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Roppongi

Saturday, July 20, 2013 Category : TOKYO

Roppongi, a district in central Tokyo, is famous for its resident’s luxurious life style and its nightlife. In the Tokugawa era, Roppongi was inhabited by many Samurai.  It became home of the governor in Ookubo family, who had built many temples and Shinto shrines in the Meiji era. The population of Roppongi was scarce, and as a result, during the Japanese wartime; Roppongi was appointed to be a military base and the main head quarter of three infantry divisions, hence, the area was recognized as the military area. After the Second World War, the scenery in Roppongi was totally transformed by the presence of the American army, resulting in the set up of new businesses to facilitate and entertain the new occupants. Since then, Roppongi has become an area where many foreign expatriates settle down in Tokyo. Nowadays, Roppongi represents many aspects of leisure and modernity. The modern, sleek buildings around Akasaka station and Roppongi Hills are a hub of trendy offices, businesses, art galleries, and luxury serviced apartments. The grand residences and shopping facilities along the road to Azabu-Juban symbolize the combination of international culture and Japanese life style. Nightclubs and bars along Gaien Higashi Dori that light up throughout out the night, lure both the Japanese and foreign customers who enjoy winding down from daytime stress, by drinking and dancing until the morning comes.

 

Location

 

Roppongi is situated in Minato-ku, Tokyo’s innermost district, which is renowned for being a trendy, modern area, offering the ultimate in luxury living. Both Tokyo Metro and Tokyo metropolitan subway line (Toei) provide convenient public transportation to the area. Taking Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line, you can stop at Nogizaka station (C05) and walk to the “Art Triangle Roppongi”, while Tokyo Metro Namboku line and Hibiya line will take you to Roppongi-Itchome (N05), Azabu-Juban (N04) and Roppongi station (H04), which house many office buildings, embassies and shopping centers. Toei Oedo line cuts pass all the Tokyo Metro line to Roppongi station (E23), which is located in the centre of the Roppongi district.

 

Sightseeing Spots

 
1. Art Triangle Roppongi

 
1.1 The National Art Center, Tokyo 国立新美術館

 
Access: Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line, Nogizaka Station  (C05), Exit 6

 

Visiting Hours: Sat – Mon & Wed – Thu 10:00 – 18:00; Fri 10:00 – 20:00 and National Holidays (Ticket counter closes 30 minutes before the closing time).

 

Admission Fee: around 1000 yen (depending on the exhibition)

 

Information: http://www.nact.jp

 

The 4-storey art museum, with the 48,000 square meters of floor space, stands solemnly with the remarkable outdoor and indoor design. It houses seven exhibition galleries, open-air exhibition areas, café, restaurants, museum shops, an auditorium, and an art library. The exhibitions from Japanese and foreign artists in conservative and contemporary arts are rotated every two months.

 

Recommendation: Shop at the designed souvenir from Tokyo (B1 fl.) and enjoy the afternoon specialties from Salon de Thé Rond (2fl.).

 
1.2 Suntory Museum of Art サントリー美術館

 
Access: Toei Oedo line, Roppongi Station (E23), Exit 8

 

Visiting Hours: Mon, Wed, Thu, Sun 10:00 – 18:00, Fri and Sat 10:00 – 20:00 (Last admission 30 minutes before closing) Closed on Tuesday, periods during which exhibitions are being changed, and Dec 30 to Jan 1

 

Admission Fee: 1300 yen (prior purchase gets 200 yen discount)

 

Information: http://suntory.jp/SMA/

 

Located on the third floor of Tokyo Midtown, the Suntory Museum of Art exhibits the works of Japanese artists and provides the art experience through the education programs and workshops.

 

Recommendation: Experience Japanese tea ceremony on every Thursday (11.30 – 17.30, fee 1000 yen)

 
1.3 Mori Art Museum 森美術館

 
Access: Tokyo Metro Hibiya line, Roppongi Station (H04), Exit 1C

 

Visiting Hours: Wed – Mon 10:00 – 22:00, Tue 10:00 – 17:00, Last admission 30 minutes before closing

 

Admission Fee: 1500 yen (Counter on the 3rd floor)

 

Information: http://www.mori.art.museum/

 

On the upper most floor of the Mori tower (53fl.), Mori art museum exhibits contemporary arts according to the theme, which is subjected to change every 5-6 months. There are also symposiums, workshops, and an Art College with interpretation available in Japanese and English

 

Recommendation: Visit Mori Art Center Gallery on 52fl. to experience fashion and art cinema.

 

 

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2. Roppongi Hills

 

2.1 Tokyo City View and Sky Deck

 

Access: Tokyo Metro Hibiya line, Roppongi Station (H04), Exit 1C Visiting Hours: 10:00 – 23:00, Fri, Sat and Holidays 10:00 – 25:00 (Last admission 24:00) Sky Deck 11:00 – 20:00 (Last admission 19:30)

 

Admission Fee: 1500 yen (Counter on the 3rd floor) + 500yen for the Sky Deck

 

Information:http://www.roppongihills.com/tcv/

 

Observe Tokyo in 360° day or night from the 52nd floor of Mori tower, a landmark in Roppongi. Climb up the sky deck to feel the cold breeze and observe Tokyo tower’s magnificent view.

