Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Fine, so that was a bit of an exaggeration. It's pretty high up on my list of places not to go in Tokyo at least - maybe after Akihabara, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro (you need to physically go to these places in order to fully appreciate their grossness). What am I talking about? Why, Omotesando of course - the site of the newly-opened Omotesando Hills shopping complex, the paragon of Tokyo's crapulous love affair (in that Glenn Close kinda way) with expensive shopping.

True to the adage, "what you resist will persist", I had some unputoffable business to take care of in Omotesando today. Oh. My. God. People everywhere. Even more than is normal for central Tokyo. (I found this interior photograph on the Internet. Unfortunately, there were no photos of the exterior queue going around the block.)

The only comparison that comes to mind on the topic of Omotesando Hills is the opening of the first McDonald's in Pushkin Square, Russia, in 1990.

Japan is a first-world country and Tokyo is a pretty big city. Who could have imagined that the opening of a shopping mall would create such a stir? To be fair, it seems that a large percentage of visitors are out-of-town tourists on "Omotesando Hills package tours". That's like going from Cheltenham to London for a Selfridges tour. Travel agencies are actually offering these services.

Next week, I have another appointment in the area. I am not looking forward to it. But I guess I am grateful that I live in a country so safe that the biggest news of the week is the opening of a shopping mall.


Blogger teahouse said...

Yeah, shopping malls are all kind of the same after a while, aren't they?

My theory is that people's lives have become so boring and meaningless that they'll do anything for the monotony..hell, if a new shopping mall were opening in my neighborhood, you bet I'd be there!

7:14 AM  

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