In the middle of skyscrapers jungle in the Shinjuku district, the CocoonTower is definitely one of the most characteristic and particular. Located in the financial district of Nishi-Shinjuku was designed by Japanese architect KenzoTange before he died in 2005 and later realized from his company ”Kenzo Associates“ between May 2006 and October 2008. He was rewarded in 2008 with ’”Emporis Skyscraper Award” as best skyscraper of the year.
THE COCOON TOWER
Top 203 meters has 50 floors inside where there are three schools for about 10,000 students, a fashion one (the Tokyo Mode Gakuen), design one (HAL Tokyo and Shuto Iko) and also a medicine one. For this reason is the second building height dedicated exclusively to the study after the Moscow State University and the seventeenth tallest skyscraper in Tokyo.
On the ground floor ( in Japan marked as 1F ) is open to everybody a small but interesting cafe called Blue Square Cafe. Inside this space you can enjoy drinks on the style of Starbucks Coffee, cakes and breads like in a backery cafe, but the most interesting thing is the kind of entertainment offered to the clients!
In fact, a lot of iPod Touch are available to listen to music, surf the net, check your email, play with a selection of games. For lovers of reading instead there are books placed directly in the structure of the tables, under the glass counter.
iPOD TOUCH “STATIONS”
Of course the cafe is located inside a building dedicated to fashion and design, you can so browse for free the latest Japanese architecture and fashion magazines reporting latest creations of designers.
For foreigners who are interested in this field, have a selection of the highlights of the library is very interesting. Often in Japanese bookshops all publications are organized according to the alphabet in Japanese characters and not put on display. This makes it difficult for those unfamiliar with the language to obtain magazines with latest pictures. Usually then I go to this cafe and I look for publications that interest me most, i take a picture to the cover and I show it in the library where I intend to buy.
Whenever I’m in Tokyo, I like to eat well, and a lot! After all I’m on vacation and I deserve it, like everyone else! In addition to delight me with Tsukune’s restaurant in LUMINE, when I’m in Shinjuku I always go in a fine restaurant which I think is called Tsukino Shizuku.
RESTAURANT IS ON WEST SIDE
The restaurant is located on the west side of Shinjuku station, in the direction of the Cocoon Tower and Yodobashi Camera. It is not hard to find, located above the Starbucks Coffee in front of The Suit Company shop. The restaurant is not at street level but is located at 2/3 floors of the corner building. However, there are several signs to find it.
THE ENTRANCE OF THE RESTAURANT ( 2/3F )
I stumbled into this restaurant the first time accompanied by a Japanese friend. The thing that immediately struck me was how to order food. In fact you do not have to ask for food to the waiter, but you must submit orders through a tablet like the iPad! The tablet is very convenient because there is also the English language with a description of the dishes. Unfortunately dishes pictures are associated only to the Japanese menu, but after a little practice you can identify them, if the English description is not entirely convincing, from the Japanese menu as the structure of the menu pages is the same for both languages.
A LOT OF SAKE
In this restaurant you can eat just about anything … Meat, fish, vegetables, fried foods, but most of all you can drink by choosing from a list of Sake, Shochu and Umeshu really wide! And all is really cheap , but the quality is good!!!!
Here some pictures of the dishes I tried :
ASPARAGUS WITH HAM
EGGS, BEANS AND MISO SALAD, EDAMAME
I really enjoyed!!!!!!!!
Usually thinking about food in Japan, the first thing that comes to mind is sushi. I love sushi, I eat it anytime, anywhere, I’m addicted! Turning alone in Tokyo, however, I discovered another food that struck me immediately, skewers Tsukune.
One of the first times I visited Tokyo I was a bit intimidated from going alone in a traditional restaurant because in Japan, unlike many other cities the world, restaurants are not located at street level but they are all gathered inside buildings and can be reached with an elevator that leads directly into the restaurant. The problem is that the signs are all written in Japanese and not everyone have photos that show the food you can eat inside. So I decided to go to the palace LUMINE 1 in Shinjuku, a shopping mall located above the station and managed directly by the transport company JR.
On the 6 and 7 floor there is a gallery of restaurants called ”Meshi Mase” where people can see clearly what they are cooking and then decide what to eat. A great solution for me, at that time still inexperienced. I’m so happened, by chance, in this Tsukune restaurant called KEISHO - AN, chicken skewers that unlike most traditional Yakitori are prepared with the minced chicken and served with different ingredients.
For example, you may find Tsukune cooked over coals and ”rolled” in sesame seeds, or covered with a delicate cheese. One of my favorite is definitely the one covered withMiso, a fermented soybean paste!
The restaurant is very nice, is composed of two rooms, the first at the entrance has a beautiful wooden counter where the chef cook in front of you the skewers on the grill, the second on the back is a small room with tables separated by typical bamboo curtains. The girl at the front desk called Satomi San is really nice and speaks English well enough (she is working very hard to learn English and now she knows it better than me that I must use Google translator to write this blog). I highly recommend everyone to try this restaurant. The prices are great and you will be completely satisfied!