After meeting with friends for dinner in Roppongi this evening, I decided to take a long slow stroll back home to Nakano. It wasn’t too cold and there seemed to be an added patina of excitement to things tonight, Monday being a national holiday (National Foundation Day, carried over from Sunday, on which it actually falls).
I wandered the backstreets of Roppongi a little. Just a few meters off the gaudy cosmopolitan furor of Tokyo’s prime nightlife thoroughfare, you wander through little dense old neighborhoods, down squeeze-shouldered alleys, watched over by the odd dozing cat on a gatepost. You could hear a pin drop and you feel like an intruder. Back out on the main street you breathe easier again. Right in front of me is a young woman carefully balancing her way past fluorescent shopfronts in a kimono.
Heading roughly northward I walked through Roppongi’s more upmarket neighbor Akasaka and up to Meiji Avenue. Things started getting more exclusive-looking the closer I got to Aoyama. On my left I went past the Sony Computer Entertainment building with its vast ‘PLAY STATION’ sign etched into the design of the windows.
Before long I was at Omotesando Hills, that, as the sign says, is having its first anniversary. I hadn’t been by Omotesando Hills for a while so walked around the back and took in some tres chic tres minimal shopfronts, and then inside (it was 8.50pm, 10 minutes before closing time) for another look at the inside: a gleaming metallic sci-fi wedding cake look that is such a surprise after the almost droll, willfully toned-down look of the place from the street.
An hour had passed already, and it took me another to get to Shinjuku where I stopped in at Tower Records and bought a couple of CDs. I got back home to Nakano just as it started to rain.
Am back home chilling to Jimmy Smith live. Two more sweet whole days of chill to go!
Japan Tokyo walk Roppongi Nakano Shinjuku Play Station Omotesando
Saturday, February 10, 2007