Tokyo Travels Part 3

In my final post on Tokyo (for now! as I am sure I will be back to Tokyo again and will be happy to share my tips with you) you can read about the following:

Where else to shop… ladies and gentlemen it is bargain hunting time

My best find during this visit…

For the couples and the romantic hearts out there…

Happy reading! I hope you will find something that interest and inspire you, and you will take up some of my recommendations the next time you are in Tokyo.

…and Dear Park Authority, if you read this entry I hope you will find the beauty of my story. Dear Reader, by the end of this post, the above will all make sense!

Where else to shop… ladies and gentlemen it is bargain hunting time

I covered the basics of Shibuya and mentioned Seria, Uniqlo and GÜ already in my first entry, though I will go on about Uniqlo a bit more here. Promise, solely for your benefit. Even if the brand is available in your country make sure that you check out the flagship store in Ginza. It is the largest in the world and has 12 floors, so guaranteed you will find something either for yourself or as a present. Bear in mind that this shop gets quite busy especially with the Chinese tourists who come on coaches for shopping trips. This area is is considered the Ginza shopping district, so can easily spend a day or two here shop hopping and bargain hunting.

Just remember that Uniqlo and some of the bigger stores also do a VAT exclusion for tourists. The Uniqlo offer is valid for any purchase over ¥5000, but you must have your passport with you, as they staple the receipt in there. Then all you need to do is to hand that slip in at a desk, just before you proceed to immigration at the airport. Ok, the VAT is not that much maybe around 8%, but if you are considering purchasing a few items then it all adds up.

Where to go for the Ginza shopping day out and for the largest Uniqlo in the world just head to Ginza’s main street Chuo Dori

Or cut and paste this into your Google map: Japan, 〒104-0061 東京都中央区銀座 ギンザコマツ 6−9−5 ギンザコマツ東館 1F-12F

Sunshine City – this is one of the department stores I visit every time I am in Tokyo, and is located in Ikebukuro. I used to get off at the main subway station at Ikebukuro, and fight my way through the crazy amount of people both under and over ground, but I must be getting subway savvy, or just got lucky this time (either way it works me). I was taking the Ginza line and noticed that the Y10 station aka Higashi Ikebukuro (just one station before Ikebukuro) had some signposts for Sunshine City. So off I jumped the metro and followed the signs. I was in the mall in less than 5 minutes, no big crowd, no hassle, just pure satisfaction! I think I nailed it, just as good as a local!

Now, I will tell you how on earth I ended up in this mall the first time, as it was not down to coincidence, but careful research and map reading. Believe me, you would probably not find this mall by luck! It is rather a mission in itself!

If you read my previous post on Tokyo, you might have gathered that in the family we have a thing going on for Studio Ghibli, and I really wanted to get some authentic souvenirs for Antoine. However, I read that the Ghibli museum was quite far out of the city, so was very happy when I came across a shop that was specialising in Studio Ghibli items. Since the first trip, we got a few more gismos, but still my favourite are these chopsticks. But even if you don’t buy anything, the shop worth a visit, not to mention, you can get a picture taken with Totoro waiting at the bust stop. Always fun 🙂     ( I know you probably wonder what the hell… )

You can find all Studio Ghibli characters here and the shop also sell Moomins gadgets

Our favourite chopsticks. I own the pair with Jiji, aka the black cat from Kiki’s delivery service.

The mall itself is not that known to tourists, or at least I have not seen a lot of them here, so you will mainly come across locals, which is also reflected in some of the fashion and items that are on offer. My favourite area though is the market hall within the mall, which is located at the far end on the lower level. I found some real gems in this area, though not every time I get lucky. The brand is called archives and is a tiny boutique within the market hall as you enter. Not everything is great here, but I found the best tulle skirt (yes the ballerina type tutus) here. I started off with a navy blue and I liked them so much that since I bought a khaki green and an off white during the follow up visits. So basically, I bought the skirt in every colour that it has been ever made in! I get so many compliments and the skirts are really nicely done, you have two layers of soft tulle and finally an underskirt that is not 20 cm shorter than your actual skirt!

