Roppongi is simultaneously one of the most loved and hated neighborhoods in Tokyo. While home to the Japanese head offices of foreign companies like Google, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs and some of the best restaurants around, it also has a seedy reputation with a profusion of hostess bars, strip clubs and nightclubs. We still recommend a visit though, the sheer volume of entertainment and eating establishments means there are plenty of cheapo options.
Where to eat and drink in Roppongi
Roppongi is famous for its vast range of food choices, from sushi to takoyaki to kebabs or even pizza.
While some owner-operated sushi joints usually equate to “expensive”, Roppongi is home to sushi bars providing lunch menus at relatively low prices. Sushi Hattori is one such example. It provides the 1,300 yen “ichininmae”(one-person) course, which includes 7 pieces of nigiri sushi, tamago-yaki, 6 pieces of maki-zushi and miso soup. It is quite a good deal especially when you consider that the dinner menu starts at 8,000 yen.
If you want to keep within Japanese cuisine, you can also try the Gindaco branch located near Roppongi Crossing for takoyaki (octopus balls)—always cheap and always filling.
If your belly is jonesing for some international chow, we recommend Asian Kebab, earning a place in our hearts with its delicious taste and relatively cheap price. Just take Exit 5 from Roppongi Station and walk along Gaien Higashi Street—look for the vertical rotating spit outside the restaurant. Or if you’re just looking to fill your belly, stop by Pizzania where you can get a pie for only 500 yen.
What to do in Roppongi
Visitors to Roppongi have their fair share of things to do, including shopping, movie-watching, checking out art, and a whole lot more.
One of the area’s biggest claim to fame is the Roppongi Art Triangle: The National Art Center Tokyo, the Suntory Museum at Tokyo Midtown and Mori Art Museum at Roppongi Hills are all located within easy walking distance.
While in the Roppongi Hills area, you can take in a movie at TOHO cinema (some of the screens are MX4D), catch a view from the Mori Museum Observatory, or visit some of the lesser known art galleries, like Hiromiyoshii and Gallery Side 2, both of which appear on our Top 10 Free Things to Do in Roppongi list. For Peanuts fans, the Tokyo Snoopy Museum located only a short walk from Roppongi Hills, complete with a Snoopy-themed gift shop and cafe.
Tokyo Midtown is home to tons of shops and restaurants, as well as several art museums—including the (free) Fujifilm Square, which features photographic and hands-on exhibitions. For Peanuts fans, the Tokyo Snoopy Museum is located only a short walk from Roppongi Hills and come complete with a Snoopy-themed cafe and gift shop.
And once the sun has dipped for the day, Roppongi becomes party central. See our guide to clubbing on the cheap.
Where to stay in Roppongi
In Roppongi, accommodation options range from capsule hotels to the Ritz-Carlton (but it’s forbidden to stay there by Cheapo Law). The APA hotel chain is always a good choice for its good location and cheap price. There are two APA Hotels in Roppongi area: one is APA Hotel Roppongi Itchome Ekimae and the other is APA Hotel Roppongi Ekimae (right by Roppongi Station). If your preference leans more towards vacation rental, Brand New Studio Roppongi can host up to 5 people and offers exceptional value. One interesting point to note is that Airbnb rentals in the Roppongi area are not very cheap, with prices sometimes listed higher than a regular hotel room.
For more accommodation options in Roppongi, check here.