Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Today was the opening party for the new Mori Buildings Roppongi Hills development in Roppongi. "The project, covering approximately 11 hectares, with a total floor area of 724,000sq meters, is the largest currently planned redevelopment project in Japan." I was on one the Cyber 66 committee at one time which was a planning committee to try to figure out what to do about the radio spectrum "shadow" the building would cast and what to do about the IT infrastructure.

As far as I know, there were three parties. One party for insiders last week, the party I went to at 7pm which was for 1500 of Mr. Mori's closest friends and one today 1 hr later for other special friends. It was quite impressive, but I was already expecting to be impressed so Mizuka and I cruised through the tour, slammed down the champagne, ate tonkatsu at one of the new restaurants and split.

There was a flower motif and these strange alien-like characters on the screen and in person. (the thing in the picture with Mizuka.) I'm not sure what they were, but they were all over the place. It is an amazing building and should change the landscape and traffic around Roppongi area significantly.


I hope the Roppongi Hills outfit manages to cleanse out the オッパイ通り part of Roppongi. Meiji-ya and a few other outfits were nice enough to spruce up their stores just for the occasion, after all.

Btw Joi, I'm having some trouble finding your ToDoWiki w/o having to go through the search function; is there a link I'm not seeing?

I have to do some more personal due diligence on this Roppongi Hills thing. But I'm wondering, since it's got the whole foreigner stronghold reputation (at least for drinking and, well, other stuff...) will this new development cater to foreign entreprenuers?

Thanks for the "inside dope" -- read a story in last Sunday's LA Times Real Estate section, and was wondering how "big" this was. And what's with the albino astro boy???

Adario -

More here and here (self-links).

Hi Joi-san,
I went to see the R6 yesterday too, and had a chat with Mr. Ogawa, CEO of Baccarat Pacific KK, in their 'Baccarat Bar'. The bar was minimal and so nice. It is the area where I grow up and changed a lot. It's a new tokyo. I am a bit afraid of that people living and working in those tall and gorgeous buildings will have special feelings and be snobbish. I need more time to hang around to see MOMA and culture events. Cheers,

My wife and I rode our bikes over to Roppongi Hills from Ebisu last weekend. We were both shocked and awed by how terrible the thing is. I expected it to be gaudy and huge, but I wasn't prepared for the way it has destroyed the flow of pedestrian traffic in the area, as well as any semblance of "neighborhood" the place had. I agree with Adam Greenfield's comments--in a few short years this place will be a wasteland. I wish Japanese developers would confine this sort of crap to reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay.

Ryan... That's why I'm moving to Chiba. I'm trying to buy a farm so I can grow my own veggies. I'll let you all come and stay when Tokyo is either totally paved, flattened by an earthquake or bombed by North Korea. I promise I won't over-charge. ;-)

Matt: Just go to

I should put a link somewhere... hmm...

Joi sez: "I'm trying to buy a farm so I can grow my own veggies."

Nice. Plant some nigauri for me.

For those who want to see what another Roppongi-area neighborhood looked like before Mori Corp put up their residential tower, go to

Troy, thanks for a beautiful link! Not only is it illustrative, but the site is lots of fun in its own right - sort of moblogging avant le lettre.

Nice all around, brought a smile to my face.

Joi wrote:
>these strange alien-like characters

They are promotional characteres for Roppongi Hills, designed by Japanese "fine artist"
Takashi Muramakmi.

I am so glad you put that in quotes. ; . )

Whatever happened to the world famous japanese sense of design? All the new developments down around Roppongi are complete monstrosities. Joi enjoy your farm, I just moved to a shitamachi area myself.