Even if you are not a girlie girl, you will love these tulle ballerina skirts. I wear my navy blue with a navy blue top and a black leopard ankle boots, just to rock it up a bit, or wear the khaki one with my gold top for a more dress up look.

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Who said only little girls get to wear tutu skirts?

This time unfortunately the shop did not have anything exciting, but this will not prevent me from returning and checking the stock next time I am in Tokyo. And to my luck I stumbled across archives’ outlet store, where I managed to get some shopping done. Read along if you are interested.

Another shop that is also worth checking out and is in the market hall area is the retro girl. I got this top there for ¥1800 in May, well before the off shoulder craze hit the stores. Anyhow, the pattern and style is classic, so I am sure I will use it for a good few years.

What else is in Sunshine City… You have a 3 coins store, where everything is ¥300, and right next to it there is a shop with cute home decoration items. The variety of ladies accessories is also endless here, and they are normally a great bargain. The place is also great for getting everything you may need for a Halloween or fancy dress party. Although I am talking about the actual clothes and accessories and not the cheap mock off that you can order online or find in fancy dress shops. The price and the selection could not be compared to what you would find back at home, not to mention that your outfit would be unique. Once, I was planning to dress up as a Harajuku girl for Halloween, believe me finding the right things for it in Dubai, was not easy or cheap, and was very much cursing myself why I was not thinking of this idea whilst I was in Japan!!!

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So you could end up rocking an outfit similar to this stylish Japanese tiny teen. Be brave, I am with you!

Two more things about this place…

Make sure you wonder around the stage area in the middle of the mall. They seem to have always something on. This time I came across a traditional drum show, which I really enjoyed.

Secondly… Have you ever had a bubble tea or any variation of it? Well, if you are in Asia, it is a must, and this cute little Moomins bubble teashop makes a great selection. I opted for the strawberry milk version! Happy slurping! Now you feel like blending in, right?

 

Where to go for Sunshine City: 3 Chome-1 Higashiikebukuro, 豊島区 Tokyo 170-0013, Japan . And don’t forget my tip on getting off at Higashi Ikebukuro. Believe me, it will make your life so much easier. Once you are done with Sunshine City, check out Tokyu Hands that is next to the mall. It is a bit hard to explain what to expect from this department store, lets just say you can buy everything here from hobby and craft materials to travel gadgets and magic trick accessories. So chances of you finding what you need ( and don’t need ) is very very high!

OIOI – at Ueno. This department store would be my other recommendation for shopping. It is one of my new discoveries and I was very happy with myself. Go there if you are interested in more grown up and sophisticated fashion, and also for shoes!!! My big problem with Japanese shoes has always been that they seemed to be catering either for the youngsters made out of PVC with rocket high platforms, or the grandmothers with comfortable and ugly design. I always felt a bit sad that I could not get any nice and unique design combined with leather material. But good news, this store finally understands my needs! Not saying it is cheap, but for once my eyes could have a feast on the display.

This department store is also the home of the archives outlet. Sorry ladies, can’t remember which floor it was on, but at least you have an excuse to check out the whole place. I ended up with this peach beauty for a ¥1900 and even though this skirt is lacking the same drama effect compared to my others due to the fact that it has only one layer of tulle, the colour compensates for a lot.

 

I left the best shopping find last, hopefully that was not a mistake, and you are still reading the article.

So here it goes, the best bargain I’ve found in the city.Tokyo City Flea Market – apart from my picnics I am also a practicing enthusiast when it comes to flea markets. I think I just love a good old bargain hunt and the market experience. Unfortunately some vendors have a ‘special’ price for the tourists so please be sceptical about that; still, you can find some good buys.

