Roppongi is a district located in the Minato Ward of the Tokyo metropolis. Roppongi is known for its nightlife (bars, restaurants, and dance clubs). It's also become a shopping destination for travelers and locals alike. Thanks to its bustling leisure options, the district has become one of the most(if not the most) diverse, in terms of nationalities, in all of Tokyo.
Roppongi also enjoys a location in the heart of the city. It is bordered by the Akasaka and Minamiaoyama districts to the north; Nishiazabu district to the west; Motoazabu and Azabujuban districts to the south; and Azabunagasakacho, Azabudai, and Toranomon districts to the east.
Roppongi Hills Mori Tower
Roppongi's role as the center of entertainment and nightlife is no accident. The district has earned its reputation over centuries of development, destruction, and redevelopment. Today, it is hands-down the most diversified district in Tokyo and by extension all of Japan. Tourist businesses cater to the global crowd and attract Japanese crowds as well. There is a healthy art scene featuring museums, galleries, and installations. Also major Japanese and global corporations have set up shop within the numerous towers in the area.
Roppongi's history traces back to the 1600's when it was home to Edo's feudal lords. The name Roppongi (六本木-Six Trees) reputedly derives from the fact that in the Edo era six local landowners all had the character for tree (木) in their surnames. In the late 1800's, Roppongi became home to soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army. Thanks to its new and young population, it started to become a center for nightlife, however, the area was totally destroyed in World War II.
After the war, it became the residence quarters for the American Army and government officials of the Allied forces due to its proximity to the Emperor's palace. Japanese-owned restaurants, brothels, and bars began to pop up in the area catering to the westerners. Not too long after, Japan's locals began to visit as well.
As the district grew in popularity, so did its music scene. Popular nightclubs began spinning disco and attracting masses. However, many shut down during an economic recession period in the late 80’s.
One of the most important events in Roppongi’s history occurred at the turn of the millennium when the 27-acre ‘’’Roppongi Hills’’’ complex was completed. It cost almost $5 billion dollars and includes major attractions like an amphitheater, a hotel, a museum, and a famous TV studio. The Hills complex also includes smaller attractions such as offices, apartments, movie theaters, shops, and dining options.
Public transportation map for the district.
Metropolitan Expressway(Shibuya Route)
Roppongi's proximity to Haneda International Airport and the center of the city mean that it's well-connected. Easy to get in to and out of.
From Haneda Airport the simplest way to Roppongi is to catch the monorail from the airport to Hamamatsu-cho Station, then follow the signs to Daimon Station on the Oedo Line (about 2 minutes walk). Roppongi Station is three stations from Daimon Station.
From Narita Airport either catch the Airport Limousine Bus which has stops at several hotels in the Roppongi area (you don't need to be a guest at the hotel) and costs Yen 3,100 or catch a train, the easiest of which is the Skyliner from Narita Airport Station to Keisei-Ueno Station, change from Keisei-Ueno Station to Ueno Station (about 10 minutes walk) then catch the Hibiya Line to Roppongi Station. This costs Yen 2,670.
Four major lines run within or along the district's borders:
- Chiyoda Line - Runs along the north-western border of Roppongi. Its Nogizaka Station is located at the boundary between the Roppongi and Minamiaoyama districts.
- Hibiya Line - Runs east and west through Roppongi at the district's horizontal center. It shares the Roppongi Station with the Oedo Line; again, this station is closest to the Roppongi Hills complex and lies along the Metropolitan Expressway Shibuya Route Junction( a major artery in Tokyo's transit system). This Line is usefull for getting to Ginza, Tsukiji, Akihabara and Ueno.
- Namboku Line - Runs along the eastern border and then goes into the north-eastern corner. Its Roppongi Itchome Station is located near the Metropolitan Expressway Shibuya Route Junction which is a major artery in Tokyo's transit system.
- Oedo Line - Runs north and south through Roppongi at the district's vertical center. It shares the Roppongi Station with the Hibiya Line; this station is closest to the Roppongi Hills complex and lies along the Metropolitan Expressway Shibuya Route Junction which is a major artery in Tokyo's transit system. Note that the Oedo line is very deep underground (42 metres). You should plan on at least 10 minutes to get from the platform to the exit. This line is useful for getting to Ryogoku (Sumo Hall) and Shinjuku (note: Shinjuku Station is large and confusing with more than 200 exits so please plan ahead).
