If you are visiting Tokyo, there will be many places that you will want to visit, and it can often be quite confusing for first timers here. In most cases, popular places like Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ginza, Harajuku and Asakusa would be the main itinerary for most travellers.
While most visitors would also spend an average of five days in Tokyo, many find that it still isn’t enough, and will probably make a second trip back to Tokyo to explore further. And if you belong to the second time visitor, here is one place that you should consider exploring, which is the Roppongi Hills area.
However, even if this is your first time, you can also take half a day or less to visit this interesting district in Tokyo, which is too far from the other main areas.
Roppongi is where the Tokyo Tower is located at.
Where is Roppongi Hills?
Roppongi Hills is located in the Minato district of Tokyo and is a private development that created this modern integrated lifestyle concepts. The core landmark here is also known as the 54-story Mori Tower, which houses retail stores, restaurants, a museum and office lots.
In a nutshell, Roppongi Hills is located in the heart of Tokyo, where the main station is called Roppongi Station. It is also south of Tokyo, and quite close to the Tokyo Tower.
The Maman Spider at Roppongi Hills. Photo by Roppongi Hills.
What Is There To Do In Roppongi Hills Area?
To be honest, there are a few interesting areas to explore around here, and you can do it in a few hours by simply walking. Some of them include very interesting retail shops, cafes and restaurants, a park and some pretty unique sculptures.
Visitors enjoying the view of Tokyo from the outdoor observation deck.
Visit the Maman Spider – This is one of the most popular photo stops or Instagrammable spots in the Roppongi Hills area. Maman is a supermassive bronze spider, that is created by the late artist Louise Bourgeois. The spider is a whopping six meters tall and is probably the star attraction here. If you want a nice photo here, it is recommended to come as early as possible as the spider tends to attract hoards of tourist on weekends and peak hours.
The entrance to the Mori Art Museum.
Indulge at the Mori Art Museum – Located on the 52nd and 53rd floor of the Mori Tower is one of the recommended art museums in Tokyo worth visiting. You can find some of the most innovative modern art by locals and international artist on display, and the museum constantly has different exhibitions throughout the year. Apart from that, there is also a museum cafe and restaurant, and a museum shop to get souvenirs. Tickets can be purchased individually or by buying a combination of the museum and observatory. Museum hours are from 10.00 AM till 10.00 PM.
The stunning view of Tokyo from the observation deck just after sunset.
See Tokyo and Even Mount Fuji from the Mori Tower Observation Deck – Known as one of the best observation towers in Tokyo, the Mori Tower Observation Deck sits on the 52nd floor of the building. There is an indoor observation area, and also an outdoor open-aired sky deck. Many visitors will come here to see the stunning views of the Tokyo metropolis, and on a clear day, Mount Fuji in the distance. The observation deck is open day and night, hence coming in the evening will also be a great experience to see Tokyo city at night. There is an entry fee of ¥1,800 per person (10.00 AM to 11.00 PM), and an additional ¥500 to get the Sky Deck access (11.00 AM to 8.00 PM).
Mori Garden during the cherry blossom season.
Visit Mori Garden – This immaculate garden was specially created to provide Roppongi Hills with a green area, where people can stop to admire the beauty and take a breather from the concrete jungle of Tokyo. The Mori Garden is also themed after an Edo design, which the 370-year-old Mori family once owned a mansion at the same location. At the 4,300 square meter garden, you will find a lush landscape of trees and plants, a lake, a stream and waterfall. This garden is highly popular during the spring when the Sakura trees start to blossom, making it one of the places in Tokyo to spot the famous cherry blossoms.
The Louis Vuitton outlet at Roppongi Hills.
Check out the Luxury Brand Retail Outlets – If you love high street fashion and brands, this is one of the recommended places to visit as you can find a number of international and world-class brands around Roppongi Hills. Names like L’Atelier Robuchon, Salvatore Ferragamo, Christian Louboutin, Loro Piana, Giorgio Armani, La Perla, Gucci, Canali, Rolex, and Louis Vuitton are easily spotted all around Roppongi Hills.
Some of the popular characters from Asahi TV at the store.
Visit the TV Asahi Retail Store – For fans of Japanese television cartoon characters, this is the place you must visit, and the TV Asahi store is located just in front of the Mori Garden. As you enter the TV Asahi building, just head to the first floor where the retail store is located, and you will find popular souvenirs of characters like Crayon Shin-chan, Doraemon, 21 Emon, Boonyan, Manmaru The Ninja Penguin, Ninja Hattori and Goexpanda. It is estimated that there are over 2,000 items on sale at this store which will please any Japanese cartoon fan. The store is open from 10.00 AM till 8.30 PM.
Inside the V2 Club with a stunning view of the Tokyo Tower.
Partying the night away in Roppongi Hills – For those who enjoy the nightlife scene, you should be happy to know that the vicinity of Roppongi Hills offers some pretty amazing bars and clubs. Among the well-known clubs, V2 Tokyo Restaurant & Nightclub is located on the top floor of the Roppongi Roa Building, Odeon Tokyo is a club that opens till lunchtime the following day on weekend!, Esprit Tokyo which is home to some of the best DJ’s in Tokyo, Muse Tokyo, a basement club with three levels, Club Six Tokyo which is an EDM club boasting a good mix of local and foreign clubbers, and Maharaja Roppongi which comes with a full 80’s décor, but plays a mix of modern club music and contemporary disco classics. All of these clubs charge a weekend entry fee, and some of them range anywhere from ¥1,000 to ¥3,500 per person.
A map showing where Roppongi Hills is located in Tokyo.
How To Go To Roppongi Hills?
The easiest access to get here is from the Roppongi Station, with the Hibiya Line (Grey Line) or Oedo Line (Fuchsia Line) operated by Tokyo Metro. Once you exit the subway station, it is only a six minute walk to the centre of Roppongi Hills. From Shinjuku Station, it is only a 10 minute subway ride to Roppongi Station using the Oedo Line.
Overall, the closest popular area to Roppongi Hills is also the highly popular Shibuya district, and it only takes a 30 minute walk to get here. Alternatively, you can take a bus which is a five minute ride to the Mori Tower.
The vibrant side of Tokyo – Roppongi.
Is Roppongi Hills for Me?
The golden question which I am sure many will be asking, and it is always good to know if a place is up to your expectations. Simple said, if you are a budget-savvy traveller, you will not find anything that would meet your expectations. And if you are the type of seeking a Japanese cultural experience, Roppongi Hills is not the place.
This integrated lifestyle location is suited for the modern day traveller who wants to experience something different, but still Japanese and catering to a more lifestyle kind of traveller. If you are bringing your elderly parents, or infants along on your trip, this place would not be so suitable, unless you are just visiting the building for the observation deck and the art museum here.