Not long ago Roppongi was known for its sketchy night clubs and expat bar hopping. In recent years the area has improved with the addition of the giant luxury shopping and business complex Roppongi Hills and the posh design, shopping, and commercial park Tokyo Midtown. It seems Roppongi is turning from trashy locale to the Beverly Hills of Tokyo.
For me, the highlight of our first trip to Tokyo was the Mori Tower observation deck at sunset. We walked around the 52nd floor then took in the views from the sky deck on the tower roof. The observation deck ticket includes entrance to the Mori Art Museum where we saw Aida Makoto’s dark and slightly disturbing pieces in his first solo exhibit Monument for Nothing before taking one last stroll around the observation deck to see Tokyo at night.
The Mori Tower observation deck, on the 52nd floor, has 360 views of Tokyo including Tokyo Tower, Rainbow Bridge, and Shinjuku. I highly recommend paying the extra 500 yen for entrance to the sky deck, on the roof of Mori Tower literally around the helicopter pad with completely unobstructed views.
Location // 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Roppongi’s art triangle consists of The National Art Center, The Suntory Museum of Art, and The Mori Art Museum. At The National Art Center the interior architecture is as interesting as the modern art exhibits. We saw the California Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way exhibit and spent some quality time in the gift shop. I loved the lounge chairs lining the wavy windows of the Art Center. The Suntory Museum of Art in Tokyo Midtown features Japanese art and history exhibits like the current showing on The Scientific Eye and Visual Wonders in Edo. The Mori Art Museum has contemporary exhibits and is currently showing a 10th anniversary Andy Warhol exhibit.
It’s easy to spend an entire day at Tokyo Midtown. No matter the weather, there are enough shops, restaurants, and cafes to keep you entertained inside and the strolling sculpture gardens and pond are a great place to picnic in the warmer months. The Suntory Art Museum and 21_21 Design Sight are also in the complex.
Location // 107-0052 Tokyo, Minato, Akasaka, 9−7−1
Lauderdale is a charming café just south of the Roppongi Hills complex. The highlight of Lauderdale is absolutely the outdoor terrace where you can enjoy croissants and tea surrounded by greenery during the warm months.
Location // 1F Roppongi Hills Keyakizaka Dori 6-15-1 Roppongi Minato-ku Tokyo Japan
About a ten minute walk northeast of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, Ippudo Ramen has some of the best tonkotsu ramen we’ve had in Tokyo. Tonkotsu ramen has a pork bone broth with a rich, milky taste.
Location // 4-9-11 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo Prefecture 106-0032, Japan
What do you most want to do in Roppongi?