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Hello Tokyo! | T+L Family

Tetsuya Miura Louise Bourgeois's spider sculpture at Roppongi Hills.

Photo: Tetsuya Miura


I had to squeeze in some business—an appearance at Isetan, a humongous department store much like Bloomingdale's or Macy's. It's where I have a boutique, one of my 40 Cynthia Rowley outposts in Japan. I design kidswear for the Japanese market—something I'm hoping to get into soon in the States—so it was very fun picking out a faux-fur vest and deer-print dress for Kit.

Before returning to the hotel, we backtracked to Nadiff Gallery, an art-and-photography bookstore near Omotesando. You can't miss the yellow door frame out front. Steps lead down to this underground lair, which has a café and lots of anime and Murakami paraphernalia (stickers, plastic figurines, pens) to keep the children occupied while Mom and Dad browse the coffee-table tomes. Bill and I happily came away with a Matthew Barney book from his Drawing Restraint series, hard to get in the States.

My Japanese partners treated us to dinner at Gonpachi, dubbed the White House because of its eggshell exterior. They boast that George W. Bush ate at this fortress of traditional food when he came to town, but we were more impressed by the stylish interior design. It looks like the set in Kill Bill in which the Crazy 88's attack Uma Thurman: open kitchen, 30-foot ceilings, wraparound mezzanine, wooden everything. While you wait for your table, you can watch them roll and cut soba noodles by hand in the front window. Soba and edamame, it turns out, were about the only native dishes we were able to get Kit to try. There was no way she was going to eat a shrimp tempura roll (yuck!). So much for all those palate-expanding nights that I fed her salmon-skin rolls when she was a baby.


On our last full day, we made good on our promise to take Kit to Tokyo Disneyland, just a 15-minute ride from Tokyo Station on the Japanese Rail. Kit was psyched that she was finally tall enough for Space Mountain, and it was utterly surreal to hear Donald Duck singing in Japanese. Otherwise, all the rides and stores were nearly identical to what you would find in Orlando.

I guess it really is a small world, after all.


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