The Toei Bus Line 01 runs underneath the Metropolitan Expressway. It travels east-west between Shimbashi Station (destination: 新橋駅前 － Shimbashi Sta.）and Shibuya Station (渋谷駅前 - Shibuya Sta.). Adult tickets cost 210 yen and child tickets 110 yen per ride. Enter the bus by the front door and put coins in the coin box, a 1,000 yen note (larger notes are not accepted) in the note slot, or wave a Pasmo/Suica card over the reader. Change comes out automatically. There is free Wi-Fi on the buses (Toei_Bus_Free_Wi-Fi).
The Toei Bus Line 01 has stops every few hundred metres. There are a number of 01 Line bus stops within the district:
- outside Roppongi Station: westbound is near the Azabu Police Station; eastbound is outside the Mizuho Bank.
- a little west of Roppongi Hills: westbound is near a 7/11 convenience store; eastbound is outside Ex Theatre Roppongi.
- further west near Gaien-nishi Dori: westbound is outside Sunkis convenience store; eastbound is near a restaurant called Iriguchi, opposite a carpark which is under the elevated freeway.
- a little east of Roppongi Station: westbound is outside a 7/11 convenience store; eastbound is outside a pay carpark, near Apis furniture store.
- further east near Roppongi Itchome Station (Namboku line): westbound is outside a pay carpark, near the Tamachi freeway junction; eastbound is outside the APA Hotel.
The district is close to Tokyo's touristic center so it's not totally impossible to walk to Roppongi from surrounding districts and wards.
Shopping in Roppongi Hills
- National Art Center Tokyo, 7-22-2 Roppongi (Nogizaka stn, exit 6), . W-M 10AM-6PM. Tokyo's latest and greatest art museum, housed in an undulating wave-shaped building designed by Kisho Kurokawa and devoted entirely to changing exhibitions. Entry fees vary by exhibition. edit
- Roppongi Crossing. a big intersection of Roppongi-dōri (六本木通り), under the elevated highway, and Gaien-higashi-dōri (外苑東通り) is where everything starts. edit
- Roppongi Hills (六本木ヒルズ), 6-10-1 Roppongi (Hibiya line, Roppongi station, exit 1C; Oedo line, Roppongi station, exit 3), ☎ +81 03-6406-6000, . Roppongi Hills is an expansive shopping and entertainment complex, sleek and modern. It opened with much fanfare and remains popular. It has a number of attractions centered around the 53-story Mori Tower. edit
- Suntory Museum of Art, Midtown Garden, . Hosts changing art exhibitions. edit
- Mori Garden. This garden has a couple of wild duck families. edit
- Mori Urban Institute for the Future, Mori Tower, 50F, ☎ 03-6406-6636, . M-Th 10AM-8PM, until 10PM F-Su and holidays. edit
- Tokyo City View, Mori Tower, 52F, ☎ 03-6406-6652, . 9AM-midnight. This viewing deck gives you a 360º view of the city from 250 meters above sea level. Ticket includes admission to the Mori Art Museum. edit
- Tokyo Midtown, 9-7-1 Akasaka (Roppongi station, exit 4A, 8; Nogisaka station, exit 3), . Opened in April 2007, this competitor to the Hills boasts Tokyo's tallest tower, a Ritz-Carlton and yet more endless acres of shopping and eating. Still, Midtown favors wood paneling and greenery over raw concrete and feels a little more human than the Hills do. edit
- 21_21 Design Sight, Midtown Hinokicho Park, . Changing exhibitions devoted to the latest and greatest in Japanese design. edit
- Fujifilm Square, Midtown West, . Fujifilm's exhibition space for the latest and greatest in photography. Exhibits are usually free and well worth a visit. edit
- Suntory Museum of Art, Midtown Garden, . Hosts changing art exhibitions. edit
A night out with the Tokyo Pub Crawl
- Nagomi Spa and Fitness, Grand Hyatt Tokyo Hotel, 6-10-3 Roppongi, Minato-Ku, ☎ +81 3 4333 1234 ([email protected]), . edit
- Get in touch with the Tokyo Pub Crawl and tag along on Japan's version of a bar tour. Don't be surprised to see a mixture of enthusiastic Japanese students, young professionals, expats and the like. Drinks are discounted, and the 11:30pm ending time leaves room to catch the last train home or (for the determined) further explore the clubbing scene.
- Virgin Toho Cinemas, ☎ +81 03-5775-6090, . If you are going to put down the going rate of nearly ¥1800 for a movie in Tokyo, this is the place to do it. The nine-screen cinema has futuristic decor, THX and reserved seating. This theater is open all night, so you can catch a movie if you are staying out late and are planning to catch the morning train. edit
- In the first several floors of Mori Tower and the adjoining buildings, there are heaps of shopping spots, nearly all are upscale. Similarly, most of the restaurants have a lot of style, and with prices to match.
