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Monday, November 06, 2006

It was a bit of a grey day today, but I still decided to head back over to Roppongi Hills. Since last time we went, we were rushing to get to the Tokyo City View before dark, we didn't really have time to look around. I was considering a visit to the 'Masterworks from the Cleveland Museum of Art' exhibition at the Mori Art Museum, but it turned out there was lots to look at without that, so maybe another day... I basically poked around the many many buildings, and wished I hadn't run out of the house with no big camera, and dead batteries in my little inherited Sony camera.... Soooo there are a few pictures from the keitai, which is a good demo of what 3.2mexapixels on a phone will do for you, but there is an unfortunate thumb shot over what would have otherwise been a nice overview :(
for a bit of a poke around. When Peter and I went before, we were rushing to get up the

After that, I wandered around the Roppongi Area a little bit, partly in search of shops which didn't require a budget equal to the GDP of a developing (or semi developed for that matter) African country, but in the end, I ended up in the Aoyama Book Centre, which is the bookstore that Pete and I went to that first day here, when we got my (already very dog eared and well used) Tokyo City Atlas.

Totally bizarrely, I ran into Kong on the street outside the bookstore. Even though he lives in the area, in a city of 10 million +/- that's got to be quite a coincidence. He was off to a concert, so we just said hi, and then I went into the bookstore, which is open until 5:30AM!

They have suuuuuch a good design section, it was all I could do to remind myself that I'd just decided not to go shopping! There was one book which I fell completely in love with - a practical guide to book design, for only Y2500. Unfortunately, it was in Japanese, and there was too much information to make it something I could fudge by looking at the pictures :( For those interested, you can check it out here, although that is an link, so its not so English friendly...just like the book :(

Of course, you didn't actually think I could make it out of a bookstore without buying anything, did you? I walked out of there with a copy of Metropolis and another free magazine with lots of random photos in it (it seems to be some kind of photography issue, but there was no explanatory text), and then also bought: 'Tokyo for Free' which is packed with over 400 cool things to do in and around Tokyo, all, of course, for free. It's getting on a bit (1998), but I'm hoping some of the cool stuff is still around! Lots of things are pretty easy to figure out that they're still around (I'm thinking the Imperial Palace doesn't up and leave), but there might be some hole in the wall places which have since moved on...

There are a few incredibly random things in here, like the museum of laundry and dry cleaning (which boasts 2500 visitors yearly, and has an 8000volume reference library), but also includes listings for some very cool opportunities ranging from sake tasting to trying your hand at diamond point engraving (if you bring the glassware, it's free to use their diamond I guess).

Tomorrow, I'll definitely be checking out one or two of the attractions on offer, as well as preparing some lessons - I start my dubious English teaching career at 2pm on Wednesday! Speaking of language lessons, I started to look into Japanese lessons today, and found a couple of schools that do one month intensive (20-25 hr/week) Japanese language and culture schools, with sessions starting in the new year, but then I read my handy dandy guidebook, and found out that a lot of the ward offices hold Japanese classes for free, so I might just have to go check that out first!


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