First I was a bit disappointed as I missed out on a good few markets as they are either organised on the first or last weekend of each month, and of course I ended up being in Tokyo on the middle two. C’est la vie, and I just did some more research, then persistence just payed off. So this beauty is held every Saturday and Sunday. Apparently it is only cancelled in case of rain. It opens at 9am and even though the official closing hour is 3pm, I found that lot of the vendors were gone by 2pm. On Saturday I had a nice stroll around the market bought a pre-loved gorgeous silk kimono, which I just love, especially the colours, and if you know how much a kimono cost new in a shop, you will love the prices here.

 

I was hesitating about a leather bag, but at the end I left it. Had some street foods they sold at the market and headed back to the city for some strolling around.

Of course the following day I still had the leather bag on my mind, and when I popped into Zara and saw all the fake leather bags for ridiculous amount, I knew I had a new mission of returning and finding that leather bag! I think it was good job that I was all by myself as I raced through the whole town, being the market at the opposite end of the city to where I had just experienced this moment of enlightenment, as I could have appeared slightly obsessive to anyone experiencing these moments with me. But as they say, need is a must!

Don’t want to create suspension for too long, so let’s just say I found THE BAG, even though the vendor was at a different spot on Sunday, plus bought three more! Among which I had a vintage Nina Ricci handbag and a Loui Gioune cute little doctors bag. Well, they are pre loved and the Loui Gioune may not have years in left in it, but as long as it is holding together I will cherish every moment with it and wear it proudly. Oh, and did I mention that I paid ¥200 each, minus my leather satchel bag, that was a ¥1000.

So ladies, I think we can conclude that listening to our intuition pays off, literally, on this occasion. The bags from left to right, the vintage Nina Ricci, the Loui Gioune and super soft leather satchel that I had to go back for.

After my Sunday market visit I am now also a proud owner of this very heavy and quite unpractical to carry, but regardless, beautiful glass plate. Sold and bought for ¥100 at the moment of everyone packing up! I think in technical terms, this is what you might literally call a closing deal! And apart from Antoine having nearly a heart attack for having to carry this heavy beauty all over the airport, it is now a nice central piece in our kitchen.

Overall I think it was lucky that I returned on Sunday as there were much more vendors compared to Saturday, and I think I managed to bag some great bargains. But I let you be the judge of that. Antoine also got some souvenirs, a grey summer scarf and a vintage Apollo lighter from the 1960’ s that turned out to have a tiny fault as the gas valve leaks, but we (I am) not giving up on it yet, and will try to get it fixed.

The lighter and the famous glass plate; let the picture not fool you about the size of our 4kgs plate!

How to get there: From Hamamatsucho station take the monorail towards Haneda airport and get off at Oi Keibajo Mae, though be careful as the rapid trains may not stop at this station. Once you are out of the station turn left and carry on walking until you walk past the Oi Racecourse on your left. Then you should arrive in a couple of minutes.

Watch out for this sign, and just to prove that it wasn’t only me obsessed with the bags!

My best find during this visit must be a hidden oasis in this big city; the Hibuya park. I love to visit parks during city breaks, especially to rest my aching legs in between doing an average 10km walks every day, soak in a bit of sunshine and watch the world go by.

Hibuya is actually the best park I came across in Tokyo. It is hidden among the office buildings in the area, and as tourists normally opt for the Imperial Palace next door, Hibuya Park does rarely get discovered and enjoyed. However, it is a popular site with the local people especially during lunch hours from the nearby offices, so expect bench sharing between the hours of 12pm and 2pm. The park is well maintained and has a number of different areas you can enjoy. On day 1 I only strolled around the water fountain section and spent a good few hours enjoying my strawberry milk and writing a nice letter to Antoine for our anniversary by using the traditional Japanese pen, and no I did not get  funny looks, or at least I did not notice! The same day I also discovered the Western style rose garden, and a tiny little pub where you can enjoy a cold Asahi close to the exit on the Imperial Palace side.

