Tokyo Guide: Roppongi
Tokyo Area Guide: Roppongi 六本木
Roppongi is a part of Tokyo well known for its nightlife, but during daytime too offers great shopping, dining and culture-vulturing with its huge Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown centers less than 15 minutes walk from each other, and the National Art Center Tokyo, completing the "Roppongi art triangle" that roughly encompasses the area.
Roppongi's nighttime dazzle is focused around Roppongi Intersection, right near the two Roppongi subway stations (Hibiya line and Oedo line). The innumerable clubs and bars that make up Roppongi's nightlife are no more than about 5 minutes' walk from here.
Roppongi has 69 of the 127 embassies in Japan.
Roppongi Hills defines the Roppongi area. This city-within-a-city is dominated by the 54-story Mori Tower, and besides apartments and offices, features a huge range of stores, restaurants, and cafés, as well as cinemas, a hotel, a museum, an outdoor amphitheater, and some parks. Read more about Roppongi Hills.
Tokyo Midtown is another city-within-a-city that opened in 2007, just four years after Roppongi Hills. Tokyo Midtown is a six-building complex on ten hectares of land, dominated by the massive Tokyo Midtown Tower: Tokyo's tallest building (10 meters taller than Roppongi Hills' Mori Tower). Tokyo Midtown has the five-floor Galleria shopping complex, museums and galleries, including the Suntory Museum of Art, gardens, and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Midtown Tower's top floors. Read more about Tokyo Midtown.
Hinokicho Park, Roppongi
Suntory Museum of Art, Roppongi, Tokyo
National Art Center Tokyo
The National Art Center, Tokyo (Kokuritsu Shinbijutsukan) is Japan's largest exhibition space with an emphasis on modern painting and sculpture both Japanese and international. This modernist glass structure was designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa. Read more about the National Art Center Tokyo.
Roppongi is home to hundreds of bars, restaurants and cafes and has had something of an international feel since the 1950s, with many foreigners opening businesses here to serve the local foreign community. Some recommended restaurants are the top-quality Italian restaurant Canoviano, the classic French Le Bourguignon near Roppongi Hills and the L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon (two Michelin stars) also in Roppongi Hills. (Read about the three-star Joel Robuchon Restaurant in Tokyo's Ebisu district.)
Roppongi has some excellent bars catering to all tastes and budgets. Hobgoblin, the "largest pub in Tokyo," is an authentic British pub owned by the Wychwood brewery in the UK. There are branches in Akasaka, Shibuya and Kobe. Fiesta (Tel: 03 5410 3008) is a popular "international karaoke club" with 1000s of songs in English. Fiesta is located in the Crest Roppongi Building, 3F.
Further down market are Geronimo Shot Bar on Roppongi Crossing, which attracts a diverse and raucous crowd of expat bankers, language teachers and hostesses. Castillo is a 70s and 80s theme bar with an international partying clientele. Tokyo Sports Cafe is popular with sports fans for its big screens and beer mix and a good place to come to catch Premier League soccer or the Super Bowl.
Roppongi is also well-known for its hostess bars and love hotels.
Read more here about Roppongi bars, drinking and nightlife.
Roppongi Hills Video Guide