Tokyobling's Blog

Roppongi Night and Day

Posted in Places by tokyobling on December 17, 2013

Visting Roppongi the other day I couldn’t help but take a few photos of the city. The first photo is of the main Tokyo Midtown building during the day. Tokyo Midtown is the latest of the grand city centers in Roppongi, following soon after Roppongi Hills. I can remember, vaguely, what Roppongi was like before these developments when large areas were still being dismantled after many decades of use by the US military. In fact Roppongi has a long history of military. It has always been associated with the Samurai class and the name itself, Six Trees, can be traced back to 1660. It is said that it reflects the names of six noble families living in the area but a more likely explanation is the fact that there were six very large zelkova trees, the last three of which were burned down in the fire bombings of 1945. Roppongi was home to Japanese Imperial army from 1890 until 1945, when the US Military took over. The area was already popular with foreign embassies and this combined with the century of soldiers helped create the lively entertainment business that is now the main attraction of Roppongi. There is everything from the cleanest fine art galleries to the seediest night clubs, often to be found side by side. It is also one of the most international spirited areas of Japan so it pays to be a little more careful.

The second photo is of the famous Roppongi street crossing that used to be the heart of the area. These days Hills and Midtown act as new centers of Roppongi and things have quieted down considerably around the old street crossing. The start of many a classic nights out drinking hard in Roppongi used be take place in front the Cafe Almond on this street crossing: one of those legendary Tokyo meeting spots.

I also got a photo of the Roppongi Hills Christmas tree and the (almost) annual event Whiskey Hills where a major Japanese whiskey brewery serves (very very very very cheap) shots of their best whiskey for people to enjoy under the cold winter night sky. It is hard to resist stopping by if and your friends are in the area anyway.

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Suntory Whiskey – Hakushu

Posted in Shops, Stuff by tokyobling on August 12, 2012

Japanese make really good single malt whiskeys. There, I said it. One of my favorite whiskey makers in Japan is Suntory, and although I am not a big drinker (I hardly ever touch the stuff) it is really well crafted whiskey. In Tokyo’s Omotesando district the brewery is currently running a pop-up bar and eatery with whiskey drinks on tap! I don’t think I have ever seen single malt on tap before. There’s quite a few varieties of the whiskey brand they are promoting, Hakushu (白州) but I only sampled one. If you are in the area and looking for a different drinking experience, I recommend this bar, which is not so difficult to find if you get out of Omotesando Subway Station Exit A4, turn right and then right again, walk a little bit and you’ll find it at the end of an open air food court on your right hand side. There’s also a pretty nice campaign site that you might want to visit if for no other reason than to listen to the soothing BGM of a forest soundtrack and birds chirping in the forest. I visited the area where their distillery is last year but I think I have to make sure to make a proper visit to the factory this summer!

This place is part of food truck collection called 246COMMON, and you can see my post about it here.

Note: The 246COMMON is closed since April 30th, 2014.




Happy Birthday to Tokyobling!

Posted in Stuff by tokyobling on November 16, 2009

Yesterday Tokyobling had it’s first birthday party. Last year, November 15th was the first post on this blog and I had to celebrate it a little, with a piece of cake near my office and then home to get an early night in bed (for once in a while) with a bottle of Talisker Single Malt 10 year old Whiskey. I know, cake and whiskey, the blog is getting older and so am I.

When I first started this blog I had no idea it was going to end up being a daily update thing with pingbacks and comments and trackbacks and listings and stats and scores. It was just my attempt to put up a few of the snaps I took in my everyday life, and to show the good side of life in Tokyo. Someday I hope I can get back to that more relaxed way of a blogging life. But until then, I’ll try to keep it going as steady as I can. I can’t share the cake and the dram with you, but here’s two photos I took. Enjoy, and wish me luck!
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