The second time I’ve visited the park that week, I also found the corner lake with the turtles and raised sidewalk with benches overlooking the park. This became really my favourite spot. Once Antoine arrived, I also introduced him to this place, where we enjoyed a nice al fresco lunch from Lawson with a small bottle of champagne to compensate for the slightly stale bread we had to put up with.

What I also found out that on the outdoor stage next to the fountain area the Tokyo Police Orchestra was giving a free concert between the hours of 12pm- 1pm on a Wednesday. I was planning to go back the following week to see if this was a regular event, but missed out on it. So if you are there, please go and check and let me know if it is definitely a weekly programme. The stage is quite big and I expect that there is a lot of good programmes organised here for free.Enjoy the cultural experience and the blending in with the locals!

The best spot in the park together with the heart shape cut out on the tree trunk that only noticeable from a certain angle.

For the couples and the romantic hearts out there…

My last item is going to be on a rather personal and sloppy topic, though I feel the need to tell you this, if I had already shared so much about Tokyo. Let me explain… I was in Tokyo in May 2015 with Antoine, and we spent the day separately. Not sure what Antoine was doing, I was probably doing some shop hopping. Either way, I fully support the idea of some ‘me time’ even on our holidays together. Plus it is also nice to return home aka to the hotel room in a different country and knowing that someone is waiting for you. Well, this time, Antoine just did that, but with a huge pot of beautiful blue hydrangea. It is really my favourite flower and was very surprised to see a live plant on the bedside table in the hotel room as I entered. Although the issue of what we were going to do with the plant arose quickly, as we could not take live plants to our next destination.

So Antoine suggested that he would plant it. He walked forever, but finally found a great spot in the middle of Tokyo. He used a spoon and dag a new home to our plant. And this is how we ended up with a little part of us living now in Tokyo.

I was actually shocked to see how busy the spot was that Antoine had found! Even to take picture with our plant I feel sometimes embarrassed about, and Antoine was kneeling there and digging with a spoon probably for hours! So really, all my respect goes to him. He may not get an A for practicality, but for being a romantic soul, definitely. Every time we return to Tokyo, we visit our plant. We were glad to see that it survived the winter, and the park attendants did not remove it either. In fact it has turned into a big and happy plant by now, as Antoine says, it represents our love!

I am not saying that you should all plant things on your holiday; I am purely sharing our story with you and how new traditions, even if fairly unconventional ones may develop, in the name of love and travelling.

2015 and then in 2016. The beautiful blue has turned into beautiful lilac due to the soil composition.

 

-THE END-

 

So what is next you may rightly ask? Well, I have more on Japan, but before you cry out loud, let me just say that only a couple of short entries on Osaka and Kyoto. After that, I am planning Thailand and Bali, and the rest is surprise for now, but luckily my travel schedule is looking busy! So plenty of exciting destinations are coming up not to mention a birthday special. Hence I hope to see you back here!

Tokyo Travels Part 2

As promised after my first entry, in this post you will read about my following Tokyo discoveries

Where to eat…

A bit of culture… aka where to hang out when you feel like being a kid and when you don’t mind acting like an adult (the second part will also work for sweeping ladies off their feet)

 Happy reading, planning and daydreaming!

Where to eat:

One thing we noticed in Tokyo was that restaurants close quite early everywhere, some at 10pm, others at 11pm, so bear that in mind when you are planning your evening. Also, on Sundays, most of the traditional Japanese restaurants and bars will be closed, so you may need to opt for a chain or a hotel restaurant.

Of course, there is no shortage in restaurants in Tokyo and it is great for exploring. Some will have English menu, at others you can choose from a picture selection, though you will come across a fair amount where you need to improvise. I remember our first time in Japan; we weren’t really prepared with Japanese expressions for pork, octopus and the rest, so after the first few restaurants where we had to randomly point at Japanese characters on the menu, we ended up drawing some animals on a piece of paper. You should have seen Antoine’s first attempt to draw a cow! Not that my chicken was that much better! So our ‘Pictionary’ attempts have eventually developed into what we named as our survivor card. Here it is for a bit of laugh.

