What to Do in Roppongi
What you want to do in Roppongi really depends on the time of day, but no matter when you go you’ll find something in this 24-hour hub of business and entertainment, from leisurely strolls through the backstreets to experiencing world-class art and design galleries. Plus, being Roppongi, there’s always some kind of event or festival going on somewhere in the area, so just be sure to check what’s going on during your visit.
Experience Art Triangle Roppongi
Roppongi is home to three world class art museums: the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills, the National Art Center, and the Suntory Art Museum in Tokyo Midtown. Also in Midtown is Fujifilm Square, a photograpy and photo history museum that is usually free, and the incredible 21_21 Design Sight space. Every autumn, a two day art festival called Roppongi Art Night takes place and the entire neighborhood becomes a showcase for art, design, and performance where you can experience art everywhere. Basically you can take an entire day to experience these main art centers, but also the variety of smaller galleries and spaces that are around the area.
Tokyo City View
While you’re at the Mori Museum - or just Roppongi Hills in general - you’ll want to check out Tokyo City View on the 52nd floor observation deck. It’s one of the best views in the city, where
you can see Tokyo Tower, Skytree, Aoyama Cemetery, Shiba Park, Tokyo Bay, and on a clear day, Mt. Fuji. If you go to the Mori Museum your ticket includes access to the observation deck, so it’s worth picking up the combo in advance.
Watch Oiran and Geisha Dance
The building facade of Kaguwa looks like a typical teahouse in Yoshiwara, the licensed pleasure
quarter of Edo. Inside, it’s a dinner theater showcasing spectacular dancing geisha and oiran (high ranking courtesans) on a giant kaleidoscopic moving stage. You can choose from several courses or an a la carte menu. This isn’t your slow-paced geisha performance, but rather a high energy show that mixes in traditional elements with action. You can choose to attend with or without a meal, and it’s all you can drink.
Wander around Azabu Juban
A quiet neighborhood down the hill from the busy Roppongi area, Azabu Juban feels much
more local than its location would imply. It’s quite fashionable, but not the flashy style that Roppongi usually offers. Rather, it’s a place for regular people that maintains its local vibe. It’s worth wandering the backstreets, and even checking out the local Take no Yu onsen. If you’re lucky enough to be in the area in late August, you’ll be around during the massive Noryo Matsuri
that brings food from all over Japan.
Visit a hedgehog café
Normally we don’t recommend animal cafes for most travelers, but it’s kind of impossible not to get into hedgehogs. While Harry is a cafe, you serve your own drinks and they don’t provide
food, but they do provide endless entertainment with tiny little hedgehogs to play with. Weekends tend to be pretty busy, so we recommend visiting on a weekday, and bringing the kids if you have them. You can also make a reservation from their homepage, which seems over the top for a place that features hedgehogs, but it’s pretty popular!
- The National Art Center, Tokyo
- Tokyo Minato-ku Roppongi 7-22-2
- [Planning Exhibition] 10:00-18:00 (entrance up to 17:30) ※ Every Friday/Saturday during the show until 20:00 (admission up to 19:30)
[open call exhibition] 10:00-18 :00 (admission up to 17:30) ※ There may be differences in viewing hours depending on art groups
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- Every week Tuesday (opened if Public holiday or substitute public holiday, closed next Weekday)
- Suntory Museum of Art
- Tokyo Minato-ku Akasaka 9-7-4 Tokyo Midtown Galleria 3F
* Both last entry is 30 minutes closing. * If you enter at 10:00-11:00, GALLERIA on the 1st floor (Galleria) Please enter from the entrance.
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- Tuesday, exhibition replacement periods, New Year's Holiday, 2019 Nov. 11 Sunday-2020 May (Scheduled)