After yesterdays mixed bag of things, we lined up a schedule that was a little less touristy and frantic. Though ironically we started off the day with a visit to Roppongi and the Snoopy Museum.
At night, Roppongi is the clubbing district that is filled with party-goers, expats, and tourists. By day however, its like any other neighborhood in Japan.
I guess the feel is a little different though. It feels less japanese and more internationalised. Shops are run by storekeepers from the Philippines selling not only Japanese goods, but with goods from their own home country. There are flags of other countries that line certain stores in the streets. Even the food options are less of the usual expected Japanese ramen, gyoza, rice etc, and filled with more international flavours. I saw international coffee chains, Korean restaurants, british pubs. etc.
Anyway, we were there in the day to visit the Snoopy Museum. Word of advice.. get here early to line up for the session you are after. There are a fixed number of sessions daily, and they open up the ticket booth for you to buy a ticket for that session. This is for crowd control of course. For the people reading, this was in June in the quiet season on a Monday, and even then it was still busy!
Unfortunately, we did not know the tips above, so we wandered in aimlessly and were asked to come back at 11 to purchase a ticket for the 11:15 session. With some time to kill, we wandered off to the main streets for a coffee break. Tullys Coffee was the only thing that appeared, and the coffee was pretty gross to be honest. Though I’d probably go back again because I was desperate.
The Snoopy Museum is basically what you would expect. Snoopy memorabilia everywhere to get you ready to spend some money. Whats cool about this place though, is that you get to see possessions of the creator Charles Schultz, from his early childhood and throughout his life. Each item has some commentary beside it to give the item some context and insight into his life.
And yes, we ended up buying some stuff… It was frantic in the souvenir store. Sometimes i think people go in here just to buy stuff, rather than appreciate the museum for what it is.
After the mayhem that was the Snoopy Museum souvenir store, we were feeling hungry so we quickly dropped into a Korean fried chicken joint. Couldn’t help ourselves as we devoured into some chicken!
Satisfied, we left to visit hipster districts called Ebisu and Daikanyama. Problem was, once we got off Ebisu station, we saw a Shake Shack! This was a fast food restaurant that we visited multiple times in New York, and seeing it in Japan meant that i had to have a burger and fries!
Ebisu and Daikanyama
Ebisu. This sounded like a better idea than it really was. I guess we only knew this to be a place full of the creative types, and that’s what we saw. The suburb is lined with boutiques selling clothing, homewares, and the like at extravagant prices. The streets are also eerily quiet, probably a reflection of the vibe of the suburb.
In other words, if you want to do some shopping at some real hipster stores, then this is the perfect place for you. If you don’t have the budget for it, or arent really that interested in the stuff, then give this a pass.
The suburbs do have some good coffee places though! If only we could drink 5-6 cups of coffee a day without any headaches afterwards!
There was a really cool bookstore we visited called Tsutaya Books. It stocks not only Japanese titles, but english books as well. They also stock the largest range of Magazines in Japan from memory (Not sure if making this up). Alot of interesting things to browse through here.