- Azabu-Juban is a quieter commercial district to the southeast of Roppongi Hills, and a good place to spend a lazier afternoon browsing through shops and enjoying the local cafés. The surrounding residential area is popular among professional expats, so expect to see many international families as you walk through.
Not surprisingly, Roppongi has lots of international restaurants.
Below budget? There are several supermarkets in the area:
- Global Market, Azabu-Juban shopping street. Open 24 hours. Decent. edit
- Lincos, near Roppongi Hills, a little past Tsutaya Roppongi. Open 24 hours. Decent. edit
- Nissin, 2-34-2 Higashi-Azabu (Ten minute walk from Roppongi Hills, or exit 3 of Azabu Juban station), . Great international selection, but pricey edit is
- Preece Premium, Tokyo Midtown Basement. Very good selection of imported foods; somewhat expensive even for Tokyo prices. edit
- Roppongi Marche, Near Roppongi Crossing. Still a little pricey, some occasional discounts. Be sure to visit all 5 floors. edit
- Seijo Ishii, located in the underground walkway between Roppngi Station and Roppongi Hills is open 10am till 11pm and is quite reasonable.
Some of the best cheap places to eat in high-rent Roppongi are the numerous fast-food joints', most of which keep late hours to cater to the party crowd.
- Cinnabon has recently established their first Japanese outlet in Roppongi. For less than 500 yen, you can get a cinnamon bun.
- Numerous fast-food chains are available, including Subway, McDonald's, and SoupStock.
- Turkish doner kebab vans on the street at night are really popular for people getting out of clubs. Watch out though, as hygiene in these places is appalling. The guys who run these places go the bathroom, then go right back to working without washing their hands. They don't even care if customers see them doing this.
- Chinese Cafe 8. Famous. That or slightly popular with after hours people. 24 hours. There's also a kick-ass deal with Peking duck that comes with all you can eat rice and complimentary soup. The decor is out of this world. There's mini appetizer dishes that are ¥200-300. At the end of TV Asahi-dori (the end w/o Tsutaya Roppongi). edit
- Manga Hiroba, . Open 24 hours. Over 100 stations - in Japanese or English. The first hour is ¥380, each half hour after that is ¥150 per person. There is a free drink bar with a selection of hot drinks, sodas, slushy drinks and water. Light meals cost ¥260-700. Friendly, service-oriented staff with limited English. Japanese TV, DVD and books all available as well. Comfy leather seats for reading, Internet or sleeping after the subway stops running. edit
- Yoshinoya, two locations in Roppongi: one of them is diagonally across the street (you have to walk under the elevated highway) from the main Roppongi crossing.. Yoshinoya makes its infamous beef bowls and other interesting budget cuisine for anyone that can say "oomori," if you want a large serving of beef bowl or other menu. One of the most revered ramen shops in Tokyo used to be right under the Yoshinoya, but sadly the place has now become a somewhat garish Japanese curry establishment called Go Go Curry. edit
- Almond Cafe. The Almond Cafe, right at Roppongi Crossing, has been a Roppongi landmark for more than 40 years. While the decor and menu are unremarkable the location makes it an excellent meeting place. edit
- Bangkok, 3-8-8, Woo Bldg, 2F. A lunchtime legend. Pad thai special on thursdays (¥980) is divine. edit
- Diya Indian Restaurant, Roppongi Hills B1. 11AM-10PM daily. Indian restaurant servicing authentic fare of exceptional quality. Start with the tender Tandoori chicken and move on to the biryani and the spicy curries. Good service, great food, mid-range prices. ¥4000 per person on sharing basis gets you a full meal. edit
- Hutong of Beijing, 5-10-19 (across the street from the Roppongi Hills Tsutaya). Incredible authenticity, very reasonable prices, a lot of variety. Specializes in duck. CLOSED! edit
- Pho Dragon (South Vietnamese Food), 1-11-13 Nishiazabu, Hiroshima Bldg., 1F, Minato 106-0031 (near intersection of Roppongi Dori and Galen-nishin Dori), ☎ +81-3-3479-0658. Mon-Sat, 11:30 to 14:00 and 18:00 to 22::00. Great freshness and taste, reasonable prices, friendly staff and good service. edit
- Tapeo: Bar de Espana, Roppongi Hills Metrohat B2, 6-4-1, ☎ +81 03-5412-2125. 11AM-11PM everyday. Cute tapas bar serving a good range of small plates as well as five or six main dishes. Spanish wines, sherry and a well-made sangria are the highlights of the drink list. The half roast chicken is excellent but the paella can be a little dry. There's plenty of seating but customers needing to use the restroom must leave the bar and wander through the corridors to find a public toilet. Tapas ¥500, main ¥800-1400. edit
