Things To Do In Roppongi: Top Sights, Local Vibe, and More

Updated October 15, 2019

From seedy nightlife fun to incredibly upscale boutiques, restaurants, and more; Roppongi has something in store for everyone.

Roppongi, Tokyo

This guide brings you a huge bucket-list of things to see, do, and eat in the Roppongi/Akasaka area of downtown Tokyo. Over 20 sights, sounds, and eats reviewed — and more added over time.

Things like:

  • Tokyo Tower
  • Shiba Park
  • Zojoji Temple
  • Roppongi Hills
  • Musée Tomo
  • Nogi Park

And much, much more.


Roppongi is one of those areas of Tokyo with dueling atmospheres.


On one side it’s a little bit of a seedy, nightlife type of district — where you’ll find a huge variety of bars and clubs if that’s your thing. 

On the flip side, it’s remarkably upscale too.

The Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown areas have some very high-end restaurants and fashionable boutiques. 

It really is a stark contrast from the nightlife side of Roppongi. The streets are enjoyable to walk in the evening, the food is amazing, and the people in the area are exceptionally nice.

Something to keep in mind about this area is that there aren’t as many touristy type landmarks to see — but exploring the big city life and enjoying the absolutely incredible restaurants, shopping, and nightlife is quite unique here. 

This guide also has a bit of a dual personality. On one hand, think of it as a walkable map of things for you to check out.

On the other, it’s a living document of places to see, restaurants to eat at, shopping to enjoy, and some evening nightlife too.

1-Day Itinerary in Roppongi & Akasaka

This itinerary starts off when you exit Roppongi Station

And, as always, if you don’t want to follow a strict itinerary then no problem, check out my guide about station hopping. The Roppongi station area is awesome too.

And of course, mix and match this to create your own itinerary of the things you personally want to do. Please don’t feel like you have to follow this perfectly.

Morning

First thing first, let’s get Tokyo Tower out of the way before it becomes swarmed with tourists and school kids on class trips.  It’s a 20-min walk from Roppongi Station, but if you’re into art, check out the

Take in the view from the tower and when you’re ready, move on to Shiba Park, conveniently located right next to Tokyo Tower. You can look around the park too, catch the Momiji Waterfall, but don’t miss Zojoji temple if you’re seeking Japanese cultural history.

For lunch check out Wakanui Grill Dining for some of the best grass-fed steak, lamb, or even mussels around — just a couple minute walk from Tokyo Tower.

If you’d prefer Italian, check out Tango. It’s a bit of a classy, upscale-ish Italian restaurant with some artistic menu options to choose from.

Or if you’re seeking the full Japanese experience, go for Toufuya Ukai with a wide variety of kaiseki options on the menu.

Afternoon

After lunch, you’ll want to catch a cab over to Tokyo Midtown (or a 25-minute walk) — where you’ll find an awesome collection of boutique shops, dining experiences, fantastic architecture, and even a nice garden (with cherry blossom trees too).

The Suntory Museum of Art is right there in the Tokyo Midtown complex.

Or the National Art Center, Tokyo is nearby too — where you’ll find interesting temporary art exhibits on display in a building of incredible architecture. 

Head over to Nogi Park where you’ll find the Nogi Shrine and Former Nogi House to soak up some Japanese culture. Nogi was a samurai general during the Meiji era.

Evening

Real quick before we move on, I also want you to know you’re in the vicinity of a legendary tonkatsu restaurant called Butagumi — it closes at 9:30 PM.

Now it’s time for a nice evening of wining and dining — because Roppongi is the mecca of nightlife in Tokyo and also home to some of the most excellent dining options around.

I highly recommend Ushigoro S — where you’ll find some of the best A5 wagyu beef around. Or maybe try Xex for an amazing teppanyaki experience with an iron chef. You can’t go wrong with either.

If you’d prefer something other than beef, check out Aria Cucina Italiana for delicious Italian food with a quaint atmosphere.

