15 Things to Do in Roppongi Hills

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Roppongi Hills
Source: Kyle Hasegawa

Practically a city its own right, Roppongi Hills is a mecca for high-end and luxurious establishments and also serves as a hub for Tokyo’s elite and influential community. While many may pass on a trip to Roppongi due to its reputation as an expensive district, the area has its own fair share of gems to discover and, of course, has got some of Tokyo’s best shopping destinations.

1. Admire the Tokyo Skyline

Tokyo City View
Source: Bermi Ferrer

Searching for one of the best views in Tokyo? The Tokyo City View is bound to make the list. Situated at the top of Mori Tower, the Tokyo City View observatory offers a birds eye view of the city’s gorgeous landscape. Enjoy the scenery from within the observatory or head to the roof for an al fresco experience.

Information

  • Name: Tokyo City View
  • Address: Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
  • Phone: +81 35-777-8600
  • Price: ¥1800 (Observatory), ¥500 (Sky Deck)
  • Access: 1 minute walk from Roppongi Station Exit 1C
  • Opening hour: 11:00 – 20:00
  • Website: http://www.roppongihills.com/tcv/en/

2. Go Shopping

Roppongi Shopping
Source: Guilhem Vellut

There is no doubt in our minds that Roppongi Hills is one of the country’s top fashion districts and with good reason. Dozens of internationally acclaimed brands have found homes in the upscale shopping and fashion district. Among the top names include Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and Kate Spade. Of course, the list doesn’t end there. For an unbeatable luxury shopping experience, Roppongi Hills is hands down the best place to go.

3. Attend Roppongi Art Night

Roppongi Art Night
Source: Daniel Rubio

Despite it’s relatively short tenure in Japan’s art scene, Roppongi Art Night has grown into one of the most attended and most important art events in Tokyo. In the beginning, the art night was a small one evening event, but today has evolved into a festival of sorts which features three days of beautiful installations and various performances staged in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Midtown and the National Art Center Tokyo.

Information

  • Name: Roppongi Art Night
  • Access: Free admission
  • Website: http://www.roppongiartnight.com/2016/

4. Visit the Mori Art Museum

Mori Art Museum
Source: ngader

Roppongi Hills has always been quite known for the thriving art community that dwells in its area. However, when the Mori Art Museum opened, it made such a big splash that it quickly skyrocketed to one of the most popular museums in the country. The museum showcases a rotation of fabulous exhibits while the construction of the gallery is an architectural masterpiece on its own.

Information

  • Name: Mori Art Museum
  • Address: 53F Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
  • Phone: +81 35-777-8600
  • Price: ¥1800
  • Access: 1 minute walk from Roppongi Station Exit 1C
  • Opening hour: 10:00 – 22:00 (Wednesday – Monday), 10:00 – 17:00 (Tuesday)
  • Website: http://www.mori.art.museum/eng/info/access.html

5. Explore the Mori Garden

Mori Garden
Source: David Chau

In the middle of all the towering buildings in Roppongi Hills lies a small thriving oasis called the Mori Garden. Perfect for a mid-afternoon stroll, the garden provides a much needed respite from the busy, fast-paced lifestyle of the surrounding area. The garden features a handful of cherry trees amongst other greenery and is styled like a traditional Japanese landscape garden.

Information

  • Name: Mori Garden
  • Opening hour: 7:00 – 19:00

6. Go on A Food Trip

Roppongi Food
Source: Cory Doctorow

It’s impossible to run out of culinary choices at Roppongi Hills. From affordable restaurants to fancy fine dining establishments, there’s definitely a place for every budget. Hop from one restaurant to another and sample cuisines from all over the world or chow down on Japanese favorites like yakiniku, sushi, tonkatsu and tempura among others. If your current situation calls for nothing but good old fast food, there’s even a McDonalds at the Hills.

7. Tour the TV Asahi Headquarters

Roppongi TV Asahi
Source: Dick Thomas Johnson

As one of Japan’s top private television networks, it’s only fitting that TV Asahi’s headquarters are a permanent fixture in the Roppongi Hills complex. The modern building regularly welcomes visitors into its large atrium where displays of the network’s current programs are proudly showcased. Guests can also head to a store in the atrium that carries TV Asahi merchandise.

