A Concise Guide For Planning Your Trip To Roppongi
Roppongi, meaning "Six Trees", is the nightlife hotspot of Tokyo. Tourists love the wide variety of bars, restaurants, Ramen, and Sushi houses in the area. Sometimes, you might get confused about where to go. In this Roppongi travel guide, we’ll list all the best things to do in this district.
Another common dilemma is not knowing where to stay. There are various accommodation options in Roppongi. You will find anywhere from backpacker hostels to high-end hotels like the Roppongi Grand Hyatt.
This is nearby two of Roppongi's main attractions - Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown. There's also the largest art museum in all of Japan – the National Art Center Tokyo. You can also attend various events at the Mori Art museum near Tokyo Tower.
There's so much to see and do that it can be overwhelming. So, here's what you shouldn't miss:
Indulge in the Lavishness of Roppongi Hills
If you are going to Roppongi Hills and won’t take a photo at the famous Maman Spider Sculpture, you are missing out on a lot! Photographers and tourists flock to the Roku Roku Plaza every day to get their photos taken. The iconic sculpture was made by French artist Louise Bourgeois as a nod to her own mother's nurturing yet fierce character. It is a towering 30ft tall, so you can stand underneath it and be amazed at how detailed the sculpture is, it even has 26 marble eggs suspending from its abdomen.
After fulfilling your Instagram goals on the Maman sculpture, go up to the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower and experience the Tokyo City View on the observation deck. It will give you remarkable unobstructed views of the Tokyo Sky Tree and Tokyo Tower. Then, visit the Mori Art Museum which is also on the same floor. It is a contemporary art museum, showcasing local and international talents. The exhibitions usually focus on multimedia installations, fashion, and architecture.
Tokyo City View
End your day with a stroll at the Mori Garden (Mori Teien). It is a traditionally landscaped Japanese Garden founded in 1650. It is famous for its weeping cherry trees that bloom beautifully during March-April where they are lit up at night too, so it's perfect as a post-shopping date.
Walk Around Tokyo's Greenest Complex
Midtown Blossom 2019, Roppongi
Midtown Tree illumination
Experience living the high life in Tokyo Midtown. It`s one of Tokyo's biggest commercial complexes at 10 hectares, and has residential spaces, museums, private offices, shopping malls, and a luxury hotel ALL in ONE area. Its main landmark is one of the tallest skyscrapers in Tokyo, the Midtown Tower which stands 248-meter tall.
Some of the main buildings in the complex are the 4-story building, Galleria and the Tokyo Midtown Plaza. They have everything you need from exquisite local and global fashion shops, high-class furniture and home design outlets, well-known brands in beauty products and even floral and pet care services. Some notable brands would be BEAMS House, New Balance, and Uniqlo.
The Tokyo Midtown also houses the Suntory Museum of Art. The museum exhibits a fusion between traditional Japanese and modern contemporary art creating a cozy, alluring atmosphere. Suntory Museum resides on the 3rd and 4th floors of the Tokyo Midtown Tower.
Once you get tired of shopping and walking around, you can chill by the Tokyo Midtown Garden. It has carefully manicured greens and features two Public Art sculptures – Ishinki and Myomu.
Tokyo Midtown Garden
Experience Tokyo's Nightlife
Roppongi is usually associated with extravagant shopping, high-end dining and its eye for the arts. But for the locals, Roppongi is seen as being the best nightlife hotspot in Tokyo. It has all you'd ever want for a weekend night out – Izakayas, night clubs, steak houses, karaoke bars, you'll find it here.
For those who are looking for a wild night dancing in a club, your best option would be V2 Tokyo at Roppongi Roi Building's topmost floor – it is the most popular night club in all of Roppongi and was visited by international artists like Justin Bieber and is very much tourist-friendly.
If you're looking for a more traditional Japanese experience, find the hole-in-the-wall Birdman Izakaya, they serve a mean Yakitori that are worth the search on its own.
