Saturday, December 6, 2008


basic information

Roppongi (六本木, lit. "six trees") is a district in the Minato City Ward of Tokyo, famous for its nightlife and two new, large building complexes, Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown. It has also gained a name as a cultural center thanks to the presence of several art museums.

Roppongi Crossing in the district's center

The area around Roppongi Station is Tokyo's most popular nightlife district among foreigners, offering a large number of foreigner friendly bars, restaurants and night clubs. Roppongi and the surrounding districts of Azabu, Hiroo and Akasaka are home to many embassies and a large expat community.

Two major redevelopment projects have recently given Roppongi a new face: Roppongi Hills with its 238m tall Mori Tower and Tokyo Midtown with its 248m tall Midtown Tower. Each complex consists of elegant retail, leisure and residential space, offices, a luxury hotel and art museum.

Another recent addition to Roppongi is the National Art Center, Japan's largest art museum. Together with the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills and the Suntory Museum of Art in Tokyo Midtown, it forms the "Art Triangle Roppongi" and has put the district onto Tokyo's cultural map.

Roppongi Hills:

A city within the city, Roppongi Hills is an attractively redeveloped neighborhood consisting of residential, recreational and office space, the Mori Art Museum, a cinema complex, various shops and restaurants, and the Grand Hyatt Tokyo hotel.

Roppongi Hills was opened in spring 2003 and has become a symbol of the Japanese IT industry, housing offices of many leading IT companies, including Rakuten, Livedoor and Yahoo Japan.

Mori Tower
A 54-storey skyscraper, named after the man and company that built it. The first six floors are occupied by shops and restaurants, while the top six floors house an art museum and observation deck (see below). Offices fill the 43 floors in between.
Tokyo City View & Mori Art Museum
On the top floors of the Mori Tower are the Mori Art Museum, a contemporary art museum with changing exhibitions, and the Tokyo City View indoor observation deck with the newly added open-air Sky Deck on the building's roof.
Tokyo City View is open daily 10:00 to 23:00 (until 1:00 on Fridays and Saturdays), while the Sky Deck is open in good weather only from 10:00 to 19:00. Admission: 1500 Yen. The Mori Art Museum is open daily 10:00 to 22:00 (until 17:00 on Tuesdays). The admission fee for the museum varies by exhibition.
Roppongi Hills Shopping and Dining
Roppongi Hills features more than 200 shops, cafes and restaurants. Most shops specialize in fashion, accessories, interior design and household goods, while restaurants offer a wide array of Japanese and international cuisine.
Most shops are open daily from 11:00 to 21:00. Restaurants are typically open from 11:00 to 23:00.
TV Asahi Headquarters
The headquarters of TV Asahi, one of Japan's private, nationwide TV stations, is part of the Roppongi Hill complex. The spacious atrium is open to the public and features displays of current programs and a shop selling TV Asahi related goods.
The TV Asahi Shop is open daily from 10:00 to 19:00.
Mori Garden
A small oasis of greenery between the tall buildings of Roppongi Hills, the Mori Garden is built in the style of a traditional Japanese landscape garden.

Tokyo Midtown:

Four years after Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Midtown was opened to the public in spring 2007. Like Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Midtown consists of residential, recreational and office space, an art museum, various shops, restaurants, cafes and a luxury hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo.

Midtown Tower
The Midtown Tower is with 248 meters Tokyo's tallest building. Offices occupy most of its floors, except the top floors which make up the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo hotel and the lower floors which feature conference space and a medical center.
Galleria and Suntory Museum of Art
The Galleria features a variety of elegant shops and restaurants, including a 24 hour supermarket. Furthermore, the Suntory Museum of Art was moved here, exhibiting art from various periods, places and cultures.
Most shops are open daily from 11:00 to 21:00. Restaurants are typically open from 11:00 to 23:00. The Suntory Museum of Art is open from 10:00 to 18:00 (until 20:00 from Wednesday to Saturday), but closed on Tuesdays (except when a public holiday falls on a Tuesday, in which case the museum is closed the following day), January 1 and when a new exhibition is being prepared. The admission fee for the museum varies by exhibition.
Hinokicho Park
Hinokicho Park, a Japanese style garden, is located on the former site of a feudal lord's villa. Next to it, the Midtown Garden offers even more green space, making Tokyo Midtown one of the greenest city redevelopments in the capital.

Other Attractions:

Roppongi Nightlife
Roppongi has been a popular nightlife district among foreigners for decades. Unlike other entertainment districts in Tokyo, it offers many restaurants, bars and clubs, which are easily accessible for foreigners or even cater specifically to the foreign community.

National Art Center Tokyo
Opened in early 2007, the National Art Center Tokyo (Kokuritsu Shin-Bijutsukan) is Japan's largest art museum. The museum maintains no permanent collection, but rather provides a venue for various, temporary exhibitions.
Open daily 10:00 to 18:00 (Fridays 10:00 to 20:00), but closed on Tuesdays (except when a public holiday falls on a Tuesday, in which case the museum is closed the following day) and from December 25 to January 8. The admission fee varies by exhibition.

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