 

Recommendation: Take Tokyo Sky Shot, dine as high as the sky in Mado Lounge (www.ma-do.jp) and don’t miss “66 seijin” souvenir character from Roppongi Hills

 

2.2 Art and Sculpture

 

Access: Tokyo Metro Hibiya line, Roppongi Station (H04), Exit 1C

 

Visiting Hours: 10:00 – 23:00 Admission Fee: None

 

Information: http://www.roppongihills.com

 

Take a photo with “Maman” the spider sculpture, which is the symbol of Roppongi Hills on the 2nd floor, outdoor plaza zone and enjoy the view of Tokyo tower in the “Rose Garden” nearby.

 

Recommendation: Enjoy street furniture, designed benches, and many luxury Fashion brand shops on Keyakisaka, south side of Roppongi Hills

 

3. Hinokicho Koen

 

Access: Toei Oedo line, Roppongi Station (E23), Exit 8

 

Information: http://www.tokyo-midtown.com

 

Hinokicho Park is a surprisingly big park that envelopes the office tower, shopping plaza, and hotel in Tokyo Midtown. The open-air sculpture exhibition and picnic area give the park’s visitors a touch of nature away from the crowded Roppongi.

 

 

Recommendation: 21_21 Design Sight (11:00 – 20:00, closed on Tuesday) displays arts in daily life; enjoy cherry blossom in spring and Christmas illumination at Midtown from mid November until the Christmas day, every year.

 

 

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Food

 

1. Toraya (Galleria B1, Tokyo Midtown/ 11:00 – 21:00/ 630 – 1260 yen)

 

Toraya is a Japanese traditional sweets restaurant, which has been in business for more than 480 years. The chef presents “The Art of Five Senses” through the ingredients, wrapping styles and material for “Zakka”.

 

2. pâtisserie Sadaharu AOKI Paris (Galleria B1, Tokyo Midtown/ 11:00 – 21:00/ 450yen ~)

 

Sadaharu Aoki, a famous patisserie who is now based in Paris, offers the selections of macaroons, cakes, and original sweets from Japanese ingredients.

 

3. Jean-Paul Hévin (Galleria B1, Tokyo Midtown/ 11:00 – 21:00/ 578 – 1365 yen)

 

A chocolate boutique of which the owner has won the Meilleurs  Ouvriers de France award.

 

4. Sennari Ramen (千成ラーメン) Nogizaka Station (C05), Exit 3 (11:00 – 05:00/ 580yen ~)

 

http://www.sennari-ramen.com/tw/

 

Ramen restaurant, which has a lot of celebrity visitors, recommends the shoyu soup and gyoza

 

5. Fukuzushi (六本木福鮨) Toei Oedo Roppongi Station (E23), Exit 3 backside of Hard Rock Cafe (Lunch 11:30 – 14:00/Dinner 17:30 – 23:00/ 3000 – 10000yen)

 

www.roppongifukuzushi.com

 

Fukuzushi, a Michelin star Sushi restaurant, opened in 1917.  It provides the finest Japanese cuisine with the freshest fish from Hokkaido.

 

Accommodation

 

1. Hotel Ibis Roppongi Tokyo (www.ibis-hotel.com)

 

2. Hotel Acre Torre Roppongi (www.arktower.co.jp/arcetorre/)

 

3. Grand Hyatt Tokyo: Roppongi Hills Hotel (www.tokyo.grand.hyatt.com)

 

4. The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo (www.ritzcarlton.com/tokyo)

 

 

Shopping

 

 

1.  Keyakisaka to Azabu-Juban station 1km. walking street with brand-name shops such as Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Hugo Boss, also Japanese local brands, Tsutaya, coffee shops, and bakeries

 

2. Roppongi Hills – www.roppongihills.com Recommendation: Onitsuka Tiger (sneakers), Hirofu (Bags & Shoes)

 

3. Tokyo Midtown – www.tokyo-midtown.com Recommendation: WiseWise (Tools & Stationary), Hashichou (Chopsticks)

 

 

Entertainment

 

 

1. Esprit Lounge (http://esprit-lounge.net)  – 2-3fl. B&V Building Enjoy drinks and dance to popular music and music by a skillful DJ all-year-round Recommendation: strong vodka cocktail

 

2. Vanity  (www.vanitytokyo.com) – 13fl. Loa Building The most crowded and hottest hangout space in Roppongi, consist of both a restaurant and clubbing space Recommendation: Enjoy the night view of Tokyo Tower through the glass window

 

Secret places

 

 

1. Hie Jinja and Torii down the slope

 

Access: Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line, Akasaka Station (C06), Exit 2 The Shinto Shrine under the patronage of the imperial family, Hie Jinja, is located on the Sannou slope. It is the green space in the middle of skyscrapers in Akasaka

 

2. Afternoon Tea at the Lobby Lounge, The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo (12:00-17:00)

 

Access: Toei Oedo line, Roppongi Station (E23), Exit 8 (Tokyo Midtown) On the 45 fl. of Midtown Tower, you can enjoy the categories of tea and sweets while appreciating the magnificent view of Tokyo Tower and perfect service.

 

Ritz High Tea

Reference

Bilingual Atlas of Tokyo: covering all 23 wards. Bangkok: Comm Bangkok, 2010 Lonely Planet. Tokyo. 9th edition. UK: Lonely Planet Publication, 2012 Thinknet. Tokyo Tiao la sud. Bangkok: Siriwattana Interprint, 2011 六本木の歴史. www.ractive-roppongi.com/history 六本木. http://ja.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/六本木


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