- Tony Roma's, 5-4-20 Roppongi (next to Hard Rock Cafe), ☎ +81 03-3408-2748. Step out of Japan and into the United States; the bilingual staff and English-only menu might make you forget you are in Tokyo. The restaurant features their trademark ribs, worth the price which approaches ¥2000. The Texas Mud Pie is the cure for tiny Japanese desserts. edit
- Worldstar Cafe, 5-1-3 Roppongi, B1F Goto Bldg, . 11AM-8AM. Recently popular with business people or singles during lunchtime. Meal sets are ¥980-1200, comes w/ main, salad, drink; main being spaghetti, Japn, etc. Useful for a late night spot to hang around, since they're open until 6AM. edit
- #uni Seafood, 7-12-23 Roppongi, 1F Fortuna Bldg (At the Tokyo Midtown exit, go up the escalators, walk right across the street, take a right to the side street, then the first left then first right), ☎ 03-6447-4832 ([email protected]), . Lunch 11:30AM-2:00PM (L.O 1:30), Dinner 6:00PM - 11:30PM (L.O. 10:30PM). Recently opened European-inspired seafood restaurant, with an open seafood display and an open kitchen. Diverse but focused menu including pasta, fresh seafood platters, bouillabaisse, acqua pazza, fish & chips etc as well as some Japanese standards like sashimi. Average price per person about ¥4000. Also has a ¥1000 yen lunch menu. edit
- Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Roppongi Hills Hillside 2F, 6-10-1 Roppongi, ☎ +81 03-5772-7500, . 11AM-10PM. The first overseas venture of the eponymous Paris-based Michelin-starred chef. Each dish is a work of art almost as breathtaking as the price tag, as courses cost ¥2900-¥12,800 — still a steal by Tokyo gourmet standards. No reservations are accepted, so prepare to queue. edit
- Fukuzushi, 5-7-8, Roppongi (behind Hard Rock Cafe), ☎ +81 03-3402-4116. 11:30AM-2PM, 5:30PM-11PM. Persistently a contender in the expat community's "where to get the best sushi" debate. Expect no less than ¥30000 for 2 people with light drinking. Set menus are available, and their ¥3000 lunch set is excellent. Dress code: No sleeveless for men. edit
- Gonpachi, Nishi-Azabu 1-13-11 (Nishi-Azabu crossing, 5 min. from Roppongi station), ☎ +81 03-5771-0170, . izakaya that is past its prime and has served luminaries such as George W. Bush and former Prime Minister Koizumi, Make reservations and expect to see a lot of foreign visitors. Overpriced but a place to be seen by some. edit
- Ristorante da Nino, Grande Maison Nogizaka 1F, 1-15-19 Minami Aoyama, ☎ +81 03-3401-9466, . M-Sa 11:30-2PM (LO) and 6PM-11PM (LO). Within easy walking distance from both Tokyo Midtown and Roppongi crossing, owner chef Antonino Lentini offers finest sicilian dishes which in freshness are second to none. Good wine selection. Weekday lunch courses from ¥1400 (Saturday lunch courses from ¥2800); dinner courses from ¥8000. edit
- Roku Roku (??), Grand Hyatt 6F, Roppongi Hills, . This complex of six restaurants on the sixth floor is a good choice if price is not an issue. You can choose between sushi, steak, Japanese and Chinese, and will be looking at upwards of ¥5000 per head on the bill. edit
- Dashihide, Modernform Nishi-Azabu 1F, 1-15-7 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo-to 106-0031, ☎ + 03-3470-8156 ([email protected]), . 17:30-23:30 (LO 23:00) Closed on Sundays and first Monday of each month. Recently opened high-end Washoku restauraunt with a secret Dashi recipe, and Agu pork and Ishigaki beef. Both top-quality meats from Okinawa. Courses from ¥8000. edit
- Roppongi Hills has an extensive selection of midrange-to-expensive restaurants. A few branches of famous chains here, all offering set meals in the ¥1500 range, include:
- Ginza's Katsukobo Wako for tonkatsu (pork cutlets)
- Sugamo's Konaya for curry udon
- Akasaka's Kushinobo for kushiyaki (deep-fried skewers)
Roppongi is the place to be at night if you don't mind the periodic hassle of touts urging you to "just take a free look" in their bars and clubs. Nightlife often starts later than in other parts of Tokyo and many bars, clubs and discos are open until 4AM-5AM when the first trains run in the morning. Most other nightlife in Tokyo shuts down when the last trains run (around midnight). If you start your evening early you might consider starting in Shibuya and move over to Roppongi after 11PM.
