Roppongi is an area that never sleeps and is reaching into the future by reinventing itself.
It is usual for tourists to spend time exploring Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills, sightseeing Tokyo Tower, eating at fancy restaurants, or shopping at high-class brand shops by day in Roppongi. As night falls, this high-end shopping and culture district turns into the Tokyo’s legendary nightlife district for a crowd of both foreign and local party-goers and night club touts that seeking for noctual adventures.
For me, as a Tokyo local, Roppongi is one of my favorite destinations that always offers me a variety of things to do at night: dining, bars, clubbing, singing at karaoke and more. For the reason, I wrote this article to introduce this ultimate Roppongi nightlife guide for tourists to enjoy it as the locals do!
If you are staying a hotel in Roppongi, I’d definitely recommend to go out at night and soak up the atmosphere of this Tokyo’s legendary nightlife district at least once. If you wonder where to go at night in Tokyo more briefly, read the Tokyo nightlife guide for overviews of things that Tokyo by night offers as well as this Roppongi nightlife guide!
Features of Roppongi Nightlife
Roppongi, located at the heart of Tokyo, is a popular night life area for Japanese people. It’s also a popular destination for tourists as for its’ number of hotels. Roppongi is quite interesting for the city’s face change from day and night. As night falls, Tokyo tower begins to illuminate the streets, and young people returning from work and foreigners start to fill the city.
Like how I mentioned in the Tokyo Nightlife Guide, Roppongi is a symbol of Tokyo’s deep nightlife culture.
You might have read or heard, Roppongi being compared to other famous nightlife districts like Shibuya and Shinjuku but, the way you enjoy the night slightly differs. I’d love to recommend Roppongi to those who want to experience a deep night filled with adventures to unique bars only here and packed night clubs.
I’ll be introducing 5 must do things at night based on my personal experience in Roppongi. Why don’t you give it an explore, alongside your Tokyo adventure?
Where to go in Roppongi? - Roppongi’s Nightlife Zone Map
Let’s start with learning the nightlife zones for Roppongi, and their characteristics. Each zone has its own features so just by having a rough understanding of them can greatly help you maximize your Roppongi night.
Source: The night view of Roppongi / flicker
Northern Roppongi downtown
North of Gaien Higashi street is filled with many famous clubs such as V2 and Esprit (covered below). Beside night clubs, there are also karaoke shops and is the most active area in Roppongi.
Southern Roppongi downton
South of Gaien Higashi street are huge shops at the center and is the area surrounding Don Quixote. Many international bars are here but at the same time, there are many persistent izakaya catch staffs. Probably a dangerous zone in Roppongi.
Across Midtown (Many restaurants & Bars)
Across from Midtown is a slightly more quite area from downtown, and once entering a back alley, is filled with small fancy bars and restaurants.
Nishi Azabu (Many more upscale resturants and bars than Roppongi)
Walk 10 mins towards Roppongi Hills from Roppongi crossing to enter Nishi azabu zone. Famous as one of the top luxury zones in Tokyo with many fine dinning restaurants and bars. Often accessed by Japanese celebs and politicians.
1. Hitting Roppongi’s best night clubs
Don’t you want to up your dance game by leveling up from the dancefloors of Shibuya to the best clubs in Roppongi? Regardless of your musical preferences, Roppongi night clubs have you covered from Hip-Hop, R&B, Reggae, EDM, you name it. Best visit Friday, Saturday or before a public holiday nights. I’m sure you know but don’t be showing up around 9-10PM expecting anything. Be sure to show up around 1-2AM during the peak hours, and no need to worry about being the only foreigners in the club because there are plently of popular clubs for tourists. If you want to learn more about Tokyo night clubs, read Tokyo Night Clubs. (You can find detailed information about tips, prices, rules, etc.)
Roppongi Night Club Customers
Night clubs in Roppongi are usually filled with people with rich businessmen and women ranging from mid 20s to 30s. There are also many clubs with a healthy crowd of foreign residents and tourists making a good mix of a mature crowd compared to Shibuya. On the rare occasion you might see Japanese celebrities or even foreign celebrities since One Direction and Lady Gaga both came clubing in Roppongi during their visit.
Roppongi Night Club Price
Entrance fees vary on weekday, weekends (including Friday), and even the time (often discounted if you enter by 10PM). Guys can get in on weekends for around 3000 – 4000 yen ($27 – $36) with a drink ticket included. Girls, on the other hand can get in for free or at most around 2000 yen.
Best Roppongi Night Clubs
V2 Tokyo is the most popular night club in Roppongi. This is proven by the often over hour wait to get in on the weekends and having seen several international celebs such as Justin Bieber and One Direction. Located 3 mins on foot from Roppongi crossing high above the ground, offering a beautiful 360 degree panoramic view of the Tokyo night sky. They even have mutilingual staff, making it on the top of this list as one of the best locations for a tourist to enjoy night clubs.
