Tokyo Day 3

When the movie Lost In Translation came out two people who we knew that frequently went to Japan on business said that watching the movie gave them angst.  They knew all too well that feeling of being in Japan, watching the sunrise, being wide awake at 330 in the morning and essentially being lost in the time zone.  I have never had a problem moving through time zones but this time, I am seriously lost in translation.

We started the day at Aoyama Cemetery.  It might seem like a strange move but our son sent us here and I get why.  The setting is beautiful, serene and calming.  Each burial area has water and a dipper to wash the families gravestone.  The cleaning of the grave is Japanese custom.  We witnessed a few people doing that.

Next stop was the Saturday Farmers Market in Roppongi.  I love a good farmers market.  Pretty sure from the look of this one, and I did the research, this is one of the best, is that the concept is not big here.  If someone knows differently, please share.  The best part was buying a jar of mustard from these young women who might have been raising money for a school or an organization.  They were excited to try out their English skills with me.  It was really great.

There are many amazing museums here but one of the tops is the National Center of Art.  There were a few installations of amateur artists in and around Japan that were not that interesting.  The big exhibition was of Pierre Bonnard.  The most interesting thing about the show that I did not know is that George Eastman ( Kodak film ) gave Bonnard the new medium to play around with at the end of the 1800’s and he left quite a significant amount of photos that he then turned into paintings.  Otherwise, the best thing about the museum is the architecture.  The architect was Kisho Kurokawa, a leading Japanese architect and founder of the Metabolist movement (megastructures made with organic biological growth).  The building is amazing.

We went back to the rambling streets around Roppongi where the people watching is just incredible.  Went down Cat Street and the Omotesando area.

Another great coffee shop, The Roastery by Nozy Coffee, to keep us going.  Stopped in many shops from the Y’s, to Number Sugar for caramels, to United Arrows.

What we went to see in that area was Espace Louis Vuitton.  On the 7th floor of the LV store is an art gallery.  Designed by Jun Aoki for solo exhibits.  I remember going with the kids years ago and loved the space and concept.  The install was works from the artist Bertrand Lavier.

I had done research about a porcelain shop called Yumiko Iihoshi.  Luckily we had someone with us or there is no way we would have found this shop.  Located inside an apartment building on the 2nd floor, down a long corridor in one of the spaces.  It appeared to be an apartment building but perhaps they are all random offices and stores.

Lunch was at Hommura An for some delicious soba noodles and uni.  Just so good.  We then walked around the area looking at a few galleries.

21-21 Design Sight is definitely worth going to.  A super cool building with 3 galleries.  It is a venue dedicated to redirecting our thoughts about everyday things and events.  The architect of this building was Tadao Ando.  Really great.

The exhibit was called Audio Architect by the product designer Naoto Fukasawa.  One gallery had three different screens of music being played by musicians and on the other side was computer images moving with the music.  It was really fantastic.

Last stop of the day was Takishimaya.  I was very sad when they closed the outpost in NYC.  The downstairs food market here is incredible.  One of the best ones I have seen.  Also, the store is packed!  They have obviously figured out retail.  This is a bunch of different miso options.

After a little rest, we went to dinner at Sushi Ya.  An eight-seat restaurant and the experience was amazing.  Delicious at every turn.  We honestly hit the wall about 5 pieces short of what was expected.  Here are a few highlights pics.

Hairy crab.


And of course, tuna.

Until tomorrow….




Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    The location of Yumiko Iihoshi i find super interesting when i think back to this blog post;……and eight-seater restaurants really open up possibilities for real estate innovation.

    1. Gotham Gal

      For sure but people on Tokyo expect this. Not in US cities

      1. jason wright

        Culture?Not now, but the hollowing out of retail real estate by the shift to online consuming will weaken the resolve of property owners. Malls are dying. Airbnb is leading the residential onslaught, and the rigid expectations of what a building is and is not for may have to change. Interesting times.

        1. lisa hickey

          Good insight!

        2. Gotham Gal

          Certainly has to change.

  2. lisa hickey

    I love virtually traveling with you! I see things I probably would never get to see.