Eat & Drink
Vibrant art and nightlife scenes in Tokyo's high-class heart of modern culture
With its hard-partying weekends and melting pot of cultures, Roppongi has gained a reputation as an occasionally infamous pocket of Tokyo . However, with its vast selection of art galleries, high-end shopping boutiques, fascinating historical sites, and incredible food, this upscale neighborhood has plenty to offer visitors of every kind, day or night.
- Hitting all the stops on the Roppongi Art Triangle
- Shopping at Tokyo Midtown and Roppongi Hills
- Exploring the area's famously vibrant nightlife
How to Get There
Roppongi is serviced by both the Hibiya and Oedo subway lines, which stop at Roppongi Station. It's also serviced by the Namboku subway line, which stops at Roppongi-Itchome Station.
Roppongi is home to the tallest building in Tokyo
The area is famous as the home to many foreigner-specific nightclubs and bars
Where are the Six Trees?
The neighborhood's name has a rather unique history. Legend says that the place name of Roppongi, which translates as six trees, was coined around 1660. However, it has two rather different origin stories.
The first was that six large zelkova trees were once used to mark the area, but were cleared away and destroyed during World War II. The second is that the area's name comes from the fact that six local daimyo lords each had kanji characters relating to trees in their names.
The rebirth of Roppongi
The area wasn't heavily populated until after the Meiji Restoration. In 1890, the Imperial Japanese Army was relocated to a site near Roppongi, which led to a burgeoning nightlife thanks to the influx of soldiers to the area. Like most of Tokyo , Roppongi was destroyed and rebuilt after the Great Kanto Earthquake 1921 and again after World War II, and it was after the war that Roppongi started to take on its current shape.
Following the war, the United States Army and Allied government officials took over a number of facilities in the area, kickstarting the expat hotspot. Over recent decades, many major international companies like Google and Apple have based themselves in or near Roppongi, further increasing the number of foreign visitors and residents in the area.
Daytime galleries for a dose of culture
Home to an impressive selection of art galleries and exhibitions, Roppongi has recently garnered a reputation for being one of Japan's major cultural and artistic centers. The area is home to The National Art Center —Japan's largest art museum—as well as the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown's Suntory Museum of Art . Together, the three form what's known as the Art Triangle Roppongi.
Nearly endless entertainment hotspots
When it comes to shopping in Roppongi, the options are virtually limitless. However, there are two major destinations you cannot miss: Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown.
Opened in 2003, the towering Roppongi Hills is home to a vast collection of entertainment options, dining experiences, a luxury hotel, and possibly the city's most beautiful art gallery. The 238-meter tall Mori Tower, one of Tokyo's tallest buildings, houses the Mori Art Museum, Center Gallery, and the open-air Sky Deck, offering some of the most incredible views of the city.
Located not too far away is Tokyo Midtown, Roppongi's city within the city. Since 2007, this diverse complex has offered a number of shopping, entertainment, nightlife, and dining options similar to Roppongi Hills.
Reaching just a few meters higher than its neighboring skyscraper, Midtown Tower is officially the tallest building in Tokyo at 248 meters. Located in the top floors of the tower is the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo , one of the city's best and most impressive hotels. You can enjoy the spectacular view even without staying by visiting the hotel's casual lobby lounge, elegant cocktail bar, or fine-dining restaurants.
Ever since its early days, the area has been widely recognized as a center for spirited nightlife, and it's fair to argue that the neighborhood's party-loving attitude is inseparable from its history. From the Imperial soldiers in 1890 to the 1960s when the area was known for being Japan's disco capital, there's always been an after-dark connection to this pocket of Tokyo .
With high-end cocktail bars, thumping nightclubs, and cabaret-style lounges, this late-night area caters to a very energetic and culturally diverse crowd. In fact, its one of the few areas of Tokyo that focuses particularly on foreigners. Start the night with the fantastic city views at V2 Tokyo before branching out to other hotspots like Odeon, EspiritTokyo, Jumanji 55, or Roppongi Kento's. You can even get a taste of Roppongi's disco past at Maharaja.
Treat the Roppongi nightlife like you would anywhere else—always check door prices and never enter a place that employs street-side barkers trying to hustle you into their club. Follow this, and you'll have an amazing night into the early morning.