Roppongi Japan Guide
Roppongi Japan in Tokyo is well-known as a clubbing and night spot popular with foreigners and Japanese who want to meet foreigners. It is also where you can find Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown, two recently built upscale shopping, business, and entertainment complexes.
Roppongi, which literally means “six trees,” was so originally named because of six prominent trees that defined the area. Following WWII, Roppongi served as a base for US allied occupation forces, during which time it became established as Tokyo’s hot spot for black market and organized crime activity, as depicted in Robert Whiting’s fascinating book Tokyo Underworld.
In the 1980s, at the height of Japan’s economic bubble, Roppongi gained notoriety as Tokyo’s disco central with the opening of the famed Velfare nightclub.
Today, Roppongi Japan remains true to its history as both an area frequented by foreigners and a prime destination for Tokyo nightlife.
The Roppongi area is packed with restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, and is the most popular nightlife destination in Tokyo for foreigners. In fact, Roppongi is THE prime meeting and hookup spot for foreign men in search of Japanese women, and vise versa.
Despite this intercultural atmosphere, or perhaps because of it, while vibrant and exciting, Roppongi also has a bit of a sleazy element that visitors should be aware of. You should steer clear of the many smooth talkers dressed in designer suits who prowl Roppongi’s streets at night with a goal of enticing unsuspecting passersby to enter some severely overpriced club.
On the other hand, if one of your goals in Japan is to meet and pick up gaijin-friendly Japanese women, there’s probably no better place to do so than weekend nights in Roppongi. Perhaps Roppongi’s best-known meat market is the Gaspanic club, which is packed on the weekends with foreign men and Japanese women in search of good times.
Roppongi Hills is an upscale shopping, office, residential, and entertainment complex that was opened in April 2003. The development is based on the concept of creating a single central area of Tokyo for people to live, work, play and shop.
The Roppongi Hills complex includes Mori Tower, a 54-story office, residential, and retail building, numerous shops and restaurants, a cinema complex, a hotel, an art museum and gallery, outdoor gardens, and an observation deck overlooking the city.
Directions to Roppongi Hills
Take the Hibiya line to Roppongi station, Exit 1C; or the Oedo line to Roppongi station, Exit 3
Tokyo Midtown is another mega complex of six buildings surrounded by a green, park-like oasis in the middle of the city. Opened in 2007, this complex features stores, dozens of shops and restaurants, offices, residences, museums, and hotels. Like Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Midtown was designed to be an all-inclusive shopping, entertainment, work, and living center.
Directions to Tokyo Midtown
10 min. from Shinjuku Station on the Toei Oedo Line; 22 min. from Akihabara Station on the Hibiya line; 5 min. from Kasumigaseki Station on the Hibiya Line
If you’re looking for a foreigner friendly spot in Tokyo for bar-hopping, clubbing, and meeting women, or want to check out two of Tokyo’s newest shopping and entertainment centers, then Roppongi Japan is worth a visit!