Want to sing your heart out? Head over to Karaoke Kan, they have an international playlist and you can even borrow costumes free for 2 hours. Meanwhile, a night out one-stop-shop would be the A-Life. It has a night club in the basement, an island bar on the first floor and a chill lounge on the second floor. Due to the influx of foreign tourists, Roppongi now has international steakhouse franchises like Outback and Tony Roma's.
▼ Read more
Nightlife in Roppongi: Take a walk on the wild side
Eat-in a Michelin Starred Ramen House
What's a Japan trip without having Ramen? It would be a dream come true to have Ramen right in its birthplace, right? Roppongi doesn't disappoint when it comes to making Ramen. There are dozens of new and traditional Ramen houses here that have their takes when it comes to cooking "the best" Ramen.
Among the most well-loved by locals and tourists alike would be the Menshou Taketora, located just a 3-minute walk from Roppongi Station. As soon as you step in, you'll feel the ambiance of an authentic Japanese Ramen house with its walls covered with bamboo designed wallpapers and warm lighting. They are famous for their Tiger Paste Miso Ramen (NO tigers were harmed in the making of this Ramen) best eaten with the house's trademark mysterious Tiger Paste.
Then there's the international superstar Afuri Ramen, located in Roppongi Hills and 9 other locations in Japan and the USA. Use a traditional ticket vending system to get your orders then wait to be seated as this joint almost always has a wait queue.
Last but not the least, would be the Michelin Starred Ginza Kagari Ramen House. Also located in Roppongi Hills, they are best known for serving "Tori Paitan" – its broth is made from slowly simmering chicken for hours until it releases a rich, umami flavor. It is served with Ramen and topped with tender chicken slices and some choice veggies.
Visit Roppongi's Art Triangle
National Art Center of Tokyo
Art enthusiasts or not, visiting Roppongi's Art Triangle is an activity you wouldn't want to miss if you're in the area. Start with the Mori Art Museum, taking up the 52nd and 53rd floor of the megacomplex Roppongi Hills, this museum has more of a contemporary vibe. It has warm cozy lighting and various art installations, making it an art in itself. You'll find various artworks everywhere, and it is also one of the few museums that will allow you to take photos using your phone or digital camera.
Then, head over to The National Art Center of Tokyo. It is one of the largest museums in Japan and features an ever-changing array of carefully curated art pieces. NACT has exhibited creations from the biggest names in the classical arts like Dali and Renoir.
Art Triangle：①Mori Art Museum ②National Art Center of Tokyo ③Suntory Museum of Art
The 3rd installation of the Art Triangle would be the Suntory Museum of Art located on the 3rd floor of Tokyo Midtown Tower. It is inspired by the concept of "Japanese Modernism", showcasing the traditional Japanese art with a modern approach. And while you're in Tokyo Midtown, drop by the 21_21 Design Sight on the side. The museum is surrounded by the green complex's well-manicured garden, giving it modern Hobbit feels. It is founded by award-winning Japanese designer Issey Miyake and is meticulously designed by world-class architect Tadao Ando.
Go Shopping at Donki (Don Quijote)
Midnight cravings? After work pick me up? Forgot something on the way to an early morning road trip out of town? Don't worry, Don Quijote a.k.a. Donki has got you covered.
This 24-hour discount store is not like your ordinary convenience store.
It has everything under the sun: chocolates, snacks, condiments, canned goods, liquor, cleaning materials, cosmetics, sheet masks, other household items, and yes, even adult toys – all for cheap, discounted prices. They also have seasonal items, like swimwear, Yukata and pool floats in Summer, and quirky Halloween costumes during October.
Experience Japanese Hospitality
Roppongi receives hundreds of thousands, if not millions of tourists every year from all walks of life. Therefore, it's not surprising that the district is catching up with the demand for accommodation in the area.
