Roppongi Hills – The Ultimate Guide
Roppongi Hills, the centerpiece of the notoriously foreigner-friendly Roppongi area, is not to be missed whilst in Tokyo! Entertainment, shopping and cultural activities abound. Our Roppongi Hills Guide will introduce you to the best of it.
With abundant restaurants, shopping and entertainment options, you’ll be unlikely to feel the creep of boredom at Roppongi Hills. This complex, developed by Minoru Moru, was originally designed as the ultimate combination of business and pleasure in the pursuit of efficiency and still stands as a signifier of Japan’s remarkable post-war boom. Today, Roppongi Hills is one of the most popular destinations in Tokyo for tourists and locals alike and is not to be missed.
Here’s a list of the best Roppongi Hills has to offer:
1) Tokyo Tower
In the wake of the Second World War, Japan was determined to transform its capital into a modern metropolis and Tokyo Tower is one of the most striking products of this transformation. The tower – bearing more than a passing resemblance to Paris’s Eiffel Tower – was formally the tallest building in the city before being surpassed by the still reigning Tokyo Sky Tree. Nonetheless, it is still mightily impressive. Tokyo Tower’s original purpose was as a broadcast tower for the country’s major networks but now, in the digital age, serves mainly as a tourist attraction with museums, restaurants and shops located directly underneath and within. Painted orange and white, this tower is very hard to miss.
Address: 4-2-8, Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 9am-11pm
2) Roppongi Hills Mori Tower
Towering over Roppongi and at the heart of the Roppongi Hills complex is the Mori Tower. Boasting many stores, restaurants and museums, it’s very easy to spend a day here. The Mori Tower is also home to many famous companies, including the people behind Pokemon! As you wander around, you’re sure to find something to occupy you.
Address: 6-10-1, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: Shops 11am to 9pm/ Restaurants 11am to 11pm
3) Tokyo City View Observation Desk
This 250m high observation deck will surround you with glass for one of the best views of the city anywhere. When the weather allows, spot Mount Fuji and the rest of Tokyo’s many landmarks in the distance. Slightly higher up there’s also the Sky Deck, where you can breathe the crisp Tokyo air and gawp some more at the vista.
To see what else Tokyo has to offer in terms of observation decks, check out our article dedicated exclusively to them, right here!
Opening hours: 10am-11pm (extended to 1am on Fridays and Saturdays)
Admission: 1,800 yen (2,300 yen for Sky deck)
4) Mori Art Museum
For those interested in contemporary culture, Mori Art Museum is definitely worth a visit. Showcasing artists from all over the world, it has become a popular spot for Tokyo’s art lovers. The exhibitions vary, ranging from art history pieces to paintings and video art, plus everything in between. Located on the 52nd and 53rd floors of the Mori Tower, it is a great pit stop after the observatory.
Opening hours: 10am to 10pm
Admission: Varies with exhibition
5) Mori Garden
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the shopping district of Roppongi Hills, walk behind the Mori Tower and you’ll find the Mori Garden; a serene and tranquil area perfect for a quick picnic or just a great spot to relax. It has plenty of stalls and stores nearby if you need to grab some refreshments and the Roppongi Hills Arena is also within easy reach, home to regular music events. Take a look at their website for the events schedule – you’re sure to find something to your taste.
Access: Behind the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower
Opening hours: 7am to 11pm
6) Louise Bourgeois’ Maman
Louise Bourgeois is renowned for her sculptures and the Maman stands out as one of her greatest; a personal ode to her mother and now a public Roppongi Hills landmark. Whether you have any interest in sculpture or not, the Maman is still impressive with its spindly, spider-like frame and prominent placement. Even the Tate Modern, one of the biggest galleries in Britain, displayed it in 2000. It’s hard to miss and definitely photo-worthy.
7) Roppongi Hills Arena
The Roppongi Hills Arena is an outdoor entertainment space and host to many events, from free live music concerts to various cultural happenings. Find Belgian beer festivals, Japanese pop concerts and much more – the entertainment options are endless. Even if there’s nothing going on, you can still grab a quick snack or coffee and relax. When the sun’s shining, the greenery and laid-back vibes are particularly nice.
Address: 6-11-1, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 7am-9pm
8) TV Asahi Headquarters
Address: 6-9-1, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 10am – 6pm
9) Toho cinemas
If you’d rather grab some popcorn and watch a movie, Toho Cinemas’ Roppongi Hills branch has you covered. This cinema is known for being extremely foreigner-friendly, with many English language movies showcased on a regular basis. Hollywood and European movies are often released slightly later in Japan compared to the US and Europe but, with home-grown talent in abundance, why not take in Japanese movie instead? The country that produced the likes of Hayao Miyazaki and Nahisa Oshima always has something interesting going on.
Address: 6-10-2, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: Varies