You gotta love Tokyo at night!!

Well, I know I haven’t posted in a while, been super busy recently, however I hope you guys will enjoy this post. I’ve done some night photography in several areas around Tokyo and these are some of the photos that turned out best. I especially like the ones I took at Roppongi Hills. By the way, random note but Karen’s gig was bloody brilliant. Not only that but… after the show I met Achico, the lead vocalist of the band!!! She was super nice and really down to earth. Unfortunately I didn’t have much time to talk with her but I assured her I will be back next year at another one of their gigs, hehe. New Karen album is kick-ass also btw. Anyway, enjoy the photos!!

Ark Hills, pretty empty huh...

Ark Hills, pretty empty huh...

Travel Cafe in Shinjuku

Travel Cafe in Shinjuku

Shinjuku

Shinjuku

Featured a pic of this during the day previously, it's the garden near Akasaka Palace

Featured a pic of this during the day previously, it's the garden near Akasaka Palace

The rest of the photos were taken at Roppongi Hills…

rh night1

rh night2

rh night3

rh night4

This is probably one of my favourite photos that I've taken this summer...

This is probably one of my favourite photos that I've taken this summer...

rh night6

rh night7

rh night9

Brilliant movie, saw it in London some months back, I'm just surprised it's only just getting released in Japan now, considering how popular Korean movies are over here!!

rh night11

Actually, thinking about it, I think these few photos are some of the best I’ve taken overall this time around in Japan. I don’t have long left, I’m leaving next week!!! Ah well, I will try to get some more good photos before I leave 😉 Anyway, which ones are your favourites?? Do let me know 😛   That’s all for now!! 😀

Checking out TBS in Akasaka

Over the weekend I decided to check out the latest major architectural development in Tokyo. Only just opened in March of this year, TBS has opened a new shopping district and apartment complex which is quite obviously a strategic move for fighting its competition (which is mainly TV Asahi in Roppongi Hills I’m assuming). Well how does the new shopping site fair against Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown you maybe asking… It’s alright I guess… but nothing special. TBS are definitely cashing in with the presence of their own giftshop selling a whole load of over-priced useless shit (only thing which caught my eye were groovy ultra-man biscuits). Apart from that a lot of the area is actually just home to a lot of fancy cafes, restaurants and some posh confectionery shops. Lastly there is also a Tsutaya and some convenience stores. The place overall just seems to be very similar to Tokyo Midtown. Anyway, after checking out the TBS site I decided to head over to the nearby Hie Shrine, which just happens to have a major festival coming up (you may have heard of it, it’s the Sanno Matsuri). Unfortunately I’m quite busy with work during the festival period so I probably won’t be able to get much coverage of it for the blog. Anyway, to finish off the afternoon in the Akasaka area I decided to find and check out the Hikawa Shrine which really did not disappoint, it’s now one of my favourite areas in Tokyo. But I’ll post more info about it later, so stay tuned 😉

Ya just gotta love Tokyo…

I apologise for the recent lack of activity on the blog, this is due in part to my shite internet connection and also because I landed myself a third job, so I have been busy with that! I may write a post about the new job later. Anyway, one of the reasons why I like life in Tokyo is because as with other capital cities such as London, there is always something interesting happening. Recently I was rather fortunate enough to see movie legends Tim Burton and Johnny Depp in the flesh!! It was pure coincidence actually, because earlier on during the day I was just passing through Roppongi Hills and stumbled across some guys setting up the stage for an interview session for the Japan Premiere of Sweeney Todd. I asked a security officer what was going on and so I went back in the evening and saw the 2 guys, although I have to say there were quite a lot of annoying screaming school girls, but with Johnny Depp being the centre of attention I shouldn’t be so surprised! I did try to get some pictures but with so many people in the way they didn’t turn out so great.

Anyway, there’s more than just the world of showbiz and glamour… a few days ago I was walking to Shimbashi and there was a festival happening at a temple in Toranomon. I could see some food stalls set up outside the temple so I decided to just go and check out what was happening. It turns out that performances of traditional puppet theatre were taking place at the temple – the audience was treated to a rather interesting ‘dance’ by a puppet, alongside traditional Japanese music. The festival was a pretty good success in the end and I’m looking forward to attending such similar events during the spring and summer months. Fans of art will also find themselves very much at home in Tokyo – if you check the listings in the Metropolis magazine you’ll find a variety of galleries and exhibitions scattered throughout the capital. Of particular interest recently at the Design Sight 21_21 in Midtown there is an insightful exhibition based around water and an Ultra Man exhibition the Mori Arts Centre. A robot exhibition also just took place recently. In terms of music I have already mentioned Yoyogi Park but Shibuya is a good place to check out for gigs. I am really looking forward to seeing one of my all time favourite bands, Jimmy Eat World, when they rock out at the Shibuya AX in March. And finally back to those who are interested in cinema; it’s worth visiting the Roppongi Hills Toho Cinema in autumn… they hold a very impressive film festival whereby you can watch some classic gems or even new films before their general release! The great thing about Tokyo is that you can always find or stumble across something of interest!

Opposite worlds collide, finding elegance where you would least expect it…

Within easy walking distance from my apartment 2 very different worlds exist; one is a world of sleaze and filth, and the other is that of class, sophistication and elegance… I am of course talking about Roppongi! Roppongi itself is a main area of nightlife and entertainment for much of the Tokyo’s foreign population, although Japanese dudes do go there obviously also. I’ll be frank, I’m not a fan of the old Roppongi much, the main area is quite simply put a shit hole. It’s pretty much the sleaze capital of Tokyo. I do, however, like Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown… very much in fact! Here’s a brief breakdown:

Roppongi

The main area of Roppongi is full of bars and strip clubs, as well as a few familiar eateries (think Mc Donalds and Subway) – not really my cup of tea – if you’re a bloke who happens to be passing through be prepared to get approached by hookers and/or big butch guys asking you to go to their strip club.

Roppongi Hills

Roppongi Hills was opened in 2003, and partly because of that it’s a lot cleaner than the older parts of Roppongi. Roppongi Hills is home to various bars, restaurants, stores as well as a cinema (just last week Nicholas Cage and co were in Roppongi Hills for the world premiere of his new movie). TV Asahi and the Grand Hyatt Tokyo are also located over here.

rhchristmas2.jpg

Tokyo Midtown

Tokyo Midtown is the newest addition to the Roppongi, only actually having been completed in March of this year!! The area is used as office space by various big businesses (gaming giants Konami have their Tokyo office here for example). Midtown is also home to various stores, a radio studio and a garden as well as Design Sight 21_21, a design exhibition gallery created by none other than Issey Miyake! (ok ok, some random architect who I don’t know also helped out! :P) I also just found out that the Midtown tower is the tallest building in Tokyo Prefecture.

midtown1.jpg

midtown2.jpg

midtown3.jpg


Anyway, if you visit Roppongi, chances are that you will find something of interest, whatever freaky (or normal :P) shit you’re into!!