There are innumerable watering holes and generally speaking, first floor and ground floor establishments cater to non-Japanese while higher stories feature more exclusive clubs aimed at, but not exclusive to, Japanese clientele. Don't be surprised if you wander into an organized event as Roppongi has a reputation as a major party center. Internationally-oriented parties, such as the Tokyo Pub Crawl, are fairly common and undeniably welcoming to travelers, local Japanese, and expats alike.
An ID is required at just about all of the major clubs, so bring along your passport. Note that leaving and re-entering a club (without being charged a second time) is often not possible. While Roppongi is dotted with a number of high-end larger clubs, there are also plenty of smaller, often cheaper and edgier dance halls worth exploring.
As a rule of thumb, exercise caution towards establishments solicited by street promoters, as some will go so far as to spike your drinks and wring you dry. If promises of free women and cheap drinks seem too good to be true, they usually are. Avoid going to a bar you never heard of with someone that you did not know before your journey. Girls that 'like' you usually try to make you buy expensive drinks at clubs and will not engage in any sexual activities. Leave the credit card at home (in a bid to combat fraud an increasing number of bars accept only cash anyway).
- Abbott's Choice, Kato Building, 2F, 5-1-5 Gaien-Higashi, ☎ +81 03-3475-0353. Open until 8AM. Small, decent bar with NYC pop radio fed in via satellite. Attracts a nice mix of tourists, ex-pats and curious locals. A really welcome respite from the overpriced and overrated bars in the surrounding area. edit
- Bar Quest Roppongi, 3F Rene No.2 Bldg, 5-3-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, ☎ +81 03-5414-2225, . 7PM-late daily. Quest brings you the best from Down Under, including a fine selection of Aussie lagers including VB, Crown Lager and Coopers, all the usual cocktails and even classic meat pies. A big-screen TV and a wide range of music played by DJs provide ongoing entertainment. You can also kick back Australian-style along the U-shaped bar and watch the photogenic bartenders hard at work. edit
- Black Horse, in a basement on Gaien-Higashi Dori. One of the better known places in the local ex-pat community. It caters to upscale ex-pats with sales of Cuban cigars, expensive drinks, and great DJ's. They strictly enforce a 25 and older age limit here, so the place has a more sophisticated feel to it, no servicemen, and older women. The only problem is how crowded it gets late at night. The best nights here are Thursdays, though Fridays and Saturdays are also packed. On Thursdays, women get free champagne and chocolate fondue all night. Black Horse was formerly known as 911. edit
- Motown. Up a flight of stairs to the left of TGI Friday's. No cover except for special events, drinks are reasonable and the staff is English friendly. Popular among expats for its smaller size and music selection, you can often find groups or solo western businessmen (and women) on expense accounts into the wee hours of the morning. Does get crowded at times, so go early if you actually want enough space to dance. Motown had been famous for its transsexual prostitutes that prowl the bar late at night, although recently, most have been deported (July 08). Those that remain arrive around 11:00 and will dominate the center of the bar. Interesting to talk to, but will dismiss you as soon as they find out you're not interested to spend 30,000 Yen + room for the night. On the upside, they are probably the best looking women in the place so if you are into that enjoy. The crowd here is on the older side. The average age is 40+. You can meet drunk middle-aged to old-age Japanese people here. edit
- The New Matrix Bar, B1 Wind Roppongi Building, 3-13-6 Roppongi, ☎ +81 03-3405-1066. The bar is located just off the main strip of Gaien-Higashi Dori. It’s a small, cozy club that plays Hip Hop, R&B and Reggae. It has a pretty extensive cocktail menu and most drinks are ¥1000. This place gets packed on Friday and Saturdays nights and the crowd is quite diverse. It seems to attract Western expats and a wide range of Japanese that love soul music. No cover charge Monday – Thursday. Friday & Saturday ¥1000 entrance fee.. edit
- Propaganda, Yua Roppongi Building 2F, 3-14-9 Roppongi. An appropriately grungy joint decorated with propaganda posters and booming bass, usually Top 40 or hip-hop. The friendly staff parties as hard as the customers. Often a starting point for pub crawl events. Drinks ¥800-1000 (half price before 9PM), no cover charge. edit
