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Saturday April 5th 5pmish


We are all checked in to our swish accommodation – Hotel S – on one of Roppongi. It’s very modern with tight, efficient design = very japanese and one thing that I’m actually quite attracted to. I didn’t quite prepare for what I might buy here. A knife was a possibility but to be honest I don’t really need one. The ceramics and fabrics are highly covetable but again it’s all want not need.

This morning we commuted by train from Asakusa to Roppongi – that was after a hearty breakfast of cream cakes and coffee from Angelus, a store we’d been drooling at the glass of in Asakusa. Pretty much most of the way Steve was strongly advocating a taxi ride instead. That might, of course, be related to the many stairs Tokyo Metro seem to have as well as the need to transfer trains with our luggage.

After arriving in Roppongi and dropping our bags off at our hotel we went for a wander. Luckily, it turned out to essentially to be a dry day. I get to visit the art supply store (which is incredibly well stocked – far greater than anything I’ve previously seen and well presented in a tiny space). Again fabulous use of a small space.

A short promenade around the Mori Art museum area and we just happened to find ourselves at the Brew Dogs bar. Brew Dogs are a couple of the scottish guys who brew incredibly interesting craft beers. Beer in Japan can be a no-brainer – like in many parts of the world – but there is a growing market for craft beers – well made and tasty little numbers.

A few hours were easily lost there before we strolled/straggled back to our hotel via a very fancy, high end shopping outlet complete with an american high end food store – Dean and Deluca (WANKERS!)
There is quite a strong attraction to french and italian (more so than other european nations) food and drink here in Tokyo, and more so in Roppongi. Obviously a fair proportion of that is expat demand. Fabian. our Shinjuku guide from Monday night, did point out that it is most favourable and advantageous to be french in Japan. There’s clearly an attraction there.
So now at our hotel it’s time for a soak in the bath ( a little down time – aaaahhhh!)

After a most appreciated soak, we hit the town. We started at Gonpachi which is a restaurant that inspired a set in director Quentin Tarantino’s film Kill Bill. It is a replica of older Tokyo (Edo) style places. Food was hit and miss, probably because it straddles too many styles (sushi, yakitori sticks, soba noodles as well as other odd items which felt western to me). Most other eating establishments we have visited usually had a tighter, more limited but more focussed menu.

Gonpachi was clearly playing to a more western audience, of which there are many in the area of Roppongi. We had heard there was a large ex-pat community in this area. Last night as we chose to walk up a quieter backstreet , avoiding the touts, we found an array of embassies. Pieces fall into place.

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