Or Uoteru for incredible Japanese kaiseki cuisine if it is too late for the other choices. It’s a great little izakaya with traditional Japanese food to pair with your favorite adult beverage.

Hachibei is also a fantastic choice. It’s a delicious izakaya where you’ll find some fantastic yakitori to pair with your favorite adult beverage of choice.

Top Sights in Roppongi & Akasaka

Here we’ll dive into the sights described in the itinerary above, and also some that are not. This is a living document so over time there will be more and more added to give you even more options to choose from in the Roppongi area of Tokyo Japan.

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower is one of the big-ticket sights in this area. Which means it is incredibly popular, not just with locals, but tourists around the world

Which also means it’s busy. But you’ll get to see one of the best views of Tokyo from the observatory, and that makes the elbow-rubbing worth it.

The tower represents a bit of history since it was built in 1958 after WWII. Taller than the Eifel Tower and painted up in jumpsuit orange, it’s a fun place to visit — in part due to the surrounding area that has built up around the tourist attraction.

Map pin to Tokyo Tower

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Shiba Park

Shiba Park, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan

Shibakoen (Shiba park in Japanese) is a popular park with a fantastic view of Tokyo Tower. 

It’s a bit on the small side so if it’s a busy time of year, such as cherry blossom season, expect the park to be very full and cramped — while everyone jockeys for photo opportunities.

I also recommend going in the late evening when Tokyo Tower lights up and looks absolutely incredible. The calm, tranquil park and iconic lights from Tokyo Tower is a splendid evening with a loved one — or a hot cup of coffee. 

Map pin to Shiba Park

Momiji Waterfall

Momiji Waterfall, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan

On the western edge of Shiba Park is a tiny waterfall. It’s not far from Tokyo Tower. But it’s down into the park some.

It’s not much, but Japan deemed it worth naming, so I’m pointing it out as something you can see while in the area — which is beautiful itself.

Map pint to Momiji Waterfall

Zojoji Temple

Zojoji Temple is a grand temple nearby Tokyo Tower, inside Shiba Park.

It enshrines the “God of children” so you’ll find many small statues giving homage.

You can get some fantastic photos here of ancient Japanese architecture with Tokyo Tokyo in the backdrop. 

While there you can see a statue of Princess Kazunomiya who has a very interesting history with the Tokugawa shogunate

And also a part of this area is the Mausoleum of Tokugawa Shoguns, where several of the Tokugawa shogun rest

Map pin to Zojoji Temple

Roppongi Hills

Roppongi Hills is absolutely loaded with lots of shops dozens of restaurants formal Gardens and the cities most popular art museum, the Mori Art Museum.

Probably the most interesting thing about Roppongi Hills is the area. 

It’s this area that makes parts of Roppongi feel upscale and evening walks some of the most beautiful you’ll find in Tokyo.

It’s an escape from the more seedy, nightlife, side of Roppongi. Plus there is an amazing observatory inside with a magnificent view of the city and the shops all around.

Map pin to Roppongi Hills

Tokyo Midtown

Tokyo Midtown is a younger brother (or sister) of Roppongi Hills. Built around the same concept of a “high-class town within a town.” It’s a complex of boutique shops, restaurants, art, gardens, and more. 

You really have to remember that Tokyo Midtown, much like Roppongi Hills, is the concept of a city-within-a-city. A complex loaded with housing, dining, shopping, everything…  so residents don’t have to go far to experience quality living.

As you can imagine this concept has its critics, given the cost and the decline of the Japanese economy over the last few decades. But really it’s just jealousy of people that can’t afford the area against those who can.

That doesn’t make it any less cool for you to check out when you visit Tokyo.

Map pin to Tokyo Midtown 

Toranomon Hills

Toranomon Hills, Tokyo, Japan

Toranomon Hills is yet another of the same “city within a city” concepts. 

In fact, it was created by the same people who dreamed up the concept with Roppongi Hills — I suppose the “Hills” in the name might have given that away though.

Funnily enough, Toranomon Hills has a mascot character — a “cat-type business robot” which looks eerily similar to Doraemon, both in appearance and name.

