Mori Tower is a 54-storey skyscraper that is a self-contained 28-acre "city within a city." It was built by Minoru Mori, Japan's largest commercial landlord, and opened to the public in 2003. It is personally tended to by his wife. According to my wallpaper* city guide, Mori patiently spent decades acquiring property from about 400 small local landlords solely for the purpose of constructing this massive integrated property development. It contains numerous apartments, restaurants, hotels, shops, offices, and a modern art gallery, which was my main area of focus this weekend!
I went to visit the exhibition entitled "The Kaleidoscopic Eye." It's only running until the 5th of July, and this was a free weekend for me, so I decided to go solo and take my time to scrutinize and enjoy the various installations from the collection of Thyssen-Bornemiza Art Contemporary.
The whole experience is really very sensory. There are tunnels of light bulbs and glittering mirrored disco balls that really do make you feel as though you are tumbling around inside of a kaleidoscope. There are some other pieces too, like Klaus Weber's "Public Fountain LSD Hall", which consists of a crystal fountain flowing with LSD (they have it surrounded with glass and a security guard so you can't get at it) a grid suspended from the ceiling of some strange hanging plants and a park bench, that left me scratching my head, but whatever, it's art. My favorite was the film by Rity Sarin & Tenzing Sonam called "Some Questions on the Nature of your Existence." Watching Tibetan monks debating was absolutely incredible and gave me insight to another culture's method of questioning existing theses.
So, after visiting the art exhibition, I went upward to the Sky Deck.
It is basically just the building's helipad with some walkways and railing so you don't fall into the massive entanglement of heating/cooling, elevator, & communications equipment that the roof is crammed with. It is 270 meters high and is the highest open-air observation deck in Japan. It is like being on top of the world, you're so close to the sky you can feel the wind blowing, and Tokyo stretches out forever beneath you. It's absolutely incredible.
After I had gotten my fill of being on top of the world, I went back downstairs to the Mado Lounge and had an awesome lunch of penne pasta in a red sauce w/ mushrooms. The set menu also included a spinach salad with prosciutto, asparagus quiche, & fresh bread. For dessert, a raspberry mousse and a yuzu sorbet and a cafe ole to finish off the meal. In addition, I had a beautiful view of the city to gaze out at while I ate. I didn't even notice the shelves of white books on the far back wall of the restaurant and the lamps made of stacks of the same white books. It was really awesome and modern decor. Totally hip.
So... after lunch I wandered around the Tokyo City View, which is an airy glass-enclosed indoor observation deck, and did some people watching. I noticed that there were quite a few couples there (apparently Mori Tower is a fashionable place to propose in) and lots of wealthy-looking Japanese tourists with their Louis Vuitton bags and designer clothes.
So once I had had my fill of the Mori Tower, I went and hung out with Taryn & Take at Shirokiya and spent the night at Taryn's place so I wouldn't have to worry about missing the last train home. It was an awesome end to an awesome day.
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