Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Visiting Roppongi Hills in Tokyo

Third day into our holiday in Tokyo, Japan I was still sick. On a city trip like this we would normally wake up a bit early but because I was sick, everything just went slow motion. That morning I pondered well and good if I want to stay locked up again for the day inside the hotel room. I surprised myself by making a decision to go out. I reckon I will just stuff myself up with 1000 milligrams of Paracetamol and I will be fine, albeit temporarily, for every 6 hours.

Our destination: Roppongi Hills to experience Tokyo City View. I picked Roppongi because it is quite near the hotel. It is just a few subway stops on the Hibiya Line. I figured that I will not be walking a lot so this is a fair deal.

The outdoor grounds of Roppongi Complex which you will directly see upon entering (going up) from the station/subway. The spider sculpture is called Maman, a work of the French artist, Louise Bourgeois.

The area is a chic modern place to hang out, shop, eat, be entertained and what not.

We left the hotel just before 15:00 (yes, super late!) and we were in a matter of minutes in Roppongi. We did a little stroll around Roppongi’s Mori Commercial Complex and made a decision to go up the tower for the Tokyo City View later after finding a place for our overdue lunch. We somehow lost our tracks whilst searching for the restaurants section in the complex and ended up walking outside on the streets. Across the Grand Hyatt Hotel we saw a Chinese Restaurant on the second floor: Chinese Cafe Eight. Chinese food in Japan? Why not.

Upon entering the establishment I noticed quickly the whiff of cigarette smoke. Darn it, this smoking thing is stalking me like hell. Fortunately, the group who were smoking were just finishing, so my lung torture did not have to last long.

Dutchman ordered a regional Chinese noodle soup. I settled, well initially, for some green bokchoy type of dish however the wait staff came back later to inform me that they ran out, so I picked the shrimps asparagus instead and a serving of rice.

I have to admit that the cooking at this restaurant is quite good. We truly enjoyed our food and licked our plate and bowl clean, however, compared to other local Japanese restaurants, the prices were bloated. Hmm, must have been the prime location. We could have just eaten at the Grand Hyatt Hotel?

Dutchman's lunch. This noodle soup with beef and peanuts is a regional specialty somewhere in China. It happens all the time that I do not get to take a picture of the menu so no idea of its noodle name.

My lunch is shrimps asparagus and white rice.

We took the lift up to the Mori Tower Observation Deck for the Tokyo City View. I will post pictures of our visit in my next entry. I took lots! We waited until dark before going back down to the commercial complex.

At the shops, Dutchman playfully covered my eyes so I won’t be tempted to go on a spree. I told him there is no need. ‘Are you a changed woman?’ He asked teasingly. Apart from being sick, I have somewhat reached the retail contentment stage. OK, this could be just seasonal, so who knows? But I do rarely shop though back in the Netherlands, however, when I am travelling, I tend to because that is the only time I get to expose myself to stores. Lately however, I don’t have any retail appetite and have been avoiding the consumption treadmill.

More on my next entry about Tokyo City Views, and how on earth can a tourist decipher this menu? Okay, I see a rotisserie chicken on top, that would suffice.

The Japanese have a penchant for all things European. They flock to visit Europe as tourists, follow and collect European signature brands and they also adore European cuisine. I noticed as well that they go crazy with European pastries especially French (macarons, mille-feuille, etc) and Belgian (why, I saw lots of waffle stands there?!)

A Lego School was at the same commercial building and Dutchman and I were wondering what type of Afterschool Programs Lego Education offers?

Most Japanese people we saw on the streets were nicely dressed, some were overly dressed though, but we rarely saw the homeless-style types. Well once only in the subway.

Our next stop will be some drinks. This time we have managed to successfully locate the restaurants section and found a Spanish Tapas Bar & Restaurant called Rigoletto to stop by for drinks. The restaurant area is for formal dining whilst the bar area is for casual tapas dining and drinking. It’s been past 6 hours since I took Paracetamols so the next dosage is already due. I need a drink to down the meds.

The bar is basically the chimney of the restaurant but we managed to sit at the end where there was no one around, but that was only temporary because when we left a party was in full swing. We had a good table and stayed longer than expected as we found ourselves enjoying the music and people watching.

I ordered a fruity drink of lemon and lime. No alcohol this time as I am sick. The bartender did a good job, this was lovely. Dutchman on the other hand settled for a cola, he's tired of all the gin tonics and beers.

The restaurant and the busy cooks at their (open) stations.

The bar area is also a (casual) dining area.

When we got back to the hotel that night I became more sick than ever. The little trip out has taken its toxic toll. My fever went up and I was shivering. I wheezed the whole night. I also could not properly lay down as I felt like the whole world is going to devour me. Why, I couldn’t breathe?! *alarm bells ringing*

The poor Dutchman has also been nursing me diligently and hasn’t had sleep for days. He was starting to really worry about my condition so he promised me that night, no matter what, we will go to the doctor first thing tomorrow morning.

Stay tuned...

A very tired and sickly moi heading down from the Roppongi Commercial Complex to the subway station. We are taking the Hibiya Line back to the hotel.

Keep left. Japan is like the UK, you keep to your left on escalators, you proceed on the right. The same goes with driving, they drive on the left and overtake from the right.

Travel Period: November 2014
Destination: Minato (Tokyo), Japan

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

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