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The one and only Japan survivor card from 2014

Nowadays we speak the basic food language so we can order chicken, beef, tuna and octopus, though we often are (ok mainly Antoine is) adventurous enough and just select a few things randomly on the menu, and hope (especially me) that it is not beef tongue or chicken skin that will follow.

But, when in Japan, you have to go with the flow and one thing you should do is to be brave enough to venture into the little traditional restaurants that are often filled with local people only. At first, it can be a bit intimidating, but once you downed your first cold sake, you will become more and more relaxed and will enjoy the experience. I have to admit, when I am on my own, I am slightly less brave, though with Antoine it is funny, as he doesn’t mind doing the initial assessment of the places and peeking through the little curtains and windows to check the places out. I follow him to most of the places…though I hold the veto power.

Japanese people are also very friendly, so if you show some willingness to communicate; a smile or a hand gesture could get you far. They also enjoy a brief conversation, and normally ask where you come from. This was the case in Yuki’s bar as well. We were actually going back to Shimbashi to try to find a restaurant that we enjoyed very much, back in January 2016, but unfortunately the place was closed. So we carried on with our search and ventured into the tiny streets, away from the crowds of Shimbashi. Yuki’s bar had a great entrance with huge stone steps and the ambience was a mixture of western and eastern charm. Was definitely a great spot for some cold sake, and as it turned out, also a place to start a new friendship.

We were offered to try at least 7 different types of sake, before settling for the one we liked the best, of course this was all on an empty stomach. But fear not, as some very delicious food followed… We ordered our usual sashimi plate, which was great, but despite me eating raw fish now, I have a tolerance level and once I reach that, I need something cooked! So luckily we got some baby grilled corns, followed by some pork slices with grilled peppers and shiitake. I just loved it. So much actually, that I wanted to come back and eat the same things again and again. Hence we told Yuki that we would be back.

Yes, that is me in the below mentioned devil horns, and I am very glad that the picture is so dark and blurry 🙂

In a couple of days time we returned as promised, but we only got to the bar as it was closing and we found Yuki in his boxers behind the bar, changing back from his work clothes. I was gutted as all day I was picturing myself having the pork and my grilled pimiento again, plus I was sooo hungry!

Yuki apparently had to meet his mum or that was what we understood, and he gestured that we should go with him. That was my chance gone of having a proper dinner that night, so I thought, and I pictured the 7/11 shelves and what might be left on it when we finally get around to eat. Sulk!

Before the rest of the story, you have to know that under no circumstances I do karaoke, and despite much encouragement from friends I still deny participation and just quietly and very quickly disappear from the scene. So to my luck Yuki took us to this private Japanese whisky/karaoke club that was run by his 70 years old mum, and as it seemed it also functioned as the family and friend-entertaining venue after the regular closing times. The evening turned out to be hilarious with a lot of sake and karaoke, and of course, us not singing was out of the question! I don’t think I’ve ever had such a crazy night; a room full of strangers being so welcoming and despite of us not understanding each other by words, the singing, the dancing and the hand signals did the job. And guess what, Yuki made some phone calls at the night, and shortly after we got our (my!!!) favourite dishes delivered and the same sake we had selected the other day. At one point I had an devil headpiece put on me by Yuki’s mother, who was also wearing one, and we danced and sang as if there was no tomorrow, until 1 am. Antoine had to get up that day at 6 am for his meeting. Oops.

We always planned to have a Japanese karaoke experience in those private rooms with Antoine, but never got around it, or just never had enough sake to build up the courage. I guess life had enough of our indecisiveness and arranged it for us!

Yuki, very sweetly, sent a message the following day in his broken English. “Yesterday thank you, September see you. “ As we were leaving that night we said that we were hoping to return to Tokyo for a few days in September.

