After a spot of horizontal rain, our first trip to Roppongi was quite literally a washout, but we didn’t let that put us off going back. We spent a fun evening out in the area – you can never go wrong with drinks, dinner, sightseeing and seeing film inspiration first hand.
Admittedly, we never made it up Tokyo Tower, the second tallest structure in Japan after the Skytree (which we also failed to go up). However, we did spend a happy evening drinking in the shadow of the tower, watching the sunset.
The tower was built in 1958, and looks like an orange and white copy of the Eiffel Tower. Its original purpose was for communications, but these have largely been taken over by the Skytree since the digital switchover.
At the base of the tower, you can find Foot Town, which is home to shops, restaurants, museums and a small amusement park. Up inside the tower, you can find two observatories, one of which is home to a tower-shaped postbox – mail sent from there gets a special postmark – something to think about if you’re planning on sending postcards.
Because this is Japan, Tokyo Tower has a couple of mascots called the Noppon brothers. I’m not sure what they are exactly (toes?), but they are twins, love sunbathing and want to be stars.
After watching the sunset, we strolled up the hill to Gonpachi, a Tokyo tourist institution, and the inspiration for the set of one of the fight scenes in Kill Bill. It took us a while to find it, mostly because we’re idiots, but once we spotted the restaurant we knew we were in the right place. From the outside it looks like a feudal villa, but inside you’re transported into an Edo-era night market.
It was a little touristy and on the pricey side compared to other places we ate – I don’t mean that it was like a Disney version of Japan, but it probably wasn’t the most authentic place we went. But do you know what, sometimes that’s ok. We had a nice meal and enjoyed ourselves, and that’s really all that matters.