I have already written at great length about the inspired choice to stay in Roppongi. It is an absolute treasure trove of parks, shops, food, temples and easy access to tourist attractions. Staying in Roppongi has allowed us to have a few very relaxed days (no train rides), but still see something interesting on that day.
The Tokyo Cheapo Website
Tokyo Cheapo had become our bible for our stay in the city. It is a fantastic website full of useful information about attractions and food places that are family friendly and cheap – two of my favourite things! While we had consulted the website extensively for our day trips to Ginza and Shinjuku, we hadn’t thought to look at what it had to say about Roppongi.
On our last full day in Tokyo we had decided to have a fairly relaxed day. We thought it best to be refreshed for the adventures of catching a Shinkansen (bullet train) and finding our next Airbnb the following day. Emma had the great idea of checking out the Tokyo Cheapo website for local attractions, and I’m glad she did.
The website had a whole list of attractions that we didn’t know about (some terribly gruesome), but the one that piqued my interest was Fujifilm Square – gallery and museum.
Exhibitions – Fujifilm Square
From what I can tell, the gallery regularly cycles through exhibitions. The exhibition on show while I was there was all about the Amazon rainforest. There were some fascinating animals, some of which I had never seen before.
Other exhibitions included a series of photos of cities from around the world. A photo of the Sydney Harbour Bridge filled me with warm, fuzzy feelings of home, but not enough to make me wish I was back there. There was also an interesting series of photos by a prominent Japanese photographer.
The Museum – Fujifilm Square
I found the museum fascinating. Anyone with an interest in photography would be interested in the wide range of historic equipment on show. Cameras dating back to the 1860s, some with sample photos attached, were displayed. I wonder what those early pioneers of photography would have thought about our smartphones and selfie sticks…
Looking at the display, I found two things paradoxically interesting. One is how long photography has been around. The second is how far we have come in such a short time. It was really interesting to look at the early digital cameras and compare them to the point-and-shoot that I had sitting in my pocket.
Toys – Fujifilm Square
Naturally, a place like the Fujifilm Square wouldn’t be complete without an opportunity to play with some fancy new toys. At a counter towards the rear of the shop was a vast array of current Fujifilm cameras.
I sidled up to the counter and hung around like a bad smell as I worked up the courage to ask for a play. In lieu of any actual Japanese language skills, I pointed and asked loudly and slowly in English for a go. The polished lady behind the counter seemed unperturbed by my awkwardness, and she invited me to have a go. She demonstrated some of the features and even changed the menu on the camera to English for me.
I was impressed by what I saw in the few minutes of playtime that I had with the mirrorless X-T2. The settings were simple and easy to use, and the results looked fairly sharp. It was enough to make me wonder whether it offered a decent compromise between a point-and-shoot, and a heavy DSLR.
It’s probably not worth going out of your way for, but if you find yourself in Roppongi and you have an interest in photography, then head on over and check it out. An hour should be more than enough time to wander through the exhibits and play with the toys.