enigmatic's Reviews

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  • Tokyo Tower (Night View Spots / Azabu-juban)
  • 2009/01/28
  • The Monet of tourist attractions: cool from a distance but a total let-down when you see it up close. It is nothing more than a radio tower surrounded by stinky tour buses with a pathetic shopping center crammed underneath it. The only people who actually go here are tourists who allow Lonely Planet to jerk them around and foreign guys who think their Japanese girlfriends actually want to go here. Let me clue you in: IT'S NOT THE EIFFEL TOWER, DUMMY! There is absolutely nothing romantic about a giant orange radio antenna. If you want play off of a city view, don't be a stingy schmuck: go to Roppongi Hills.
  • Shakeys: Ikebukuro (American / Ikebukuro)
  • 2008/11/11
  • It doesn't matter which location you go to. Shakey's is equally bad all across Tokyo. It is an American chain that has been localized far too well. The pizzas lack adequate cheese topping, and choices run the gamut from classics like the wasabi barbecue chicken pizzas with corn to mochi dessert pizza. They've attempted nachos, but the toppings come on pre-seasoned Doritos. And the sausage doesn't sound too bad, until you look at the picture and realize the coiled shape is far too similar to some less desirable aspects of human digestion. The restaurants are perpetually loud and chaotic, with a frantic staff doing their best to accommodate all demands. If you're forced to patronize this chain, go for the curry fries. It may be the only decent thing on the menu.
  • Le Cafe Doutor (Cafes / Ginza)
  • 2009/01/30
  • Disappointment. Say it with me now.... dis-a-ppoint-ment. It felt slightly less like a fancy Denny's, but it is still just a Dotour. The things I hate about "regular" Dotour still exist in this one...it's smokier than a run-down bingo hall. I do not enjoy going in to a place for a simple cup of coffee or sandwich only to leave reeking worse than a night out in Roppongi, sore throat and red eyes included. If you're in Ginza, there are much nicer places you can go for a cup of coffee. I suggest you try them out.
  • Gaspanic : Roppongi (Dance Clubs / Nightclubs / Roppongi)
  • 2008/11/17
  • Regardless of the fact that Gaspanic is a typical foreigner hangout with lecherous white guys trolling the crowds, it's really hard to say no to 500 yen drinks. And hip hop music. It's not that often you see Japanese guys with cornrows. But if you ever grew up in the ghetto and are craving a taste of home, here's where you can find it.
  • Shang lou (Chinese / Shibuya)
  • 2009/01/30
  • I tried to like this place. I really did. But I had a horrific experience with this dish in Chongqing. That experience (and the horrific week that followed) was enough to make me reluctant to eat more than a couple of bites. Everyone else in the group seemed to really enjoy it, but when I went home I had to make myself a sandwich. Given the price of dinner, for me it was a bit of a disappointment.
  • 4 Count Bar (Bars / Roppongi)
  • 2009/01/29
  • I don't much care what people say about the lovely drinks and pleasant atmosphere. The fact that the cover charge is hourly is like being in a discount hostess club. No thank you. Left after one drink to go take a shower.

