Japan never disappoints when it comes to natural beauty or architecture, and sometimes you can experience both in one place! Roppongi Hills is one such man-made urban beauty lying in the center of Tokyo. It’s a one-stop destination for visitors who are looking for eateries, entertainment or space to relax.


Table of Contents

  1. About Roppongi Hills
  2. Entertainment at Roppongi Hills
  3. Seasonal Events at Roppongi Hills
  4. How to reach Roppongi Hills
  5. Conclusion

About Roppongi Hills

Established in 2003, Roppongi Hills is a popular destination for anyone interested in spending all day in one spot, as you can find all sorts of shops, restaurants and entertainment under one roof. Not only that but if you can afford it, there’s even office space and luxury apartments!

Most visitors come to visit the museum with a view, the large movie theatre, the outdoor events held in the amphitheatre and many more!

According to Mori Building Corporation, which holds many other large tower buildings and building projects in mainly Tokyo including Toranomon Hills and Omotesando Hills, roughly 40 million people visit Roppongi Hills every year! So you’ll more than likely be seeing lots of people when you visit, whether it be business people headed to work or on their breaks, tourists visiting the museums, families and friends catching a movie or shopping, and so on!  

※Mori Building Corporation, “Roppongi Hills

Many people mistake Roppongi Hills to be the one tall tower that everyone can see, but it’s actually a complex with over 10 different buildings, including the residences built within the complex. The tall building that most people think of first is Mori Tower

Mori Tower

Mori Tower is, with 54 floors, one of the tallest buildings in Tokyo.  Most of the floors are offices that can’t be accessed by the general public, but visitors will still find plenty to do with the multiple restaurants, shops, and other facilities on the first six floors. For a fee, you can also access the open-air observation deck at the top of the building, which is also where you’d find the Mori Art Museum, where visitors can relish the magnificent panoramic city view. (More on that below)

In addition to Mori Tower, the buildings included in the Roppongi Hills Complex include

  • Roppongi Hills Gate Tower

  • Roppongi Hills Crosspoint

  • Keyakizaka Terrace 

  • Roppongi Hills Residences

  • Grand Hyatt Tokyo

And more! The first three are a mix of retail shops and offices, while Roppongi Hills Residences are a cluster of high-end luxury residences situated behind Mori Tower when coming from the station. And of course, Grand Hyatt Tokyo speaks for itself as a luxury hotel with easy access to other places in Tokyo while being an incredible place to come back to and relax for guests. 

Entertainment at Roppongi Hills

So you’re visiting Roppongi Hills for the first time! What should you do? Apart from the amount of shopping you can get done at Roppongi Hills - mostly featuring high-end brands both internationally-known as well as Japanese retailers - there’s a large variety of facilities to check out!

Museums and Observatory

So this may be a little confusing, but you can enter Mori Art Museum, Mori Arts Center Gallery, Tokyo City View and Sky Deck from technically the same entrance - The Museum Cone Entrance on the 2nd Floor. From there, you would take the same elevator or flight of stairs to get to the tickets & information centre on the 3rd floor, from which you will be guided to the appropriate elevator for where you are headed. Please note that all of them cost separate fees and are not included in the price of one ticket. 

Mori Art Museum (53rd Floor)

Mori Art Museum, located on the 53rd floor of Mori Tower, displays modern art and often has special exhibitions offered for limited durations so there’s always something new to see. Past exhibitions include the popular Shiota Chiharu Exhibition (2019).

Entry Fee (adults): 2000 yen on weekdays and 2200 yen on weekends or holidays (It’s 200 yen cheaper if you reserve your tickets online in advance)

Website: https://www.mori.art.museum/jp/ 

Mori Arts Center Gallery (52nd Floor)

Mori Arts Center Gallery is a separate gallery from Mori Art Museum above, displaying paintings and other such art pieces including historical ones in contrast to Mori Art Museum in a large 1000 square meters space. A recent feature was “KAWS TOKYO FIRST”, the first exhibition of popular American artist KAWS at such a huge scale in Japan, held in 2021.  

Entry Fee (adults): 2500 yen on weekdays, 2800 yen on weekends and holidays (advanced booking for time slots required; no online reservation discount)

Website: https://macg.roppongihills.com/jp/

Tokyo City View (52nd Floor)

Tokyo City View is an indoor observation area with huge floor-to-ceiling windows that allow you to overlook the city, including the nearby Tokyo Tower. It offers magnificent views both during the day and at night. And in this space, exhibitions are also held so you can enjoy both the view and what is currently being featured. For example, a past popular exhibition was the Ghibli Expo in 2016, and a more recent one is the DC Exhibition “The Art of DC” in 2021. 

Entry Fee (adults): 2300 yen on weekdays, 2500 yen on weekend and holidays (It’s 200 yen cheaper if you reserve your tickets online in advance)

Website: https://tcv.roppongihills.com/en/ 

Sky Deck (Rooftop)

And if you have a ticket to any of the three museum galleries above, you can pay an additional fee to go out to the Sky Deck to admire and enjoy the beautiful panoramic city view. It’s the first open-air observation deck in the country and is over 230 meters off the ground. Take a thrilling look at Tokyo while experiencing it from high above and with no windows in the way of your view. However, admission will only be allowed if the weather permits.