Information

  • Name: TV Asahi
  • Address: 6-9-1 Roppongi, Mintao-ku 106-8001
  • Price: Free admission
  • Access: 5 minute walk from Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line

8. Stop by Design Touch

Roppongi Design Touch
Source: Yusuke Kawasaki

Typically coinciding with popular Tokyo events like Designtide or Tokyo Designers Week, Design Tough is a smaller event that still attracts its fair share of participants from the area. The main feature of the event is typically an eye catching installation set in Tokyo Midtown’s grass square. Installations are normally interactive and open to the public to explore. Best part? It’s 100% free.

Information

  • Name: Design Touch
  • Price: Free admission

9. Try Asian Fusion Street Food

Japanese palettes are continually evolving and when it comes to the well traveled and elite of Roppongi Hills, they’re always looking for something new to taste. One of the food trends taking the area by storm is that of Asian Fusion street food – that of Asian Kebab in particular. Unique unto itself, the chefs at the Asian Kebab take the traditional Japanese Kebab, infuse spices in it and wrap it all up in a traditional Middle Eastern sandwich.

Information

  • Name: Asian Kebab
  • Address: Roppongi 662
  • Price: ¥500 – ¥700
  • Access: Walk one minute from the Roppongi Station 1A Exit

10. Stroll Through Hinokicho Park

Hinokicho Park
Source: Toshikazu Takada

Situated in the busy location of Tokyo Midtown, the Hinokicho Park is a traditional Japanese garden that was once part of a feudal lord’s villa. Escape from the summer heat under the many cherry blossom trees in the garden or just take some time to enjoy the beauty of nature in between your shopping or food trips.

Information

  • Name: Hinokicho Park
  • Access: 5 minute walk from Roppongi Station

11. Participate in Halloween Activities

Roppongi Halloween
Source: Big Ben in Japan

You know how some cities are known for having some of the best Halloween festivities on the planet? Some cities that come to mind are New York City and San Francisco for sure, but in Japan, the coolest Halloween parties and activities are, without a doubt, at Roppongi Hills. On Halloween, the streets are crawling with zombie brides, mummies and more. Parades and costume workshops are also held annually for the children. Ready to trick or treat?

12. Watch A Free Performance at Roppongi Hills Arena

Roppongi Hills Arena
Source: Jacob Ehnmark

Who says you can’t enjoy free entertainment at Roppongi? With the TV Asahi’s station situated right across of the Roppongi Hills Arena, the amphitheater-like arena often serves as an outdoor performance stage for the TV station’s pre-recorded programs. As such, you can often catch a free live performance by pop groups new to the industry or other acts during lunchtime.

13. Try Karinto

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, there’s no place more recommended to get your craving satisfied than the small but extremely popular confectioner, Azabu Karinto. Their specialty? A deep fried snack flavored with delectable brown sugar that they call the crispy karinto. A word of caution to all you sweet-toothed snackers out there, this treat is seriously incredibly addictive.

Information

  • Name: Azabu Karinto
  • Address: 1-7-9 Azabu-Juban, Minato-ku, Tokyo
  • Access: Walk from the Azabu-Juban Subway Station

14. Check Out the Craft Beer Scene

There’s simply no disputing the fact that the Japanese people love their beer, but aside from the much loved local staples, craft beers have begun to take on a life of their own especially in Roppongi. One of the more popular and loved spots for craft beer is the BrewDog Bar. Pick your choice of beer from 20 options on tap, 10 of which were created in-house.

Information

  • Name: BrewDog Bar
  • Access: 10 minute walk from Roppongi Station

15. Pay Your Respects at Nogi Shrine

Nogi Shrine
Source: cafe-lab

A cultural and historical gem, we definitely recommend that you take some time to explore the beautiful Nogi Shrine while exploring this area of Tokyo. The shrine it dedicated to General Nogi Maresuke, who, in a show of loyalty to the Meiji Empire, killed himself by seppuku when Emperor Meiji passed away on September 13, 1912. Equally loyal, the general’s wife ended her life along with her husband by slitting her own throat. Their former home stands adjacent to the shrine and can be peeked into through windows.

Information

  • Name: Nogi Shrine
  • Address: 8-11-27 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
  • Access: 10 minute walk from Roppongi Station Exit 7

While it is true that touring and shopping in Roppongi Hills can get pretty pricey, the culture, art and lively community are certainly aspects of the district that you simply must not pass up on. Memorable experiences are just around the corner if you’re willing to look for them and there are even some delicious treats waiting to be discovered along the streets.

Have a good trip and travel!

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