Just like Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown, you’ll find a plethora of restaurants, shops, and arts inside the Toranomon Hills complex.

Map pin to Toranomon Hills

Musée Tomo

Musée Tomo, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan

This is an art museum where not only does it have a fantastically curated collection of interesting art to check out — but the architecture and design of the space itself is a work of art!

No question you will find this place remarkable if you love art even a tiny bit. Heck, even if you don’t really enjoy art but like a well-designed space. 

It really is a sight to behold. Just be prepared to wait. It’s popular and there’s  often a line waiting to get in.

Map pin to Musée Tomo

Suntory Museum of Art

Suntory Museum of Art, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan

This is a really small museum specializing in highly selected artwork. For instance, an exhibit may be about ancient Japanese culture one time — and then about something contemporary the next.

One thing they always do is explain every piece very well. You will learn something when checking out the artwork.

And since they rotate exhibits often, there is a good reason to come back frequently. 

There’s a nice gift shop too if you’re seeking a unique souvenir for your home, or gifts for friends and family back home.

Oh, and it’s inside the Tokyo Midtown complex so it’s easy to get to and there are tons of other things to see as well — and delicious food to enjoy.

Map pin to Suntory Museum of Art

National Art Center, Tokyo

National Art Center, Tokyo

This is another one of the “empty” art centers where they don’t have a permanent gallery but instead focus on curating temporary galleries. 

I find this interesting and smart. It means you can visit more than once and experience new things each time. 

I suppose you could say the building itself is a permanent piece of art. The architecture, both inside and out, on display here is incredible. You’ll get some of your best photos before entering the exhibits.

It’s also spacious and has room to take breaks when you want. With a few restaurants and cafes inside if you get hungry too. 

Map pin to National Art Center, Tokyo

Nogi Park

Nogi Park, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan

This is actually a really cool park.  It’s home to a shrine dedicated to General Nogi Maresuke, who helped Japan fight against Russia and China back in the day — and was also a man of letters.

It’s a small park but has some nice artwork sculptures and historical things to look at.  Plus a relaxing atmosphere in the middle of the bustling city of Tokyo.

If you’re looking for a break away from things, and maybe catch a little history,  this would be a great place to check out.

Map pin to Nogi Park


Go-Kart Roppongi in Tokyo

Go-Kart Roppongi in Tokyo

Go-kart in Japan with themed character costumes on our guided tours from Roppongi. Dress up as your favorite video game character and cruise around Tokyo, making your cosplay go-karting dreams come true!

Highlights:

  • Zip-around in a customized go-kart like a real-life video game character
  • Ride with a tour guide driver for total confidence and safety
  • Take snaps in front of Tokyo’s iconic landmarks and set your Instagram on fire

Reserve your spot online here


Eating in Roppongi & Akasaka

While the Roppongi area is famous across the world for the nightlife aspect of it, locals know it for the food too. The food you’ll find in Roppongi is some of the best around.

You’re about to see why.

RRR Kobe Steak Dining

RRR Kobe Steak Dining, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan

RRR Kobe Beef Steak in Roppongi, Tokyo serves only the best beef and premium wines for a fraction of the price of other restaurants.

The restaurant has tasteful decor that creates a sophisticated atmosphere. Private rooms feature round tables that allow for enjoying conversations with close friends and loved ones.

To taste the cuisine, a reservation is mandatory. There are only 16 seats: 12 table seats and 1 private room with 4 seats. If you want to enjoy your meal and conversation, you should make a reservation early.

Click here to make reservations online

Wakanui Grill Dining

Wakanui Grill Dining, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan

Now, this is a great dining experience. From meticulously crafted burgers to dry age beef all delicately arranged, you’re in for a real treat here.

The atmosphere is slightly upscale, modern, but comfortable and not overly hoity-toity. 

The menu is quite varied as well with items like steak salads, burgers,  and seafood options like mussels and salmon.

