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Old Dec 19, 11, 2:36 pm   #1
 
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T-Plan, Tsutaya (Tokyo) Been there?

Tyler Brule's FT column from December 9 is raving about a new area in Tokyo. I can't for the life of me figure out where it is. He could be referring to two different places. Has anyone been there, and is it worth checking out?

Quote:
Imagine you woke up one morning to find a magical little village had sprung up in your neighbourhood overnight – and, don’t worry, no one got evicted and there was no environmental damage. On a plot of derelict land in Tokyo, a new little community was hustling and bustling in sync with the rising sun. Visitors to the neighbourhood, low-rise and perfectly landscaped, might be forgiven for thinking that this new collection of buildings and trees had been part of the urban fabric for years but closer inspection reveals workmen polishing banisters, tying back bushes and unpacking boxes.
As the workmen go about their business, curious neighbours peer into windows, stop to chat, clean up after their dogs (some are in prams and college sweatshirts) and snap photos on their phones. At one corner a concept convenience store is doing a roaring trade with its upmarket takeaway food and special selection of Muji products. There’s an electric bike dealer and next door there’s a shop with a window display of restored Polaroid cameras from the Impossible Project. Nearby a building with lodge-like details is doing a roaring trade in pancakes and cappuccinos and just behind it the doors are open to a deluxe-looking dog supermarket and daycare centre.

...

Anyone who thinks that their commercial fortunes rely on marketing solely to 20-year-olds, and that the future will be downloaded, should have accompanied me as I shuttled from Roppongi to Daikanyama earlier in the week. While I should have gone straight from hotel to Haneda to catch my flight to Hong Kong,I could hardly resist the opening of Tsutaya Books – the latest creation from the CCC holding company that owns Japan’s chain of DVD/CD/book rental and retail shops. Set at the heart of this new community (dubbed T-Plan), Tsutaya Books, designed by Tokyo-based Klein Dytham Architects with graphics by the super-talented Kenya Hara, is set across three pavilion-style buildings connected by “Magazine Avenue” – a wood-plank boulevard of pretty much every magazine worth reading in the world.
In one pavilion there’s a new-generation Starbucks, a travel concierge to help browsers find the right guide or cookbooks (like Daunt Books in London, the travel section is organised by country, with each nation represented by fiction, non-fiction, food and guidebooks), a stationery department and a whole floor of CDs and vinyl.
In the centre building, the upper floor is dominated by a sprawling lounge dubbed “Anjin” that features a performance space, low and cosy seating, a huge bar at the centre and perfect lighting. The best feature, however, are the walls, which are stocked with complete collections of vintage magazines that can be enjoyed over a good espresso at 7am or a glass of Krug at 1am.
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Old Dec 19, 11, 4:05 pm   #2
 
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Daikanyama T-Site.
http://tsite.jp/daikanyama/

If you're looking for an area to stroll around and watch the beautiful people, you could do worse than Daikanyama.
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Old Dec 19, 11, 4:39 pm   #3
 
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Originally Posted by Tyler the Twee Flatulent Gasbag
While there’s much that’s fascinating about this scene at 6.55am on Monday (this week), the most curious feature is the well-turned-out locals in sharp tailoring and woolly smocks. Men are in smart navy and cognac cord blazers, triple-wrapped cashmere scarves, neat denim and either Alden ankle boots or New Balance sneakers. Women are in wool tunics, Loro Piana wraps, Trippen clogs and mink mufflers.
Just my kind of crowd.

Last edited by Pickles; Dec 19, 11 at 4:45 pm.
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Old Dec 19, 11, 5:51 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by Picklées View Post
Just my kind of crowd.
Ah yes. I recall your penchant for woolly smocks and clogs.
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Old Dec 19, 11, 9:32 pm   #5
 
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I agree he's a windbag, but I still find his column entertaining (and still a level above Pico Iyer's drivel). Wife and I are off to Japan in Jan, wondering what's new in Tokyo to check out.
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Old Dec 19, 11, 9:38 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by jib71 View Post
Daikanyama T-Site.
http://tsite.jp/daikanyama/

If you're looking for an area to stroll around and watch the beautiful people, you could do worse than Daikanyama.
Yeah, I'm looking for a mixture of ultra modern and great people watching. This could work along with Omotesando and Shibuya. Also want to check out Shimokitazawa for old-school Tokyo.
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Old Dec 20, 11, 3:24 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by Pureboy View Post
a level above Pico Iyer's drivel
High praise indeed!
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Originally Posted by Pureboy View Post
This could work along with Omotesando and Shibuya. Also want to check out Shimokitazawa for old-school Tokyo.
Well, it's not a bad plan. They're all in the same area, although I don't know how much of old-school Tokyo is left in Shimokitazawa ... Last I heard, they were tearing down the little barrelhouses and moshpits that made it what it was.
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Old Dec 20, 11, 4:26 am   #8
 
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I've been there and it's just a mini-shopping mall, no big deal. Worth looking at if you happen to be in the neighborhood I guess.
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Old Dec 20, 11, 9:35 am   #9
 
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I live around there. It's an ok little neighborhood but Brule's description is hyperbole unless endless racks of magazines excites you. Not really worth a detour. Methinks that he was a consultant on the project or something.

p.s. He wrote a column in May (?) about hanging out on the deck of a place called Sign Cafe. Again, total hyperbole. It's right by the station if you want to simulate the experience.
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Old Dec 20, 11, 9:42 am   #10
 
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Originally Posted by gnaget View Post
I live around there. It's an ok little neighborhood but Brule's description is hyperbole unless endless racks of magazines excites you. Not really worth a detour. Methinks that he was a consultant on the project or something.
This is the same windbag who has actually praised that abomination, Narita International Airport. In his mind, Japan is perfection personified.
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Old Dec 20, 11, 10:04 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Pickles View Post
This is the same windbag who has actually praised that abomination, Narita International Airport. In his mind, Japan is perfection personified.
First I thought you were calling me a windbag. I have no complaints about Narita apart from the distant location. But I think Brule mostly raves about the international terminal at HND. Methinks that he also was involved on that project.
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Old Dec 21, 11, 6:48 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by gnaget View Post
But I think Brule mostly raves about the international terminal at HND.
That's a nice one. Especially since you have T2 not far away, where you can stop at the Mont Thabor for Hokkaido Milk Pan before your flight!
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