Things to Do: Not Roppongi

Roppongi Crossing. Image by Guy Bowerman
Roppongi is a tempting, crazy place.  Many expats love or hate Roppongi clubs for its bizarre demographic mix unseen anywhere else in Tokyo.

It's also brimming with punks – really persistent ones, and oddly usually Nigerians – trying to pull you into their clubs.

But it's also possible to have a really memorable night, if you have some Japanese friends to show you around (or you just happen to be down with the more low-brow kind of party).

Or you could wake up not knowing where you are and short a few thousand dollars.  And not in a good way.

Courtesy the US Embassy in Tokyo:

The number of reports of U.S. citizens being drugged in bars [in
Roppongi] has increased significantly in recent weeks. Typically, the
victim unknowingly drinks a beverage that has been secretly mixed with
a drug that renders the victim unconscious for several hours, during
which time large sums of money are charged to the victim's credit card
or the card is stolen outright. Victims sometimes regain consciousness
in the bar or club, while at other times the victim awakens on the

Here are some of the places where Americans have said they've had
problems (please realize that names and locations of these bars change frequently):

– Crystal
– Castel's or Castles
– Bar Colors
– Sheesha
– Ultimate
– Exotic City
– White Horse
– Wall Street House or Wall Street II
– Climax
– Seventh Heaven
– Marbles
– Club 99

Best to avoid Roppongi for a while.  If you're looking for some similar action, try Shibuya or hit up the better clubs in Nishi-Azabu, just down the street from Roppongi.  I would recommend picking up a Metropolis magazine and looking through their club listings.