Back in the big city, I met Jordon for lunch today at Suji's and we took advantage of the lovely day (it started off pouring, but improved significantly), to sit outside on the newly built patio Suji's has out front. It was really pleasant! We had a nice lunch/good chat before he had to head back up to the office, (thanks for making the effort to come all the way to Roppongi!). I decided to see what all the fuss was about and check out the new Tokyo Mid-Town Project which opened today in Roppongi. (view from the galleria mall over the park-very nice!)
It's a really nice development! I like it better than Roppongi Hills, because it's more compact, and the mall is actually a mall whereas RH is so spread out, and I always get the feeling that half the tenants have forgotten to move in. Plus, things are in really random places - there are cafes scattered all over the place, and its all kind of empty.
(water feature looking at the main Mid Town Plaza Building)
(Glass roof over the plaza area)
The complex, developed by Matsui, and designed by Tadao Ando (I think!) includes the Ritz Carlton Tokyo, a new art museum, a four-floor galleria shopping mall, cafes and restaurants, a radio studio, housing, etc. There is also a park and a pond behind the development. As I was walking around in the park today, with the sun shining and the breeze blowing, and the sakura blooming happily I definitely felt as though I was in an architects rendering and not real life! It's so new and shiny and perfect, and the day was so perfect that it was crazy!
There were quite a few people there to check it out today, but most parts (except Starbucks) weren't too crazy. Also notably nuts was the Ritz Carlton. It takes up 15 floors way up in the main building, and has a dedicated elevator to go up to the lobby. I wanted to go check that out, so I went to the entrance of the elevator, and one of the men there, who spoke very good English, told me that in order to see the lobby you need reservations, and that they were booked solidly through April 10th. Just to go up and stand in the lobby! Nuts!
I had a pretty good poke around, especially in the galleria, which is full of incredibly expensive shops (think Harry Winston), and has a pretty big Italian presence from the looks of things. On one floor, however, they have all art, design, and interior shops, which are very nice, though of course expensive. They even have a Faber and Castell store. Its amazing how posh you can make pencils look!
Unfortunately, I didn't have a proper camera with me, and my phone died part way through my self-guided tour, as I was emailing photos as I took them to flickr and I guess that ate up a lot of juice. Anyway, I'll have to go back again with a real camera to check out what I missed!
Since then, I've basically just been hanging out at home - Peter came home briefly and then went out for a massage with Hitomi, and I plowed through another book by Olivia Goldsmith - Insiders. Good escapism!
Anyway, that's about it, and the internet is being flaky, so I'm going to get going...