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A Development for the Future

Konichiwa Readers!

Today I did a bunch of lessons from JapanesePod101.com survival phrases and SurvivalPhrases.com Japanese. Respectively, lessons covered 41-45 and lessons 39-43. The lessons while teaching new phrases and words, covered much of the same areas I’ve already blogged on (restaurants, shopping, etc.). One of the lessons that was different however was one about going to the movie theater.

Mori Tower, Roppongi Hills

Observation Floor Love Seats

At the top is a photo of Mori Tower, the center structure of the Roppongi Hills development. Below is an area on the observation deck, floor 53, of Mori Tower. The seats are able to detect how close you’re sitting to the person next to you. The closer, the warmer the color. The further away, the cooler the color. They really are love seats. [Photos by Emily Carsch]

Here in Tokyo, going to the movies is very expensive. I have not been yet, but have heard it is around 2000 yen just for a ticket. When I’ve inquired about it with locals, many say that they rarely go to the theaters for this reason. I can’t imagine how much concessions cost if a ticket is already 2000 yen. Needless to say, I have yet to attend a movie here in Japan.

Last night I walked by the movie theater in Roppongi Hills and saw that most of the movies playing were ones produced in the US. One of the current large features playing is Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls (2008). Its release date here in Tokyo was June 21st. It opened in the United States on May 30th. This movie, that has a lot of international recognition, was released a month later here than in the US.

Ironman (2008 ) on the other hand, another summer blockbuster that was released in the US in early May, is not opening here in Tokyo until the end of September. Most all of the movies to my knowledge are shown in English and are given Japanese subtitles. With that said, I’m not sure what the deal with international release dates is; there is clearly a discrepancy between these two examples.


Despite the price, I hope I make it to a movie at some point soon. I hear that the movie theater in Roppongi Hills, walking distance from the JapanesePod101.com headquarters, is one of the best in all of Japan. It is supposed to be very modern and chic. This is a reflection of Roppongi Hills itself.

Roppongi Hills, centered around the brand new, 54 story Mori Tower, is full of shops, restaurants, galleries, offices, and apartments. Just opened in 2003, this area is what someone would think of when thinking about high-tech and futuristic Tokyo.

Apparently, Mori Tower houses Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, TV Asahi, Konami, Yahoo! Japan, and the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, just to name a few. One of the other students in my program here works in Mori Tower. He cannot speak more highly of it, and neither can I.

On the top floors of the building, Mori Tower has an art gallery, which is currently featuring the Turner Award winning artwork on loan from the Tate Museum of Modern Art in London, a 360 degree observation floor of all of Tokyo, and the roof is even accessible to the public for observation on days with good weather. The views are incredible. When there’s clear weather, you can even see Mt. Fuji from the top.

This is an area worth visiting should you come to Tokyo. For more information, visit their website by clicking here!

That’s all for now. Ja-ne.

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