Screenshots of our Google map entry and the bar found on Google. Just type this address in to locate the place; Japan, 〒105-0004 Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Shinbashi, 2 Chome−13−13-3

So if you are Tokyo, and want to enjoy a great bar with great sake selection and food, please visit Yuki’s bar. Can’t guarantee the karaoke craze afterwards, but you will not be disappointed even with the standard experience, I promise. And please mention that you are there due to Tony’s and Adrienn’s recommendation and pass our regards onto Yuki.

A bit of culture

Akihabara: Anime nails and video games. Of course you must have read about the vide games in this area, but did you know that you can get super cool anime nails done here?! I went for some Studio Ghibli options; Totoro, Mae, Kiki and Jiji. Studio Ghibli fans out there, I know you will truly appreciate this! I loved it so much and it lasted for a good few weeks. Some things to consider though before you sit down in the nail salon chair. They are made from scratch, these are not stickers, but a truly amazing form of art and you can watch the whole process. It was actually pretty cool, even though to get one nail done was approximately 30-40 minutes and not that cheap as I recall it was ¥2000 per nail.

Pros to get it down here, amazing quality, lasts weeks and boyfriend can be occupied with the video games in the same building or nearby. Win- win situations, isn’t just?

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Must be at the beginning of the 2 hours sitting still 😉 though was very happy to watch the artist working

Some tips: don’t get base colour under the figure, only a see through coat, as once your nail grows it will be too obvious and you would need to get rid of the figure as well quite quickly.

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TADAM, the final result! Let me introduce you to Totoro, Kiki, Mae and Jiji ( from left to right) all painted from scratch, and I promise in reality my fingers are less sausage looking

You can take pictures with you as communications in English can be quite limited, though I mentioned the figure name, she Googled it, and I picked the image I most liked! Oh, and it is gel nail polish, so once you are done with it, you need to get is scraped off. Happy painting!

Where to go: Don Quijote shopping mall, Akihabara, ground floor – don’t expect a big shop, it is a couple of chairs in the corner. But look at the result! I went to the lady with purple hair, though she could have green hair by now!

Yes, as you have probably guessed this was the tip about where to hang out when you feel like being a kid. Before we move onto the slightly more grown up and serious ambience one final advice for the ladies out there who has never really been into video games (like me!!!). Do not shy away from the game parlours in Tokyo, they are certainly a unique experience, and I would have never thought I will say this, but also so much fun! I ended up trying out some dancing and drumming games to start with, and I loved the ones where they test your reflexes as you hit each illuminating character. We also tried some adventure and shooting games together, which were a lot of fun! Needless to say that Antoine beat me 19 games out of 20, and yes I won one!!!, but I loved it and am very glad I gave in. Some advise though: If you aim for the Pachinko floor, don’t forget about the noise and the smoke! Having said that there is never a queue at the ladies toilet here 😉 Who said I am not an optimist?!

So if the above didn’t rock your boat how about some amazing view of Tokyo city instead, a cold glass of Boulanger rose champagne and some smooth jazz music? If this is more like your thing then read along.

The first time we went to the New York Grill Bar at the Tokyo Park Hyatt was for last year’s New Year’s Eve. It was a surprise organised by me marking Antoine’s special birthday, yes, it was one of the big ones.We actually flew on the 31st and landed at Tokyo Narita airport after 7pm. Our reservation was for after 9pm and I knew we had to race through the city, locate our Airbnb for the night (wanted to stay walking distance of the hotel in case of public transport disaster on the night, who would have thought that on New Year’s Eve in Tokyo it is as easy to find a taxi on the street as finding a 7/11 in Asia. Lesson learnt!)

