We are set to move to our new apartment in Roppongi Hills this coming weekend, barring any issues with Rich's visa. In the days since our arrival, I have visited this enormous complex several times to stop by our mostly empty apartment and marvel at where I have landed. (We'll be in the tower in the foreground)
When we tell Japanese that we will be living in Roppongi Hills, we mostly get jaw-dropping wide-eyed stares. At least two people who I have asked to visit us have stated that they never thought they would know anyone who lived there.
I did some further research and came to understand that this city within a city has had its share of controversy. As in many development projects, not everyone has been satisfied with the proceedings. Some people complain of noise pollution caused by the public theater spaces, others wonder who really shops in the high end stores. Still, it is what it is, according to Wikipedia, a - mega-complex incorporating office space, apartments, shops, restaurants, cafés, movie theaters, a museum, a hotel, a major TV studio, an outdoor amphitheater, and a few parks. The centerpiece is the 54-story Mori Tower. The developer's stated vision was to build an integrated development where high-rise inner-urban communities allow people to live, work, play, and shop in proximity to eliminate commuting time. He argued that this would increase leisure time, quality of life, and benefit Japan's national competitiveness.
For further details on its construction, visit Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roppongi_Hills
You'll find a neat 360 degree virtual tour along with a description of the attractions and amenities via the following link.
So it comes down to this. When I look out the windows of our 10th story apartment I see the Tokyo Park Hyatt Hotel and the street below houses Louis Vuitton and Max Mara. Two stores I would never find reason to enter. Then again there are neat sculptures, an outdoor theater, gardens, a movie theater, and a big bookstore where you can read magazines and sip Starbucks. The plantings along the walkways and sidewalks are stunning for winter weather. Spring flowers in full bloom. Upon closer examination you can see that the soil is not only irrig
ated but heated as well.
As far as our apartment goes, we have heated floors and remote controlled forced air heating/AC units in the ceilings. We have the ubiquitous heated toilet seat with all sorts of bottom cleansing functions but I think that is fairly standard. So in the scheme of things, the apartment doesn't really blow me away.
So while I laugh at the absurd luxury of some of the surroundings, this is where I've landed and time will tell whether or not it really suits me.