Thursday, June 29, 2017

March in Tokyo: Roppongi Art Walks Expanded and the Benefits of Working Downtown

While I was still working I was all over the best-known parts of town and enjoying that as much as possible, so here you go, another monthly round-up post in addition to all the weekend ones!

This used to be my office view 3 - 4 times a week

And this was supposed to more more "derp" than "duck" but I'm not sorry

And this was my favourite office on the massive expansive main floor 
occupied by the Swiss pharma company, no big deeeeeal

And here's me totally loving my private sessions with their marketing manager, 
who I was warned was very shy and difficult to talk to but who ended up being 
hilarious and full-on my friend.

Here's an example of what I was doing all that time - 
in this case, explaining how to use relative clauses


Another selfie


A THIRD SELFIE but this time with Women Who Run With the Wolves
this excellent (but long-winded) feminist classic Ale sent me for Christmas.


I also worked there at night, though my camera can't really handle nighttime pics.

One of the many very worthwhile and very free-of-charge galleries clustered in the shadow of the Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills is the Ota Fine Arts location in the Piramide building, so named because of the three distinct (and I think very 90's, but then, that's kind of a given when we're talking about Tokyo) pyramidal structures on the open courtyard-style roof, which you realise are themselves roofs atop little gallery and work spaces that kind of look like tiny houses.
I don't know enough Japanese to appreciate Yutaka Matsuzawa adequately, but what he does is text- and plan-based, conceptual, and minimal, largely based in real and fictionalised social commentary.


He died in 2006.

I found this weirdly tragic one-armed Elvis statue stashed in a corner while looking for a vegan-friendly Tex-Mex restaurant that I only later found out was only open at night called The Pink Cow. 

And these timeless Engrish classics were spotted at a high-end supermarket on the road 
leading from the main intersection in Roppongi toward Roppongi Itchome.

But I do not like the nettle lol who the fuck wrote these. I don't even know if they mean, like "the landed gentry/ the aristocracy" or if they've just gone and fucked themselves on the letter 'L' again.

You need to turn in the alley going steeply uphill where you see this distinctive electrical box 
if you want to go to the gallery there in Roppongi Itchome I'm going to tell you about next.

And since it was March when I went, it was still peppermint camellia season. I do love the wide variety of large, vibrant flowers here in Japan; these ones were nearly the size of my face.




This kind of scenery tends to be lurking just behind the facade of kitschy neon lights, 
brand-name bags and ever-present cigarette smoke haze









Dessert I Couldn't Resist Even Though I'm Not Supposed to Have Wheat #1:
pineapple flavoured young doughnuts. "Young doughnuts". Because they're small like babies. Omg.

Dessert I Couldn't Resist Even Though I'm Not Supposed to Have Wheat #2:
tiny fancy cup parfait from 7-11 with matcha, strawberry, and an itty-bitty slice of cheesecake on top. To be fair though, this one had very, very little actual cake in it and was mostly mousse >_>



Now onto a casual walk in Nogizaka, down the street from Midtown.
It's always really lovely to find spots and shrines and parks in central Tokyo that look like magical ancient forests. And that hot pink camellia was just sitting there like that, I didn't place it.