Customer Segment:Severally popular among locals so often filled with locals. Male to female ratio is 7:3 and due to is popularity many foreign residents go.
Music Genre: HIP HOP, R&B, HOUSE, EDM
VIP Room: from 20,000JPY
Esprit Tokyo is the best club to go to for you EDM lovers. Located right by Roppongi crossing often being already pretty crowded from 3PM on Friday and Saturday, it’s a great place to start off the night. Start early with the locals on the dancefloor lit up with a huge disco ball.
Customer Segement:Mostly filled with EDM loving locals.
Music Genre: HOUSE, EDM
Source: The interior of Esprit Tokyo / Official web site
Villa Tokyo is one of those rare cases where there’s a club inside a hotel, a great 2 in 1. It opened its’doors in November 2017 with a bold statement, “we will change the future of nighclubs”. To support that claim, their VIP seating is right behind the DJ booth, giving you a full view of the magic happening.
Customer Segment:Higher female locals ratio and some foreigners staying at the hotel.
Men: 3,000 JPY/2 drinks
I’m sure you’ve felt a bit alone in the previous clubs but no worries, ALIFE is the most international night club in Roppongi. It is a large 3 floor club is bound to relieve some of your lack of home during your stay. The second floor has a lounge area for you to take a breather during the night, and enjoy your drink & talk with a friend or someone you just met. Many guys and girls looking to meet someone fill the club so local, foreign resident, tourist, there should be someone for you too.
Customer Segment: Compared to other night clubs, slightly more foreign residents.
3 tickets-1,000 JPY (21:00-4:00)
3 tickets-1,000 JPY (21:00-23:00)
Men:5,000 JPY/2 drinks (23:00-5:00)
Women:2,500 JPY/2 drinks (23:00-5:00)
Source: The appearance of ALIFE/ Wikipedi
1 OAK TOKYO
The worldly famous night club “1 OAK” finally opened its door in Roppongi, Tokyo! With branches in Los Angeles and New York, you should be able to jam properly to the wide selection of music from Hip Hop to Electric. The fancy worldly brand name has also been grabbing the attention of fancy, classy people from the city and should be a great match for any high baller tourist.
Customer Segment: Due to it’s worldly popularity, higher foreigner ratio. Foreign and Japan celebs also often visit.
【Regular weekdays & weekends】
Men: 4,000 JPY - 2 Drinks
Women: 2,500 JPY - 2 Drinks
Entrance before Midnight
【only on regular weekdays & weekends】
Men: 2,000 JPY - 1 Drink
Women: 1,000 JPY - 1 Drink
2. Hitting best bars & restaurants in Roppongi
A great way to get started before you go clubbing is by hitting up the great bars and pubs of Roppongi. 1 drink at the bar or pub to get you started and head to the club is such a common local routine. Most of these places are like a locals’ hidden gem so you won’t be going to an overly crowded spot, save that for the night clubs. They all have unique concepts making it a great way to learn the culture of Roppongi as well. I’ll be introducing my recommendations based on personal experience.
Best Japanese Izakaya in Roppongi
Roppongi has many traditional bars and only a handful of izakaya style pubs. If you want to go bar hopping izakaya, neighboring cities like Akasaka and Ebisu might be better. But there are still some great izakaya in Roppongi that I’d love for you to enjoy the unique feel.
A popular local izakaya that is famous for its’ traditional Japanese straw-roasted (or Warayaki in Japanese) seafood, which goes great with sake and beer. There signature dish and my favorite is the seared bonito sashimi (katsuo no tataki). With an at-home vibe, you can might as well forget clubbing and enjoy great food & drinks.
【Mon - Sat & Day before holiday】17:00 - 5:00(L.O.4:00)
【Sun,Holiday】 17:00 - 23:00(L.O.22:00)
Price: Dinner 3,000-3,999 JPY
Source: The appearance of Warakiya/ Official website
Literally a hidden store with no signs or anything, Birdman, located in Midtown, is a yakitori izakaya. Might be difficult for first time goers but is definetly worth the search. Their yakitori using Miyazaki prefectures’free range chickens are unforgettable once you give them a try. If you go, you must order tsukune (meat ball)!
Closed on Sun
Price: 4,000-4,999 JPY
Source: The entrance of Bird Man/ Official website
Best restaurants Best Restaurants for Dates and Anniversaries
Towers in Ritz Carlton Tokyo
Restaurants inside the most luxurious hotel in Roppongi Midtown, Ritz-Carton Tokyo allow you to enjoy both Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree in one sitting alongside your meal.