- Tokyo Red Carpet (STC), B1F Roi Bldg (white building across from Donki, next to The Pink Cow), ☎ +81 03-5785-2705. Daily 11AM-late. Touts itself as the biggest dining bar in Roppongi, which since it's not a club like Ageha, just might be true. Entrance is free and and there are daily specials on food and drinks. The music, is up tempo late night and approporiate for lunch and dinner hours. It is a real class act with exceptional value on Roppongi-dori. If you are looking for a very safe chillout place to hang late night in the heart of Roppongi which is elegant, very large and offers great value on food and drink then look no further. edit
- Tokyo Sports Cafe, 7-15-31 Roppongi, ☎ +81 03-3404-3675, . This bar is located right around the corner from Feria. Despite the name, this is a bar, primarily showing Soccer and Baseball (NFL Superbowl party yearly). The best thing about this bar is Friday night, which is Models Night. It attracts the same crowd as Feria, so you can go to Tokyo Sports Cafe first, then head out to Feria when the models move there. No cover charge. edit
- Two Dogs Taproom, in the old Gas Panic 99 building, which is about 100 meters from Roppongi crossing headed toward Tokyo Tower on the left side of the street in the same building as Ibix (just around the corner from Don Quiote), ☎ 03-5413-0333, . 5:00pm-5:00am. Two Dogs Taproom is a modern, industrial-themed brew-pub restaurant with a wood-fired kitchen and a super friendly staff. One of the few places in Tokyo serving 30+ craft beers on tap as well as a full bar and HD monitors streaming the latest in global sports. The pizza is notable and the crowd is a diverse mixture of Japanese, ex-pats, foodies and beer lovers. edit
- Wall Street Bar, 3F Marina Bldg, 3-10-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku, ☎ +81 03-5478-7659 ([email protected]), . 6PM-6AM. A decent, well kept disco playing Top 40s hits. Be sure to ask for the fire show around 1AM - a tip will be appreciated, but not expected, and it will be worth hanging around. If you're lucky you might get a card for first drink ¥500. If a packed bar with loud music is what you are looking for, then you are good to come during the weekend, usually after 11pm. During weekdays the bar is more a lounge and chill out stop. Free before 10:00pm and ¥1000 after. edit
The hot spots of Roppongi change constantly, and legendary clubs Velfarre and Yellow have both closed their doors. Heartland, in the bottom of Mori Tower. Keep this here for a while, as people will still look for them...that place was so awesome...The replacement is just not as good. This closed down in 2013... Free entrance, bottled beer ¥500. edit
- A.I., Duplex Tower B1F, 3-17-10 Roppongi, . Cosmopolitan and post-modern club with an international crowd. Cover ¥3500 only F Sa with 2 drinks. edit
- Feria, Grace Complex B1F. Along with Lexington Queen, this club has become one of the most popular hangout places for the international model society and the (hedge fund) crowd who wants to be close to them. A lot bigger than the New Lex and more luxurious. You often can see big groups of American foreign exchange students here for some reason. Cover ¥3500 only F Sa with 2 drinks. edit
- Flower, ROI Building 2F, 5-5-1 Roppongi, . Upscale nightclub with mostly Japanese crowd.(Closed after a patron was clubbed to death by mobsters in September 2012). It reopened a short time later with the name "6". It is basically the same as flower. Cover ¥3500 only F Sa with 2 drinks. edit
- Gaspanic (previous name of chain), . The best known of Roppongi's dive clubs. Although it was previously the place where desperate gaijin men and their female counterparts hoping for an easy score would congregate, it has recently taken on a much more Japanese vibe. There are not as many foreigners here as there used to be, and one might find the local women a bit more discerning. Nobody ever admits to going here, but it's packed tighter than the lower circles of Hell on most weekends, especially later on. On Thursdays ("Happy Gaspanic Day") all drinks are ¥300 all night, while the rest of the time prices vary from ¥600-1000, with happy hour prices sometimes until 11:30pm. The amount of alcohol in the drinks varies greatly, depending on the bartenders and the crowd. IMPORTANT: Keep your wallets and belongings close. With the influx of tourists, these have become notorious pickpocket spots. Entrance is free, but you must have a drink in your hand at all times. edit
- LINE Club, B1F, 3-15-24 Roppongi. Located in the same building as the old (infamous) Gas Panic, the renovated space boasts plenty of room do dance, cheap drinks, and in most cases, heavy doses as hip hop music. The early and weekday crowd might find themselves in the middle of a Top 40 or Allmix dance party, however. Before 11:30pm, the place to find some amazing drink deals to get your evening started. edit