So, just as most of the time, me, stressing about the time and hoping we will have 10 minutes in the flat to actually get ready for a super posh night, whilst Antoine is casually strolling through Shinjuku station admiring anything that is Japanese. This was the point when I thought, OK let’s break the silence about the surprise appointment, though according to Antoine, no issues, we can just stroll around in the city and pop into a bar, yeah, good luck with that on the 31st of December! Anyhow, eventually we located our tiny apartment, got ready in 10 minutes, I think Antoine even had time to smoke a cigarillo, we hailed a taxi off the street and headed for the big surprise.

I loved the whole experience, it was a bit of a splurge, and needless to say that after the 5 courses of set menu we ended up locating a McDonalds at 3am, as the size of the meals were rather questionable. But we had gorgeous cold champagne, a bottle of cold sake, some amazing ambience and smooth live jazz in the background.

So this time in Tokyo Antoine had a business dinner (men only I guess) so I decided that instead of sitting alone in the hotel room, I shall find some entertainment for myself. Googled the Park Hyatt again, and it turned out that they have the jazz performance every night. Wohoooo, I thought, though the fact that I would be sitting alone in a bar made me a tiny bit uncomfortable, I still got my black little dress ready, found the one pair of heels I had packed just in case, put my Lady Danger lipstick on, and headed to the hotel.

There is jazz performance every day starting at 8pm, except on Sundays when it starts at 7pm. I managed to get there a bit after 8 and offered me a nice table. I ordered a glass of Boulanger and soaked in the jazz.

Not bad for a regular weekday, right?

Now lets talk about prices, ok, not cheap, as a glass of champagne starts at ¥2000, and it is easy to have more than one, but cocktails are slightly cheaper and they have some more reasonably priced drinks as well. If you are not a hotel guest, they also charge you ¥2400 cover charge from the time the concert begins, but think about it as a concert ticket price for a 3 hours jazz concert!

By the way if you have not seen the movie of Lost in Translation with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, check out the hotel bar scene, as you might find it familiar.

Snaps of the hotel bar and its amazing murals

And finally, something in between, aka the golden middle… Ex-Theatre Roppongi

I really like the music of Damien Rice. So when I learnt that he was coming to play in Hong Kong naturally, I got very excited, then very annoyed. Unfortunately the tickets sold out a month prior to the concert and the one available ticket, that was originally 500HKD, was put on a resale website for 12000HKD!!! I don’t even know how that was legal!

So as it turned out Damien Rice was doing an Asian tour and he was going to be in Tokyo at the same time of our travel. We booked the tickets via Viagogo.com, which was fairy pleasant, though I suggest you get smart on the delivery options. Originally we opted for the tickets to be delivered to Hong Kong, but as nothing seemed to happen a week prior to the concert, we changed the delivery location to the hotel in Tokyo, which eventually worked.

The venue, Ex- Theatre Roppongi, was great. I loved the seating arrangement, with plenty of legroom, great lighting system during the show and well arranged exits and washrooms on each floor. We got there quite early, and formed a queue obediently. They operate on a drink chip system, where you pay ¥500 for a person and get one chip that you can exchange at the bar for any drinks. My suggestion would be to get a couple of chips at least (each), as when Antoine tried to go back for another set of Rum and Coke before the concert began (yes, even the drink choices will take you back a few years into your youth) a queue has developed that was going through 2 floor levels. Having said that, I’ve seen others bringing their own drinks in their backpacks.

In the Ex-Theatre Roppongi waiting for Damien Rice

So next time I am back in Tokyo, I will definitely check who plays there, as they seemed to have a good international selection with a comfortable and airy venue. In case you get unlucky, and nothing is on that would rock your boat, the venue has a rooftop bar that you can also enjoy, regardless.

Address: Ex-Theatre Roppongi 1-2-9 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, 1060031,Tokyo, Japan

 

Thanks for reading; this is the end of Tokyo Travels Part 2. More to follow in the next entry:

Where else to shop… ladies and gentlemen it is bargain hunting time

My best find during this visit…

For the couples and the romantic hearts out there…