    Nothing whatsoever against the girls, as they are very nice. I just felt like a dirty lech.
  • Inokashira Park Zoo (Parks & Nature / Kichijoji)
  • 2008/12/26
  • The San Diego Zoo it certainly is not. But it is still a fun thing to see inside Inokashira Park. The animals are smaller and there aren't that many varieties, nor are there large numbers of any variety. The aviary has quite a few interesting varieties of winged critters, but that's about it. It's not a depressing zoo, but it really isn't worth going out of your way for, either.
  • Saizeriya (Family Restaurant / Shibuya)
  • 2008/11/17
  • You know those days when your boss just drives you crazy and you want to have a drink with your lunch? Well, 200 yen glasses of wine at Saizeriya make it possible to do just that without blowing your clubbing budget. It's a pretty standard fast food Italian chain, but like most places in the city, it is absolutely packed during lunch. This is mostly due to, not to the cheap wine, but the very cheap food. And the best part is, the food isn't actually that bad. 500 yen is enough for a filling lunch, and 800 to 1,000 yen will get you a steak with veggies.
  • Hub : Roppongi 1 (British pubs / Irish pubs / Roppongi)
  • 2008/11/17
  • All hail 1300 yen liters of beer. Like every other Hub in Tokyo, don't forget your point card. Fairly typical Japanese attempt of recreating a British pub. But it is an excellent place to stop in if you want a free lesson in English slang. It's also a pretty good place to find an English teacher, as the foreigners who don't work in English schools can afford better hangouts in Roppongi.
  • Geronimo Shot Bar (Bars / Roppongi)
  • 2008/11/16
  • During the week it's not a very inviting place...a lot of regulars have a tendency to make others feel unwelcome. Oh, and don't forget to take your tie off before you go in, or they'll cut it off for you. Absolutely packed most nights.
  • Subway (American / Ikebukuro)
  • 2008/11/11
  • Just another sandwich shop. Nothing to write home about, but if you're sick of convenience store sandwiches with mystery filling, you'll probably find Subway to be the end-all and be-all of sandwiches. This is, unfortunately, just a side effect of having been away from home and a plethora of tasty sandwich shops for too long. They also have wraps and salads. They just as mundane as the sandwiches. But, if you want a healthier alternative to MacDonald's, get yourself to the nearest Subway.
  • Lock up: Shibuya (Izakaya / Shibuya)
  • 2008/11/10
  • The speedy service barely fails to compensate for the absence of quality in the food or the juvenile "haunted house" at the entrance. If you're looking for a place to celebrate Halloween all year round, this would definitely be a good start. While the fast service is a welcome break from some other restaurants, it does kind of give you the feeling that they're trying to push you out quickly so they can get another group into your spot. And the theme drinks are very weak on alcohol content. The noise level varies from high to very high. Staff does not speak English. All in all, a C-.
  • Dubliners' Irish Pub : Shinjuku (Live Bars/Jazz Bars / Shinjuku)
  • 2008/11/10
  • If you're looking for a vintage Irish pub, you'll want to take this one with a grain of salt. It's owned by Sapporo. Nevertheless, they have decent pub food for good prices, and a few of the import beer favorites. If you're looking to get a seat, or even standing room for more than three people on a Friday or Saturday, you'll be happier going elsewhere. The clientele is a more balanced mix of foreign and Japanese than a lot of other similar pubs around town.
  • Beer Restaurant Lion : Ginza 7 chome (Bars / Ginza)
  • 2008/11/09
  • The location is certainly one to visit for it's historical value, but if you're looking for a high-quality dining experience, this is not for you. The sub-par pub style food is a bad attempt to replicate western-style pub snacks. It is also a little on the expensive side for what it is. It is, however, a great place to duck in for a quick beer before heading on to your restaurant for the evening.
    The staff does not speak English, but they are friendly and patient.
  • Club Sega: Shibuya (Game Arcades / Shibuya)
  • 2009/01/30
  • These places are awesome. It's like the arcade you used to go to when you were a kid mixed with carnival games from the state fair collided head-on with adult gambling. The artifical horse-race games where you used to slide the ball down the incline at the fair? You can actually bet on those things like they're REAL horse races. Parallel dimension...

    It's really fun to go here with friends and just get a bit rowdy (not too much, just enough to get that "shame on you" look from the elderly).
  • Narrow K's (Cafes / Kichijoji)
  • 2009/01/30
  • This cafe is a bit small, and doesn't feel as warm and inviting as a lot of other cafes. While the cakes, teas, and coffees are pretty good, they are a bit on the expensive side, especially given the multitude of options available to you in Kichijoji. The only time I go back here now is when I am waiting for someone to meet me and I have more than 10 minutes I need to fill. I can enjoy a snack while people-watching and notice when my group arrives.
  • Gusto (Family Restaurant / Shibuya)
  • 2009/01/29
  • Although my opinion of this place is not strong enough to warrant a small novel, either for or against, it was a pretty decent place. Reminded me of Saizeriya - cheap food, cheap drinks, and an ok environment. Good spot for that week before payday.
  • National Diet Building (Landmarks & Historical Places / Tameikesanno)
  • 2009/01/28
  • An architecturally curious building, it is the site of some serious government head-scratching. Hey, at least they don't have all-out fist fights here like they do in some countries. I would suggest signing up for a tour...just know that you have to be there on a weekday to be able to do that. Oh, and like other serious/official buildings in Japan (Imperial Palace) the guards who work here don't have much by way of a sense of humor.
  • Tokyo Stock Market (Landmarks & Historical Places / Nihombashi)
  • 2009/01/28
  • If you're expecting to see a re-enactment of the NYSE in the Pacific, keep looking. Here, despite market volatility, people are still polite to one another. The increasing use of technology in trading also means that fewer people make a living waving their arms around and shouting. You really can't feel the true energy of a place like this from above. You have to get down in it. Unfortunately, for you to do that you'll have to start by submitting an application.
  • Rainbow Bridge (Night View Spots / Hamamatsucho)
  • 2009/01/28
  • With respect to the other reviewers, I find the best place to view this bridge is from the deck of the booze cruise leaving from Hammamatsucho. Other that how it looks from the deck of a boat...what can you say...it's a bridge. It goes across the water and cars drive on it. There are lots of pretty lights. But honestly, all the coolest cities know that you aren't really a city without a rockin' bridge. And considering this one revolutionized the commute and flow of traffic for millions of people, it is worth a look.
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