For those who are on a vacation splurge, stay at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo right in the famous Roppongi Hills. You can expect everything a 5-star hotel can offer and more. Aside from the endless restaurant options in the Hills, the hotel has its own international food choices. There's a gym, a spa, and a pool too for your ultimate relaxation. Another premium choice would be the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo in the Tokyo Midtown complex. Taking over the 45th-53rd floor of one of Tokyo's tallest towers, you're guaranteed to have a good view of the cityscape through your glass picture windows.
Meanwhile, for those who are looking to have a more casual stay on a budget, Roppongi has great mid-range hotels too. The newly opened The Lively Azabujuban Tokyo hotel in Minato is just a few minutes from Roppongi Hills. The artsy boutique hotel offers a fun and convenient stay whether you are a solo, couple or group traveler.
A Ryokan overlooking the city? YES PLEASE. The Candeo Hotel Roppongi has an open-air bath, an indoor bath, and a spa right on the highest floor of the building.
Attend One of Roppongi's Famed Events
Roppongi has a knack for everything fun related – awesome shopping spots, countless nightlife establishments, and exciting events.
― Roppongi Art Night
This is Tokyo's most awaited and biggest annual event that is flocked by massive crowds. Watch Roppongi transform into a giant outdoor art museum filled with colossal art installations, live performances, light shows, and other mini-programs throughout the event.
Roppongi Art Night
― Craft Sake Week at Roppongi Hills
Sake lovers rejoice! This is a glorious week where over a hundred Sake manufacturers from all over Japan gather at Roppongi Hills and hand out samples of their Sake to enthusiastic mall-goers.
― Roppongi Hills Bon Dance
If you want a more culturally immersive festival experience, join the Bon Odori Festival every summer in Roppongi. They have a Yagura (wooden stage) setup where dancers wearing Yukata do the traditional Bon Odori dance.
Roppongi Hills Bon Dance
― Azabu Juban Summer Festival (Azabu Juban Matsuri)
Another one of Tokyo's summer festivals is the Azabu Juban Summer Festival. The trendy Azubu Juban neighborhood is filled with almost 300 food stalls and packed with foodies on a stroll. Here you can taste various traditional summer snacks from different regions in the country.
― Roppongi Hills Christmas Illumination
This is Roppongi's most famous annual Winter event. During this time, all the trees on the 400m Keyakizaka get illuminated by fascinating white and blue lights.
Roppongi Hills Christmas Illumination
― Midtown Christmas
If you want an out of this world experience, this is the way to go. The best part is the lighting of the Starlight Garden, where the whole 2,000sqm Grass Square in Tokyo Midtown is lit up by almost 190,000 digitally controlled LED lights, creating a galaxy-like illusion.
Join Various Roppongi Activities
Here in Roppongi, you will never run out of things to do. There's the HARRY Nezumi Café (Hedgehog Café Harry) where you can have your favorite coffee or tea while playing with hedgehogs, and you can even take one home.
If you're looking for adventure, tour Tokyo with Street Kart and race like an actual game character! For a night of music and passion, go to Burlesque Tokyo – inspired by the movie Burlesque, this Tokyo show is not one to miss!
▼ Popular tours
Go-Kart Roppongi in Tokyo
Stroll Around Roppongi's Parks And Temples
Often seen in postcards and movies, the Tokyo Tower is the most popular landmark of the city since it was built in 1958. You can go up the tower for a fee and get 360° views of the city. After sight-seeing, you can stroll at Zojoji Temple right next to the tower for a tranquil afternoon.
▼ Read more
Experience the Tokyo Tower by Night
▼ Popular tours
6% OFF Tokyo Tower Ticket – Main Observatory Deck E-Tickets
[ Japan Route Finder & Calculator：To Roppongi]
Official web：Japan Route Finder & Calculator ：To Roppongi
― We hope this post helps you learn all the best things you can do in Roppongi. Choose what fits your schedule best. At the end of the day, how you like to travel is based on your budget, style, and preference!