- Red Area, 2F, 3-14-11 Roppongi. A smattering of both Japanese and expats, usually to the tune of Top 40. It was previously known as "Gas Panic Club" and then "GP Bar". It got shut down in mid 2013 and reopened a few weeks later with the name "Red Area". That being said, like its sister "LINE Club", expect some of the cheapest drinks in town before 11:30pm. edit
- New Lex Edo, B1F, 3-15-24 Roppongi, ☎ +81 03-3401-1661. Formerly known as Lexington Queen. The club is rather small, and is getting a little old; even the VIP seats are duct-taped to be held intact. However it has a history of over 30 years. The music is of a wider variety than in most Roppongi clubs, but usually sticks to the Top 100 USA club tracks. The youngest crowd in all of Roppongi. The average age seems to be below 20 years old. Cover ¥3000 women, ¥4000 men, with 3 free drinks. Additional drinks are ¥1000. edit
- Muse, 4-1-1 Nishi-Azabu (follow the expressway from Roppongi Crossing past Roppongi Hills, and keep an eye out on your left), ☎ +81 03-5467-1188, . Many expats argue that "you can't lose at Muse," a multi-level, multi-room below-ground establishment which, in addition to bars, dance floors, and VIP rooms, also has karaoke, ping-pong and pool tables. Cover charge ¥3,000 w/ 2 drinks for men and free w/out drinks for women(F and Sat); students can get drink discounts (except on Friday and Saturday nights) with ID. edit
- Club Odeon, HanaTsubaki Bldg. 3F, 3-15-23 Roppongi, . Mix of hip-hop and techno. One of the most popular after hours clubs in Tokyo, but if you arrive early you can also get discount entry and drinks. Cover ¥1000 with 1 drink. edit
- Soul Sonic Boogie, 5-18-2 Roppongi (at the end of the strip towards Tokyo Tower), ☎ +81 03-3584-7890, . Specializing in old-school funk/soul/disco. Put on your platform soles, comb your 'fro, and boogie on back to 1979. edit
Sleeping is probably the last thing on your mind when here. There are plenty of places to hang out between the last train and the first one in the morning, but not surprisingly very few of them are free or inexpensive.
Note that if you are a foreigner, then all hotels will require your actual passport in order to make a photocopy. These are all legitimate hotels, not love hotels. So if you find yourself needing a love hotel, your best bet is to take a cab to Shibuya.
- Super Sauna Roppongi VIVI (スーパーサウナ 六本木VIVI), Roi Bldg 4F, 5-5-1 Roppongi (Roppongi stn exit A3), ☎ +81 03-3404-4126. checkout: 10AM. Given the name you might well be excused for thinking this is in an entirely different business, but this is in fact quite a decent capsule hotel that caters to women also. A capsule for the night costs ¥4500, with pool, spa, gym, and more included.. edit
- Hotel Asia Center of Japan, (a 10-min walk or one metro stop away from Roppongi at Aoyama itchome on the Oedo, Ginza, and Hanzomon lines), . Excellent budget hotel -- no amenities like a gym or spa, but friendly staff, small but well-appointed rooms, restaurant. Free high-speed internet in room, coin internet in lobby. Laundry available. edit
- the b, . Super centrally located at Roppongi Crossing (center of night life area), 2 minutes to subway Hibiya and Oedo line, renovated in spring 2006, nice but small rooms. From ¥9000, with regular special discount offers when booking via the homepage (special offers available in Japanese only). edit
- Hotel Villa Fontaine Roppongi, (direct connection to Roppongi Itchome station (Namboku line)), . Nice and spacious rooms targeting for business travelers. From ¥10,000 per night (with great weekend specials from ¥6300). edit
- Hotel Arca Torre Roppongi, (1 minute to subway Hibiya and Oedo line), . Also super centrally located at Roppongi Crossing, with small but acceptable rooms (the cheap ones are without daylight) From ¥11550. edit
- Hotel Ibis Roppongi, . Older hotel with relatively small rooms, starting from ¥13,500, convenient location near Roppongi Crossing. Entrance is a little bit difficult to find, next to a game center. It is only a few steps down Gaien-Higashi Dori in the opposite direction of all the bars and clubs. Very convenient to both Hibiya and Oedo subway lines. edit
- Grand Hyatt Tokyo, 6-10-3 Roppongi, ☎ +81 03-4333-1234, . A part of Roppongi Hills, and not to be confused with the more famous Park Hyatt of Lost in Translation fame, which is in Shinjuku. Sleek and minimalistic, all black, gray and brown, with expensive design that never hesitates to sacrifice function for form, but the superlative service makes up for it. Rack rates marginally cheaper than the Park Hyatt at ¥37,000 and up. edit
