Where the Expats are: Roppongi, Tokyo

If you are a foreigner working or about to work on another country, the first thing (if I’m right) that would cross your mind is “Where is the location of the Embassy?” or “Is there a consulate on that country?”. Well, for some it’s a matter of security in case something happens, for others it’s a matter of curing that homesickness by getting to know someone who speaks your native language or maybe its just human nature to find a place where you can be in a company of your fellow gaijin (Japanese word  for foreigners). No matter where you are, I’m pretty sure that each country has a district of where the expats are. For Japan you can easily find both the embassies and the foreign bars at the town of Roppongi.

Home to large expat community, Roppongi is notoriously known for foreign friendly pubs, clubs and restaurants. I am pretty sure that some will argue to the degree on how foreign “friendly” most of the bars are, so for a night out make sure you are still taking that extra caution. Good news for you if night life is not your thing, over the recent years Roppongi undergoes a makeover on its reputation.  Now the district is also known for its Art Triangle (National Art Center, Mori Art Museum, Suntory Museum of Art). These 3 museums houses some of the best local and foreign works, the entrance fee is a bit expensive (1,000 – 1,500 yen) and conveniently located on at high-end shopping-dining complex. The best by far is the Mori Art Museum where you can buy a combination ticket that will allow you to enter the observation deck of the Mori Tower- Tokyo City View for another 360 degrees look on the city (best place to view Tokyo Tower).

During my visit, there are group of Japanese kids on their Boy Scout attire  who on their cute little voices are collecting donation for the great earthquake disaster. If you have a kid in tow, stop-by at TV Asahi station where there is a small shops of all Doraemon goodies- the station official mascot. Apart for the 3 museum, I suggest to drop by at Fuji Film main office whether you are a photography enthusiast  or not, for a quick view of the Japan history thru the development of cameras and films.

The Catholic Church on which my Pinoy colleague goes to for a weekend mass is located at Roppongi’s nightlife district. According to them, to reach the church for the 6pm Saturday mass, you have to pass thru several clubs with few African man stopping you along the way to ask you if you like a companion or something. The location of the church is like indirectly saying “you can go ahead, commit a sin along the way and  just go inside the church for a confession”. Ironic.

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