Map pin to Wakanui Grill Dining

Tango

Tango is one of those places that has a darkly lit interior to bring an interesting feeling to the ambiance of the restaurant — giving it a little bit of an upscale feel to match the quality cuisine.

This is the type of place that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to bring a first date.  Chances are both of you would be impressed with the experience.

This restaurant has a wide variety of options on the menu as well — burgers, steaks, salads, a big variety of sides, and a plethora of seafood options as well.

Definitely can’t go wrong if you’re looking for a quality dining experience, this place will not disappoint.

Map pin to Tango

Toufuya Ukai

Don’t let the name fool you. Toufuya essentially translates to tofu restaurant. But this is a Japanese kaiseki restaurant — filled with an amazing variety of beautifully crafted and incredibly delicious food.

The reason for the name tofu comes with the fact this restaurant uses a specially crafted tofu with a rich flavor you won’t find in most tofu — it’s not bland.

And you won’t even think about tofu all that much once you see the menu. There is seriously a massive selection of choices — even for meat-eaters who cannot enjoy seafood.

The restaurant also has some of the most beautiful traditional Japanese gardens, giving you a fantastic view while eating — and it’s just a few steps from Tokyo Tower. 

Map pin to Toufuya Ukai

Ushigoro S

Ushigoro is one of those wagyu restaurants you hit up if you’re looking for the absolute best beef the world has to offer. 

If you have never experienced wagyu beef sushi before you can find it here.  It’s kind of crazy to look, and a little weird to think about — a mostly raw thin slice of beef laid over rice isn’t something most Americans would normally feel like eating.

 But I’m telling you this is legit it is so good.  Don’t miss this experience.

Since Ushigoro is one of the best wagyu yakiniku restaurants around, you may want to make reservations to make sure you can get a table.

Map pin to Ushigoro S

Xex

Atelier Morimoto Xex, Tokyo, Japan

This restaurant feels like how it must have felt to dine like royalty back in the day. It exudes quality. 

No, it does more than exudes quality. 

It is a spared no expense, Michelin starred teppanyaki restaurant owned by the world-renown Iron Chef Morimoto. 

While you won’t sit up close and personal with Morimoto himself, the chefs here are masters at crafting your meal too.  

The interior is absolutely incredible. You know you’re in for a special treat from the moment you walk in. 

Map pin to Xex

Butagumi

This is another absolutely legendary tonkatsu restaurant in Tokyo. If you’ve read my Ebisu guide, you know where the other one is. 

Butagumi serves the highest-end Japanese style pork cutlet you can imagine. Words cannot describe… it’s something you have to experience for yourself.

And if you do come here, prepare yourself for the juiciest, most delicious, mouth-watering tonkatsu you will probably ever taste for the rest of your life.

Map pin to Butagumi

Aria Cucina Italiana

Aria Cucina Italiana, Tokyo, Japan

You know Tokyo is known across the globe as a foodie resort. 

Aria Cucina Italiana is one of those rare restaurants in Japan where you’ll think to yourself “huh… hard to believe the Japanese craft better Italian food than Italians.

It’s stylish Italian cuisine within a quaint “little Italy” cafe style atmosphere. 

Freshly made pasta al dente, attention to detail, the perfect amount of flavor without being overpowering… the list could go on, but I’m not sure I could it justice with words alone.

The aroma, the sights, the mood from just hearing others’ reactions to their meals… it all comes together to form the experience. One I think you need to enjoy for yourself. 

Go during lunch if you want to try something and get a great deal at the same time. Or hit it up for dinner with a significant other and enjoy the fantastic selection of wine too.

Map pin to Aria Cucina Italiana

Sukiyabashi Jiro Sushi Roppongi

Oh, I almost forgot to add this… partly because I think you may have already come across this in any research you’ve done on the area.

But decided to add it just in case.

The world-renown Jiro’s Sushi has a lesser-known branch in Roppongi — operated by Jiro’s son, who also happens to be a master sushi chef — and has two Michelin stars to boot.

Of course right?