- Tokyo Prince Hotel, 3-3-1 Shibakoen, ☎ +81 3-3432-1111. If you insist on staying in a "western" hotel near Roppongi, and have to stay within a budget (under ¥20,000 per night), the Tokyo Prince Hotel is one of your few options. The hotel is almost at the base of the Tokyo Tower and is located in a quiet, tree-lined neighborhood just a 15-minute walk from the action in Roppongi. The hotel staff speak English, and the hotel has the amenities of its modern competitors. But it is a bit of a throwback. The beds are short, the decor is tacky, and everything (except the DSL) feels a little dated. edit
- Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, 9-7-1 Akasaka (Tokyo Midtown), ☎ +81 3-3423-8000 ([email protected], fax: +81 3-3423-8001), . Located on the top floors of the hip Midtown building, the tallest in Tokyo. Probably Tokyo's priciest hotel, with room rates starting from ¥60,000. edit
- Villa Fontaine Roppongi Annex, 2-7, Roppongi 3-chome, ☎ +81 3-3587-1111, . Formerly Roppongi Prince, this is a Western style hotel that is significantly closer to the nightlife than the Tokyo Prince Hotel. Full queen size beds available, rooms look contemporary with ambient lighting and accent walls. Most importantly they are extremely quiet. The walk to the heart of the club scene in Roppongi is a quick 10 minutes up the hill, versus 20 mins from Tokyo Prince. The hotel staff speak English, but facilities are minimal (no gym, no pool, no laundry). High speed internet access is available upon request and only costs US$5 per day from noon to noon. edit
Roppongi has traditionally held, by Japanese standards, a slightly dangerous reputation despite the fact that crime rates are well below city averages. Recent efforts to increase police patrols, curb petty crime, and crack down on off-license clubs have largely alleviated the areas' undesirable reputation, but isolated incidents do exist. Street scuffles should be steered clear of as standard operating procedure for the police is to grab everybody in the vicinity and lock them up until things are sorted out, which may take time. Some petty theft also occurs in crowded bars and clubs.
Be wary of hustlers on the streets, specifically the Nigerian hustlers, who will often try to talk foreigners into going to hideously overpriced bars or clubs--the extent of the overpricing may not even be apparent until you get the bill at 5:00AM. They can be quite aggressive, especially if they think you might be in the military, but they will leave you alone if you keep walking and ignore them.
Unless you know where you're going, stick to places on the lower level of buildings, preferably with a sizable crowd, and don't bring your credit card, as most of the legitimate places don't accept them anyway. Never go to a place suggested by someone you just met.
Be careful when a random, lonely girl starts talking to you or seems overly eager for company. Some shady club owners send good-looking girls to nearby clubs and bars (typically to those with no cover charge) and after having an intermezzo there, they will try to persuade you to go to a different club, where they will order a very overpriced bottle of wine - which you'll have to pay. Arguing with the bouncers surely won't help when you try to leave. In the past, such women have been known to spike your drink and run up your credit card, although this is happening less often nowadays. Nonetheless, keep your eye on your drink, keep your credit card in your wallet, and don't be fooled by advancements which seem too good to be true.
Be especially careful when someone is saying they are there just for holidays just like you but keeps following you, asks you which club you want to go to and if you have a credit card or jokingly asks if you're working for the police. These are obviously immediate red flags. "'Tomodachi Lounge'" has been reported as a known offender.
Do not exchange money at a random bar - they will usually try to rip you off.
While Roppongi still struggles to restore its reputation, it is far less dangerous than the other major areas that cater to foreigners in Asia. It's not even the most dangerous place in Tokyo in terms of clubs hustling customers: that distinction goes to Kabukicho and its Yakuza-owned hostess bars. Some of the best clubs/bars require elevators to get into them. Remember that, it is slightly dangerous by Japanese standards, but Japanese crime standards are very different than those in much of the world. Roppongi is very safe, as long as you are not there during an earthquake. Many young women walk on the street alone late at night in complete comfort, and a policeman is never far away. The main danger is to your wallet.
- Complete a night of decadent debauchery with a sushi breakfast at Tsukiji, a few stops down the O-Edo Line.
- Shibuya (3km) and Aoyama (2km) are within walking distance. (Or, if it's daytime, take a 200-yen bus.)
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