Cost: An additional 500 yen to the ticket to either Mori Art Museum, Mori Arts Center Gallery or Tokyo City View

There’s also a cafe and restaurant on the 52nd floor. 

Mori Garden

There is a Japanese garden at the base of the skyscrapers called the Mori Garden which has cherry trees (gorgeous when in full bloom in the spring) and a beautiful pond. When you are tired of exploring stores and museums or after watching a movie, this place will be the best place to relax. There are also cafes nearby so you can grab a refreshing drink. It’s nice to take a quick stroll in nature in the midst of the city.

Website: https://www.roppongihills.com/green/

Toho Cinemas Roppongi Hills

Toho Cinemas Roppongi Hills, part of the expansive Toho Cinemas movie theatre chain, is located right next to the Mori Museum. They have comfortable seats, theatres with special features such as extra-large screens or MX4D, and amazing, extensive snacks options with world-class service. They usually play movies in the original language with Japanese subtitles and their staff can assist you in English! (Films are also available dubbed in Japanese so make sure to buy tickets to the right kind!) 

Tip: If you go on opening weekend to a Hollywood blockbuster, chances are you will experience the same atmosphere as in an American theatre with a responsive crowd as there are many expats living in the area. So if that's what you want, make sure to go opening weekend. (However, you should buy your tickets in advance online.) Otherwise, Japanese movie theatres tend to be very very quiet as it’s the culture. 

Toho Cinemas Roppongi Hills Website

TV Asahi Headquarters

The TV Asahi Headquarters building is another find when you go to visit Roppongi Hills. If you like Japanese animations and TV shows, then you must check out this building. TV Asahi is famous for its characters like Doraemon and more! In fact, every year, there’s a Doraemon statue event at Roppongi Hills where over 50 Doraemons in different outfits and expressions are decorated in clusters. As the building is their headquarters, there are studios inside where they film TV shows and such. While the general public can’t access those spaces normally, they often hold special interactive events there and outside. Inside they have a souvenir store where you can buy gifts related to TV Asahi’s popular characters and shows, as well as a cafe featuring TV Asahi’s mascot panda character Go-chan (can you find him in the photo above?). You can get to Mori Garden easily from the entrance as well.

Website: https://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/teleasa/

Seasonal Events at Roppongi Hills

Depending on what time of year you visit Roppongi Hills, you might find some large scale events going on, including seasonal sales, promotional events, outdoor events like markets, beer gardens, festivals and concerts! Check out some of the events below. 

Summer Festival

TV Asahi and Roppongi Hills collaborate every summer to hold “Summer Station”, their very own summer festival. It includes an arena set up for live concerts, fun activities for kids and families, vendors selling summer foods, an outdoor beer garden at Mori Garden, and so on!

A separate summer event is Roppongi Hills Bon Odori, a traditional Japanese summer festival complete with the bon dance, a traditional dance done in August to welcome the ancestors’ spirits. People wearing yukata (well, you don’t have to in order to join in, but many do!) will dance around the yagura, a large center raised stage area where taiko drummers and other instrumentalists and singers will provide the music for the dance. It’s a great community event and a chance to experience something quite traditional in a very modern space.

Christmas illuminations with Christmas Market

Christmas illuminations at Roppongi Hills are one of a kind. Every year this mega building and the streets of Keyakizaka which is right behind the Roppongi Hills are lit and decorated with beautiful lights starting from around mid-November to the end of December. The iconic shot of the blue lights lit all the way down the street with Tokyo Tower off in the background is featured in many commercials, films and dramas and even anime!

In addition, all shops, restaurants, and cafes in Roppongi Hills decorate their space with beautiful lights, trees and other Christmas ornaments. It is one of the favorite places for people to get into the Christmas spirit as people can also get their last minute gift shopping down for loved ones. 

Every year, a themed Christmas market is set up in the vicinity with various vendors selling Christmas goods and cuisines from different regions.

All events can be found on the official events page

How to reach Roppongi Hills

To reach Roppongi Hills, you can take the Hibiya or Oedo Subway Lines to get to Roppongi Station. Remember to follow the signs towards Roppongi Hills and not Tokyo Midtown as they are on opposite sides. Depending on which gate you exit the station, you may find yourself outside walking up to the main area of Roppongi Hills with Mori Tower or being led directly to a long set of escalators that will take you from the station to the base of Mori Tower. Many people will be seen waiting for friends by or under the iconic spider sculpture!

Conclusion

Roppongi Hills is a one-stop destination for a perfect day out with your loved ones. If you are an expat or tourist in Japan, then this destination is a must-visit for you. You can eat, shop, relax and enjoy the view of the city all in one destination. Roppongi Hills is a city within the city and is an extravagant example of human creativity.

To read about the other city in a city in Roppongi, check out our article about Tokyo Midtown

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