The most “infamous” area for its nightlife and bars in Tokyo, might be not a destination many tourists see worth visiting during the day, but come here for the nightlife scene. Far away from just that party image, the area has many shrines to see, museums and gardens to relax during daytime. Even many don’t even consider staying in the area, but the nightclubs and bars are mostly concentrated near Roppongi crossing. A few blocks from there, and the regular city sounds and silence will cover the night. Well connected to other areas by metro, and even walking distances to Shibuya and other districts. I stayed for a week in Roppongi during one of my trips. Here’s a list of things to do in the area, organized following a whole day.
Based on my stay at APA Hotel Nishi-Azabu, (get a 15€ discount from booking if you reserve through this link) start the day having a fancy breakfast at Bread & Tapas Sawamura. For around ¥1300 the morning set menu and big coffee mug is the energy boost needed for the day. From there, a morning walk to the other side of Roppongi to National Art Museum or Tokyo Midtown.
One of the newest commercial areas in Roppongi, Tokyo Midtown opened in 2007, being the tallest building in Tokyo at that moment. Residential apartments, shopping mall, offices and museums gives shape to the large complex. The Suntory Museum and Design Sight are a few visits to name. As seasonal events in the front garden, like summer beer garden or that time Godzilla was there. If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to skip lunch here and head to Roppongi center for a cheaper option.
After filling your stomach, head back to Roppongi Hills, but beware of giant spiders, specially the Maman statue in front of the building. One of the top views in Roppongi. To relax, go downstairs to the Mohri garden, and if you’re a Japanese TV fan, check the Asahi TV building. The last artsy visit of the day should be the Mori Art Museum inside Roppongi Hills, the largest contemporary art museum in Tokyo. If you had enough of museums during the morning, consider this. On the 52nd floor of this building there’s an observatory. Catching the sunset from the Rooftop Sky Deck will delight your eyes.
Before it gets too cold (if you’re at the Rooftop Sky Deck) it’s time for an evening walk. On winter time, the illumination on the streets around Sakurazaka park, Keyakizaka street with the views of Tokyo Tower is one of the most popular postcards from Roppongi. During spring time, change the illumination for Sakura trees. A walk before dinner makes anyone hungry. If you’re a fan of Kill Bill, go ahead and try the Gonpachi restaurant in Nishi-Azabu. On friday nights and weekends, the restaurants tend to be crowded. There are lots of options in Roppongi for dinner, but beware of prices in the most fancy areas.
The point of no return. If you made it this far through the whole day, now it’s time for the night. Bumping into big guys on the streets offering you free entry tickets or try to convince you into going to their bars is the rule here. Beware of the scams, free entry in a bar that’s even smaller than the hotel room with other 30 tourists in it, and the drinks prices start at ¥1000? no, thank you. If you like to jump from bar to bar, that might be your night. If you’re a club fan, try the big names like Muse, Feria, and Air. Average entry price ¥3500 with a drink, but fanciness comes with it. My best experience was at Feria, and at 4AM their sofa areas feel quite comfortable to crash. With the first rays of light, it’s time to walk back to the hotel, after satisfying your craving for a Ramen bowl in any of the 24/7 restaurants in the area.