As the sun sets, Roppongi lights up in more ways than one.
Roppongi is a district in Tokyo that is well known as the city’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.
Roppongi is both loved and hated by foreigners and the Japanese in equal measure for its raucousness.
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 expat community.
Roppongi offers glamour and seediness within just a few streets of each other.
The area features numerous bars, nightclubs, strip clubs, restaurants, hostess clubs, cabarets, and other forms of entertainment. Other than the expatriate community, the area tends to be favored by business people, students, and off-duty US military personnel.
Ladies from some countries sell themselves on the street and others mostly upstairs, ladies wearing long padded coats proffering “massagi” with very evocative hand gestures.
Overall, the neighborhood caters to a younger crowd.
A night out in Roppongi is unlikely to leave one surprised at the reasons some foreign locals and Japanese sneer at the place. Step into the wrong bar and expect to see a balding British executive sleazing over a barely legal Japanese girl gyrating to hard dance music.
Two of Tokyo’s largest recent redevelopment projects, Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown changed the district’s face over the past decade and expanded Roppongi’s appeal to a wider range of visitors and residents with their elegant retail, leisure and residential space, offices and luxury hotels. Thanks to the appearance of several art museums, Roppongi has also developed a reputation as a cultural center.
Opened in 2003, Roppongi Hills is a city within the city, providing residential space, offices and recreational facilities all within one building complex. Tourist attractions include shops, restaurants, a movie theater and the Mori Art Museum and Tokyo City View observation deck on the top floors of the 238 meter tall Mori Tower.
The National Art Center is Japan’s largest art museum. The museum maintains no permanent collection, but rather provides a venue for various, temporary exhibitions.
Another city within the city, Tokyo Midtown was opened in 2007 and offers similar residential, commercial and entertainment facilities as Roppongi Hills.
The complex also has a museum, the Suntory Museum of Art, as well as stylish shops and restaurants. The top floors of the 248 meter Midtown Tower, the tallest building in Tokyo, make up the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, one of the city’s best hotels.
The National Art Center, together with Roppongi Hills‘ Mori Art Museum and Tokyo Midtown’s Suntory Museum of Art, these three form the “Art Triangle Roppongi”.
Love it or hate it, this will always be Roppongi.
(；一_一) ̳ ̳ ̳ ̳ ͙ ڪ
(=’ :’) ~♥