Roppongi Hills: 5 Things to Do

Roppongi Hills is almost a city in itself. There are places to shop, eat, live, and play. It's also a hub for high-end culture in Japan with a number of luxury restaurants, international fashion brands, and apartment towers known for housing Japanese celebrities.

Roppongi hills mori tower nightSo, with all that awesomeness in mind, here are 5 highlights from the complex:

1. Mori Art Museum
Asia has some great modern art museums as it is, but the Mori suddenly showed up and made a splash. Situated near the top of the Mori Tower (the big tower of the complex, lit up in blue in the photo there), it's a beautifully-designed museum with a great rotation of exhibits. 

2. Tokyo City View
The soon-to-open Tokyo Sky Tree may quickly take away the title of "best city lookout point" from the top of the Mori Tower, 52 stories up, but for the time being this is the one you want. It's basically part of the art museum, so you can get a combined ticket and do exhibits and the awesome view. If it's light outside and the weather's OK, you can go outside on the roof and view the endless buildings of Tokyo al fresco

3. High-end Shopping
Roppongi Hills is single-handedly a major Japanese fashion district. Here's just a partial list of the world-renowned brands you can find among the complex:

Adidas, Armani, Diesel, United Arrows, Banana Republic (the only one in Japan!), Ferragamo, Zara, Hugo Boss, Samantha Thavasa, Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade, BMW/Mini (showrooms), Tiffany & Co., Tsutaya (a large record store), Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton and many more names known within Japan.

Ph_arena_vi_014. Roppongi Hills Arena
This amphitheater-like outdoor area serves as a performance stage for programs taped for the adjacent TV station, TV Asahi. Around lunchtime on most days you can catch a free performance from up-and-coming pop groups or other creative acts like dance groups, trapeze artists and more.

5. A zillion restaurants
The Hills' restaurants cover every possible cuisine and budget. As far as big names, you'd recognize Tully's Coffee, Starbucks, McDonalds, Cold Stone, Roy's, and possibly The Oak Door (a highly-rated steakhouse). 

Other than that, there are at least 100 more restaurants covering Chinese, Italian, French, baked goods, American, fusion, bars, hot pot, yakiniku (Japanese BBQ), sushi, tempura, tonkatsu, kaiseki, dim sum, soba, udon, ramen, pasta, pizza, Indian and quite a bit more.

Life at Roppongi Hills
Be warned that spending a lot of time here can really add up financially. I saw my favorite Banana Republic shirt, which I got for maybe $15 in the US, selling here for $86. That said, there is a large area to cover on foot and plenty of inexpensive food to be had. You could probably spend more than one day as a tourist here. 

It certainly beats getting drugged in Roppongi clubs and waking up missing thousands of dollars. 

via the official Roppongi Hills website

How to Get to Roppongi Hills
It's just outside Roppongi Station, which is on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line. Make sure you read our guide to Japan's trains to figure out how to use the subway.