Roppongi

Updated November 9, 2019 | by Chad A. Thiele, 23 year veteran of Tokyo.

Roppongi is a district located in the Minato ward of Tokyo (in downtown Tokyo) and is known for both it’s nightlife and upscale shopping.

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.

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.