Roppongi is one of those areas that has 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.
Observe the City from 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.
Take a Break in Shiba Park
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.
Observe the Momiji Waterfall
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.
It will only take a minute and you’ll get some cool photos for your memories after the trip.
Pay Respects at the Grand 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.
Shop and Dine at 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.
Explore the Tokyo Midtown Complex
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.
Discover the City within a City at Toranomon Hills
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.
Stimulate Your Creative Side at Musée Tomo
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.
View Expertly Curated Art at the Suntory Museum of Art
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.
Amaze Your Artistic Side at the 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.
Relax While Stepping Back in Time at Nogi Park
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.
Go Cosplay Go-Karting Down the Streets of Roppongi
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!
- 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
Buy Authentic Japanese Swords at Japan Sword
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.
Get all the Souvenirs you Need at Souvenir from Tokyo
Yeah, “Souvenirs you Need” 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.