Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Mori Tower & Tokyo Tower

Mori Tower - Roppongi

Mori Tower was a nice surprise.  It only got a brief mention in our ‘Rough Guide’ travel book but we wanted to visit Tokyo Tower and it was close by so we thought we’d give it a look.  I’m really glad we did.  The views from the observation deck were stunning and it was nice taking some time out, relaxing and enjoying the amazing views. 

There were a range of cafes and bars.  My wife sampled one of the unusual cocktails, which was quite literally smokin! 

As I sat there, chilling out with a nice cold beer, I spotted a familiar logo on one of the buildings…

Konami HQ!

We also took some time to have a look around the very nice aquarium at the top of the tower.

As we left the building I somehow managed to persuade the wife to deviate slightly from our itinery and go and find Konami HQ.  It was only a short walk away and we eventually located the imposing entrance doors. 

My wife sat down on one of the benches, sighed and said ‘Whatever your about to do I don’t want to be part of it’.  With that, I said I wouldn’t be long and opened the entrance doors.

There were two girls on the reception desk.  I told them I was a massive fan of Konami, especially the Gradius and Castlevania series.  The girls were really friendly, I asked about Hideo Kojima.  Apparently he worked in the building, but they didn’t say if he was there or not.  I asked if there was any chance of a look around the Konami office but they said it wasn’t open to the public and sadly it wasn’t to be.  I did briefly consider employing some stealth tactics, avoiding the security cameras to get a better look around but remembered the wifey was outside, probably getting grumpier by the minute! 

I left Konami HQ and went to take a look at the nearby Konami souvenir shop the reception girls had told me about.  I purchased some very nice Metal Gear Solid art books from the store.  Check out the Vic Viper model kits!

Tokyo Tower

When we got to Tokyo Tower, our first stop was the ‘Tokyo Curry Lab’ restaurant at the base of the tower.  We both opted for the tasting plate which comprised of three pots of curry of varying hotness.  Although none of the curries were that hot, we both really enjoyed our meal and it was very reasonable at 1500 Yen each.

Getting the lift to the top of Tokyo Tower was quite expensive (over 2000 Yen each if I remember rightly) and there was a long queue.  In the end we decided to leave it as we had been up the nearby Mori Tower.

We had a walk round the shops and the various attractions.  There was a small arcade with a couple of old Sega dedicated machines.  Of more interest were the small metal bodied prize arcade cabinets.  You can exchange your Yen for tokens which can be used on these machines to win more tokens, and the tokens can be exchanged for prizes.  The machines featured a variety of mini games and typically only had one button.  One machine was a variant of Bomber Man.  Another machine featuring characters from the Parodius series had you using the button to fire arrows at balloons.   

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