The benefit is you can actually get reservations for this place without quite as long of a wait to enjoy master craft sushi in Tokyo, but use this link to for help getting reservationsthey’re still hard to come by.

Map pin to Sukiyabashi Jiro Sushi


Drinking in Roppongi & Akasaka

Uoteru

Uoteru, Tokyo, Japan

This is an izakaya you could easily mistake for an incredible traditional Japanese restaurant. 

Not from the atmosphere. That’s very much classic izakaya. Boisterous, half-drunken workers blowing off steam after a long day of work. 

But the food. The food is so classically traditional Japanese you’d find yourself hard-pressed not to love it — if that is your sort of thing.

Sushi, sashimi, ikura donburi, and all sorts of seafood options that would be impossible to name. 

Pair with some delicious sake or shochu and you’re in for an amazing treat. 

Map pin to Uoteru

Yakitori Hachibei

Hachibei Yakitori Roppongi

Hachibei is a contemporary basement izakaya specializing in the most amazing classic yakitori skewers locals love most about izakaya food.

It’s also one of those that’s slightly down some steps and out of sight so you could very easily miss it. 

And you don’t want to miss this.

Learn more about Yakitori Hachibei

Salsa Sudada

Do you enjoy Salsa? Then this is your place. A cool little colorful salsa club in Roppongi that will even give you salsa dance lessons if you need them (before operating hours). 

On weekends you’ll find many from Tokyo’s Latin population here. If you speak Spanish and are looking for someone to converse with, perhaps this is the place for you.

Oh, and of course the dancing, the music, and the variety of drinks on the menu.

Editor’s note: Salsa Sudada relocated recently, the map pin below is for the new location.

Map pin to Salsa Sudada


Shopping in Roppongi & Akasaka

Japan Sword

Japan Sword, Tokyo

This is where you come if you want the real deal, the truly authentic Japanese sword.

It’s a little tiny shop but they have a lot to pick from. Some items will be around $200, but the top-end stuff is super expensive — plan for that if you want to take home something really really cool.

The staff is really knowledgeable and can help you pick the right item to become an heirloom in your family.

Map pin to Japan Sword

Souvenir from Tokyo

Souvenir from Tokyo, Japan

Yeah, this is actually the name of this place. It’s located inside the National Art Center, Tokyo and is where you can find many little fun souvenirs during your time in Tokyo.

I imagine many friends and family back home would appreciate a little something from Tokyo from your travels here — and this shop has a bunch of interesting little things to check out.

Map pin to Souvenir from Tokyo



Map of Everything Discussed

Below is a map with pins to all the places discussed in this article. It will also show your current location in relation to the pins to help you get around.

How safe is Roppongi?

Very safe actually, just like most of Japan.

That’s not to say there isn’t any crime though. Use common sense. Of all the places you may get pickpocketed (or similar small-time crime), Roppongi is where it could happen.

Just keep your belongings close and you’ll be fine. 

Violent crime is so rare it’s basically zero — even out in the various side streets of downtown Tokyo.


How to pronounce Roppongi?

Yea, great question, because it isn’t as straight forward as you might think at first.

It sounds like low-pown-gi (gi as in the gi a martial artist wears). Yes, the R sounds like an L. And no, the gi sound is not gee, as in “gee whiz.”


Is Roppongi expensive?

Yep, you betcha it is.

While you can find some good deals on daily use items, maybe some restaurants will have some decent prices, living or visiting Roppongi tends to be expensive.

Especially if you’re talking about the Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown type areas as they are the more upscale areas where people with money live in fancy high-rise apartments. 


What is Roppongi famous for?

I think you know this answer by now if you’ve read some of this guide. While initially, one would imagine it’s most famous for the nightlife, or red-light district of Tokyo — many would say it’s almost equally known for the dining experiences these days.

With sights like Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Midtown, Tokyo Tower, and Toranomon Hills there’s definitely more to Roppongi that just nightlife.

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links for products/services I honestly recommend. If you use them to make a purchase I will earn a small commission — and you will forever have my gratitude for supporting TokyoSpark.



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