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Aside from being an upscale shopping center, Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills complex is also home to the Mori Art Museum and a 54th-floor observation deck. We recently paid the building a visit to check out two concurrently running events, the LOVE Exhibition and Hatsune Miku Café.

A portion of the photos in this article can be viewed in 3D. The MPO (3D data) zip files can be downloaded here for viewing on a Nintendo 3DS or 3D-capable TV or PC.

In a surprising twist, our hearts won out over our stomachs, and we started with the LOVE Exhibition. Of course, is you ask different people for their concept of just what love is, you’ll get different answers, especially between people who have already found their soul mate and others who are still recovering from breaking up with someone who wasn’t quite such a catch.

To accommodate these diverse notions, the exhibit is divided into five sections: What is Love?, Two People in Love, When Love is Lost, Family and Love, and Love Spreads.

Roughly 200 pieces by artists from around the world are on display–including sculptures, paintings, photographs, and even textiles–all expressing their creator’s idea of the essence of love. Our reporter’s reactions ranged from “Beautiful!” to “What the heck is this?” and “kind of gross.” She had a particularly hard time comprehending how a pornographic wood-block print from the Edo period was supposed to be an embodiment of the spirit of romance.

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When Love is Lost is centered on the idea of heart-broken women having the last letter they received from their ex-boyfriend analyzed by others. While our correspondent didn’t have any such mementos of her own on display, she could imagine what the diagnosis would be. “I’m pretty sure I get dumped because I overthink things. I’m slowly starting to realize that love and romance are emotional impulses, so you can’t always understand them strictly through rational thought,” she explained.

The Spreading Love section of the event is an extensive display of virtual idol Hatsune Miku paraphernalia. Aside from previously unreleased concert footage, there is a 3-D model of the singer that can be manipulated with a high-tech touch-screen apparatus.

If that’s not enough, fans can get their literal fill of Miku at the Miku Café, located next to the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills’ 250-meter (820-foot) high observation deck. Even though diners need to purchase a 1,500 yen (US$15.50) ticket to the deck to enter the café, it attracted so many visitors that following the end of its initial operation run on June 16, the restaurant was reopened and will remain in business until July 23 (entrance to the observation deck is included with tickets to the Mori Art Museum).

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The menu features food and drink inspired by the singer’s look and songs, including Miku pita sandwiches and turquoise-hued beverages. We’re not sure if we’d want to eat these vibrantly-colored dishes every day, but we were definitely intrigued enough to at least give them a try.

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We settled on the 1,000-yen 39 curry, with “miku” being one of the many possible ways to read the digits three and nine in Japanese. True to the café’s word, after a five-minute wait we were presented with a scoop of rice decorated and colored to be a spitting image of the virtual idol herself. The songstress is often depicted holding a negi or long green onion, and our order came with one wrapped in pork and stretched across the plate.

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We cut into the onion, took a bite, and were surprised by how good it was. The pork is moist, and the juices from the negi combine with the curry to produce a taste that’s milder than eating the onion by itself but still deeply flavorful. The onion is thick enough that it’s a little hard to chew, however, so we recommend cutting it into much smaller pieces before digging in.

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▼ Sorry, Miku-chan, but we’re hungry

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The curry itself is the basic run-of-the-mill type you can find just about anywhere, but in terms of presentation, this is really first-rate, and we came away completely satisfied.

Lest you think us complete philistines, our reporters were also deeply moved by the writing on the walls of the exhibition area. Thoughts on love from various artists and celebrities are scrawled, including Yoko Ono’s “A dream you see by yourself is just a dream, but a dream you see with someone else is reality,” and Little Prince author Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s assertion that “Love is not two people staring at each other, but two people gazing off together in the same direction,” words which echoed as deeply in our reporters’ hearts as any of Miku’s pop numbers.

Event information
Address: Tokyo, Minato ward, Roppongi 6-10-1
LOVE Exhibition open 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. (7 p.m. Tuesdays)
Miku Café open 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Admission: 1,500 yen

Photos: RocketNews24
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