If you are a fan of the nightlife, head off to Roppongi (六本木), a district in Tokyo known for its vibrant and bustling night scenes. The Roppongi district is located in Minato, Tokyo, and is where several foreign embassies can be found. It is also the location of the luxurious mega-complex Roppongi Hills.
The name “Roppongi” means “six trees”. One popular belief is that it refers to the six ancient and huge zelkova trees that used to grow in the area. Another theory is that six daimyo (territorial lords) with the kanji for “tree” or a kind of tree in their names used to live in the area.
The Roppongi area and nightlight gained popularity in 1890, when numerous soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army were stationed near the area. The Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 and air bombing raids during WWII destroyed much of Roppongi but it was later occupied again, this time by the U.S. Army and Allied government officials.
Club Edge, Roppongi | simonglucas
Roppongi became a hip disco destination for both Japanese and foreigners in the late 1960s, and big names in the entertainment business could be found rubbing elbows with other elites. Although the night scene suffered a major setback after 1989’s market crash and resulting recession, it was brought back to life when Roppongi Hills and Izumi Garden Tower were built.
Roppongi Hills is one of the largest property developments in the country and draws in countless visitors every year. It is composed of shops, offices, apartments, museums, theatres, parks, a major TV studio, high rises, cafes, and many other enticements.
One of its most famous landmarks is the Mori Tower, a 54-story high rise that houses the Mori Art Museum, the Tokyo City View (which offers a spectacular panoramic view of Tokyo), the Mori Arts Center Gallery, and the offices of Google and The Pokémon Company, among many others.
Mori Tower, Roppongi Hills | kevin Dooley
Business and Art in Roppongi
Roppongi is well-known for its night clubs, cabarets, bars, strip clubs, and various forms of entertainment. Yet, it is also a significant business district and is the base of many international companies such as Ferrari Japan, Yahoo! Japan, Credit Suisse, and Goldman Sachs. Art and cultural buildings are also located in Roppongi, including the spectacular National Art Center.
National Art Center | DanDeChiaro