Monday, January 30, 2012

Tokyo Neighbourhoods: Azabu-Juban

Even though I've lived in Tokyo for five months, I still have so much exploring to be done. Tokyo is massive, and I tend to stick to familiar areas such as Shibuya, Nakameguro, Shimokitazawa and Daikanyama as I feel quite comfortable there.

Yet, Tokyo is full of secrets and neighbourhoods I had no idea even existed, such as charming Azabu-Juban. This area is a mere steps away from the infamous Roppongi (infamous for its high number of foreigners and seedy nightlife and a particular night I wish to forget)- yet is quite the opposite of it. Cobblestone streets, cake shops, French cafés, narrow streets, it's one of Tokyo's most sought after living areas.

On Saturday afternoon, I met up with my Japanese teacher, a sophisticated, cultured lady who has traveled the world and who always introduces me to Tokyo gems and bits of Japanese culture. She gave me a tour of Azabu-Juban, starting with a visit to a shrine to pray for the new year, followed by a double crème café at French restaurant Le Petit Tonneau. I'm always happy whenever I get the chance to use my mother tongue, and I happily conversed with the staff.

For dinner, we walked over to Gonpachi, a popular Japanese restaurant with a particular decor. In fact, it was used as inspiration for the movie Kill Bill, and it did offer a pretty cozy, warm atmosphere. We shared some izakaya-style Japanese finger foods, accompanied with cocktails. It was such a pleasant Saturday to be in company of an interesting lady and to learn more about Japan and its culture and language.

Le Petit Tonneau, Azabu-Juban

People-watching

Tempura at Gonpachi

Beef stew + mojito (wild!)

Kill Bill!

2 comments:

hoihoi51 said...

kagurazaka
there are many French ppls living in Kagurazaka

Vivian said...

hoihoi51: Thanks for the tip, I will go visit it next!!