Or Giroppon as the natives refer to it, is the climax of the Tokyo Shopping Experience. If the only shopping district you saw while in Tokyo was Roppongi then it would not be a loss. Specifically I'm referring to the two miniature shopping districts within Roppongi: Tokyo Midtown and Roppongi Hills (each taking up about one city block).
While Roppongi is notorious for its debauch night club scene it has so much more to offer.
The Odeo Line Roppongi Station brings you right to the door step of this vast complex. There are many buildings (including residences, a medical center, offices, etc etc) but we will only focus on the key points.
The grounds are beautifully landscaped, featuring a lake, gardens and spacious lawns. In addition to the lush greenery you'll also encounter several ultra modern sculptures both indoors or out.
The recurring design theme throughout the complex is clean minimalism coupled with bold imagination. Design and aesthetics are so omnipresent that there is even a Museum of Art and a Design Exhibition.
Like Ginza, Tokyo Midtown comes fully equipped with a Posh 7/11; something you have to see to believe.
Coming in at 814 feet the Midtown Tower is Tokyo’s tallest building. (Tokyo Tower is the tallest structure, coming in at 1091ft) The Midtown tower houses not only the Tokyo Ritz Carlton, but also the Mid Town: Offices, Medical Center, Conference and Design Hub.
Plaza & Galleria
For shopping and dining there are two separate locations: the Plaza and the Galleria, both of which are fairly expensive.
Fantastic pastry shop & cafe right on the Plaza. The only pastry shop I've seen which packs the pastries with little cardboard spacers so the delicate pastry won't tip over or touch the edges, and which also puts in a mini ice packet to keep the pastry cold, and not to mention a mini fork taped to the box.
The pastries are hand crafted and all original.
For those who just can't part with the magnificence that is Midtown Tokyo, there is good news. You can live there, or minimally stay there at one of the two luxury hotels: The Oakwood Premier or The Ritz Carlton. Of course you must be prepared to spend over $400.00 a night.
As with all major tourist attractions in Tokyo, there is always a subway conveniently located right at the front steps. In this case it is the Oedo Line Roppongi Station, with an exit right in front of the Midtown Plaza.
Or simply "The Hilz" as it’s referred to by the natives. It certainly doesn't look it from the outside, but once you're in, the Roppongi Hills is a discombobulating Labyrinth to behold. Even with a map, and all the helpful floor guides along the way it is still rather difficult to get around. But don't let that prevent you from enjoying every moment of this delightful complex. The first thing you will notice is the towering and shinning Mori Tower. You can ascend to the top for about $15 USD to visit the Tokyo City View Observation Deck and get a fantastic view of Tokyo.
The complex is fairly compact. Roughly one third of the surface area is residential, while about half of the buildings we're interested are underground, and the other half a couple floors off the ground.
What's the difference between Midown and the Hilz? Whereas Midtown is primarily shopping and eating, Hilz has in addition to that some exciting entertainment and more interesting features, in other words there is more to do at the Hilz than at Midtown.
There's a lot going at the Hilz, here's what they have:
- Metro Hat (Direct connection to Hibiya Line, and yes it does resemble a hat. An stove pipe hat turned upside down)
- Hollywood Beauty Plaza
- Mori Tower
- Museum Cone (Mori Art Museum)
- TV Asahi (Take the tour at the Asahi building, see how a TV station operates)
- Grand Hyatt Tokyo
- Keyakizaka Complex
- Toho Cinema
- Mohri Garden (A charming pond and garden)
- Roppongi Hills Arena
Not only is the Roppongi Toho Cinema the largest in Tokyo, it is also the most posh and modern. The theater has nine screens, of varying sizes. On weekends it boasts playing movies all night. Unfortunately going to the movies in Tokyo isn't cheap. Be prepared to spend $15 easy.
Convienetly there is a direct connection from the Hills via the Metro Hat to the Hibiya Line Roppongi Station. So when you get off at the station, and follow the exit signs you will wind up right inside Roppongi Hills. Piece of cake.