Thursday, it must be Go Somewhere Random In Tokyo Day! Today's destination was Roppongi Hills, a three-year-old behemoth of an apartment and shopping complex erected in southwest Japan. After my first actual ride on the Tokyo subway system (as opposed to the ubiquitous light rail), we made it to Roppongi Station, where the first thing we saw after we stepped out of the door was this:

Hello...

Apparently the popular opinion on Roppongi Hills is rather split, with half too awed by its sheer size to make many complaints, and the other half calling it a blight on the face of Tokyo (a la early criticism of the former World Trade Center). I could try and make some opinions of my own, but what would be the point?--as someone famous once said (and someone else paraphrased, it's not for me. We did walk around a bit, though, where among ridiculously upscale boutiques and somewhat exotic restaurants, we came across another gem:


After that, we stopped by the Mori Art Museum, up on the 53rd floor, and were whisked through an exhibition of contemporary African art. Most modern art exhibits I go to tend to grow on me, it seems. At first, I walk around, stymied by most everything, wondering what the deuce could be the appeal. Then, without fail, either the art starts to make sense or I start to go insane. Either way I begin to enjoy myself. At one point, we walked through the music room, where, of all songs, they were playing "Douba- Taru Salaam" by Youssou N'Dour. I had the great opportunity to see him live at UNC's Memorial Hall last fall, so this had the fun result of African music making me nostalgic for North Carolina.

Next on the list was Tokyo City View, in the same building. Not much to say here, but I did get some nice pictures.


The group split up here, but Derek, Larissa, Laurel, J.K., Scott and I decided to stop by Harajuku, since it was only about 20 minutes away. Though I was ridiculously tired, hungry, and ergo cranky (4 hours of sleep the night before) by this point, the place I got Korean barbecue at managed to help at least the last two. Harajuku, also, seems to be the World Center of Crepes; we passed about four stops in our ten-minute walk. We also walked by this place, which I thought was somewhat amusing to see in the fashion capital of Japan:


Eventually, I made it home, did my homework, and immediately (and somewhat unwillingly) fell asleep. This, incidentally, is why there are no Vending Machine Specials--I didn't have time to take the pictures when I woke up. I really am going to have to make a post with nothing but them sometime next week, I suppose.

Today hasn't been much to talk about; I ate at McDonald's again (at Derek's request, thank you very much) and had a calligraphy lesson with the rest of the group. This actually went better than you would think, coming from the self-admittedly-illegible author here. But when it came time to make our final design, the assistant didn't give me enough ink, which pretty much screwed the entire thing up. So it goes.

Anyway, I won't have wireless access again until Monday (late Sunday night/early Monday morning), so check back then for more updates. Have a good weekend!

2 Comments:

At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Julie said...

I like them long. :) I will have to catch up on reading your blog this week as I worked for 6 days straight last week. I mailed you something, and you should get it sometime this week according to the US Postal Service. (And no it's not anything that is going to get stuck at customs.) I hope you're enjoying your trip despite everything. Do they sell Mountain Dew in all those vending machines?

Julie

 
At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm catching up after a week in foriegn lands (shut up, Bermuda can be foriegn too) and a week of work, so this is a little late. But I just had to say that the Tokyo City picture looking down on those two buildings is just incredible.

-Jim

 

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