Tokyo Guide: Roppongi Hills
Tokyo Area Guide: Roppongi Hills 六本木ヒルズ
Roppongi Hills, a cylindrically sleek and silvery silhouette, from Gaien-nishi-dori Ave.
Roppongi Hills is the Roppongi area's defining "miracle," that was a full 17 years in the making. In the midst of what was a depressed real estate market - in which land prices were continuing their downward spiral some 15 years after the bursting of the bubble economy - Japan's leading developer Minoru Mori opened up his Roppongi Hills complex in the summer of 2003. Roppongi Hills is a huge retail pot of gold that has succeeded in helping bring the middle class back into central Tokyo to live and play.
Roppongi Hills is home to 200 restaurants, bars and cafes, the Mori Art Museum, the Mori Arts Center Gallery, the Grand Hyatt Tokyo Hotel, the Roppongi Hills arena events plaza and the Toho Cinemas Roppongi Hills mega-plex.
Shopping outlets at Roppongi Hills include Louis Vuitton on Keyakizaka Street, adidas, Armani, Diesel, Zara and Banana Republic.
The 11.6 hectare mega-plex of luxury is made up of boutiques, a Toho Cinema complex (with a rice paddy on the roof), restaurants, apartments, the Mori Art Museum (tel: 03 5777 8600), the Mori Art Center Gallery, the Grand Hyatt Tokyo Hotel, the TV Asahi studio, an outdoor amphitheater, a Japanese garden and pond, parks, and more.
The centerpiece of the Mori Tower is a 54-story office tower designed by the Jerde Partnership International architectural firm. Jerde's other buildings in Japan include the Canal City shopping complex in Fukuoka and Namba Parks in Japan's second city, Osaka.
Like Mori's previous projects - LaForet Harajuku (1978) and Ark Hills (1986) - this Mori Tower is one very big and sophisticated statement.
At the base of the tower is French-American artist and sculptor Louise Bourgeois' Maman, a giant bronze and marble spider straddling the courtyard.
Mori Tower includes the Tokyo City View observation deck on the 52nd floor, 250m above ground, which is the city's highest viewpoint.
Tenants of the Mori Tower include such heavyweights as Baidu, Barclays, Chevron, Ferrari, Goldman Sachs, Google, Lenovo and Pokemon.
Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills is sprawling and somewhat unpredictable in its design, encouraging wandering and exploration.
Access to Roppongi Hills by train is from the following five Tokyo subway stations:
-Roppongi Station on the Hibiya Subway Line, Exit 1C (3 mins)
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