Sometimes even the stingiest cheapo needs to buy something for someone else – and a 100-yen shop potplant or discount meat bought at midnight just doesn’t cut it. With this in mind, we sent sophisticated spendthrift Erin to see how far she could stretch 1 000 yen buying potential presents while taking in some art at this famous spot in Roppongi. She reports back.
If you’re the type who appreciates classic art and the breath-taking city views of Tokyo, then you should definitely spend an entire morning or afternoon – or both if you have all the time and glamour in world – at the Mori Tower, where you can enjoy both culture and cityscapes – possibly even simultaneously.
I went to the Mori Art Museum to re-visit Andy Warhol’s 15 Minutes Eternal, which is on until May 6th. Tokyo is the final stop of this travelling exhibit, which previously graced Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing. I went to the show’s opening in February, but they recently opened an Andy Warhol-themed café, so being the rabid Warhol fan that I am, I just had to go back again.
Of course, aside from this ongoing show, the museum also houses a lot of other art-related stuff. A lot of huge events happen at this place, like Art Fair Tokyo and Roppongi Art Night. Take note that admission to the exhibitions is usually 1 500 yen, a little steep – but if you plan to go often, you can grab an annual pass, which also includes access to Tokyo City View and Sky Deck, for a reasonable 5 250 yen. There are a few other ways to get a discount, such as by using Art Triangle Roppongi or a Grutt Pass.
The art museum is nested on the 53rd floor of Mori Tower. The access for Tokyo City View is on the same floor, and costs 500 yen. It’s a cheaper scenic thrill than going to Tokyo Tower – and actually, you can also spot Tokyo Tower from there – win-win.
Roppongi (like everywhere else) is one of the most expensive parts of Tokyo, so if you like buying mementos or pressies but you’re on a budget, you really need to hunt around. That’s why for this new series of shopping articles, we’re doing you a favor. Here are three gifts (for your cheapo self or someone else) that you can buy – all for under 1 000 yen – while exploring the art museum:
1) Mori Art Museum pin – ¥315
Fond of bringing home tiny memorabilia? Pins are still majestic, FYI. You can score this logo on key chains, cell phone accessories, notepads, and letter sets, too.
2) Can of Eitaro Confectionary, featuring Mori Tower artwork – ¥420
I’m a sucker for green tea sweets, so when I saw this cool confectionery with a design that’s also eye-candy, I just had to get some for myself. It comes in various flavors.
3) Vintage illustration of Roppongi Hills – ¥150
Like sending snail mail? Postcards are still very in here in Japan. This one features an old-school drawing of Roppongi Hills by Yamaguchi Akira. If you dig modern art, though, you can also find other Roppongi postcards similar to the candy can above.
Total: 885 yen – leaving you enough change for a riceball or soda.