Mornig： 6:30 - 11:00
Lunch： 11:30 - 14:30
Dinner： 5:30 - 22:00
Source: The interior of Towers / Official website
The Moon in Roppongi Hills
The Moon allows you to enjoy a wonderful night view alongside your French dinner. Many dishes have been made with an art and food fusion in mind to stimulate both your vision and taste.
Fri,Sat,day before holiday 25:00(C.L)
Source: The interior the Moon in Roppongi Hills/ Official website
Best unique bars in Roppongi
Tokyo has many interesting cafes such as owl cafes and rabbit cafes while Roppongi has many unique bars. Wouldn’t it be great to enjoy something a little different during your Tokyo vacation?
A bar owned by a Hacker for Hackers. You can enjoy a hacker’s programing live while drinking.
Open time:18:00-(last entrance 24:00)
Close on San and holiday.
Source: The atmosphere of Hackers Bar / enjoytokyo
Orleans - bar
A new style of bar with a foot bath to enjoy while drinking wine and cocktails. Although I have only been there once, you can also enjoy the beautiful scenery of Roppongi while in a foot bath.
Open time: 18:30-22:00
Close on Sun, Mon
Source: The interior of Orleans / Offial website
Another new style of bar created to matching men and women in pairs or groups. Men pay around 3000 to 4000 yen per hour for all you can drink and women get in for free with all you can drink.
【Fri,Sat,Day before holiday】17:00-6:00
Source: The appearance of Aisekiya / Offial mediasite
3. Viewing the best Tokyo’s Night Scenery in Roppongi
Everyone loves a beautiful view combined with night time attractions. Its great for dates, setting the mood, and tourists like maybe yourself. Being located alongside beautifully lit buildings of Roppongi, and a nice walk from the stations. Why not enjoy one of the best that Tokyo has to offer for it’s night time views from the Roppongi Hills building.
the Observation Deck in Roppongi Hills
Located inside the Roppongi Hills Building, you can get a 360 degree panoramic view of Tokyo from this observation deck. Open till 11PM making it reat for seeing the night city and sky as well. With admission for the observation deck being 1800 yen for adults and 1200 yen for students, might be a great spot to bring a date before heading to a bar or pub.
Mouri garden is a 4,300 square meters large classic Japanese garden with a long history and built as a feudal lord's estate in the Edo era. With its ponds and brooks, this is a place to wander and savor the changing scenary throughout the seasons.You can take a break here away from the city's tall buildings in Roppongi.
Source: Offial website
4. Shopping spots you must go
A sleepless city, Roppongi has you covered with its’ open 24 hours shopping spot. I’ve listed some of the best spots to go past midnight.
Donki Quijote Roppongi
Open 24 hours, Don Quixote is a huge shop located 3 minutes walking from Roppongi crossing. Great for buying gifts, food, anything you can think of. You’ll often find people drinking alcohol they bought around midnight.
Tsutaya cafe Roppongi
Tsutaya has Japan’s most famous book store, with features such as a Starbucks open until 4 AM, probably the only one open this late in the world. Other than books, you can buy stylish magazines, furniture, CD and DVDs. Great for when you want to relax at a café during your stay at a Roppongi hotel.
Source: the appearance of Tsutaya cafe Roppongi / flicker
5. Enjoying Roppongi’s Best Night Entertainment Shows
Maybe you are tired of clubbing and want to enjoy something stimulating besides talking with locals at an izakaya, why not visiting a staple for the nightlife district, night shows. You can enjoy drinks just like clubs and bars, and even a light meal while viewing something definetly only avaliable in Japan. Just like the Kabuicho Robot Cafe, these night shows can be an alternative way of spending your night. I’ll be introducing two of the most entertaining shows in Roppongi.
A boomingly popular girls dance show, which at first visit may seem like a ‘strip club’ due to the poles and Jacuzzi bars but isn’t. Unlike regular shows, girls will dance and then come to your seat, giving you a chance to talk with them one on one. Almost all of the girl dancers are huge SNS influencers with a huge fan following and you’ll be supprised at the idol like status fans put them in. Show tickets are 5400 yen with 1 free drink.
Source: the atmosophere of Barlesque / wekipediacommons
A famous cabaret show pub that has been in Roppongi since the early 1990s, offers mesmirizing performances on a neon light filled stage that changes by seasons by wonderful dancers which half are actually transgender (a very Kingyo trait to have these transgender dancers). The show is 3500 yen and you can get drinks and a light meal during the show. Recently has been quite popular on TripAdvisor and many tourists fill the seats.
Source: the atmosophere of Kingyo Roppongi / Official website
6. Eating out after drinking
After a long night of blasting your energy in the Roppongi nightlife, you gotta enjoy some great recovery midnight snacks and meals. Roppongi has many nightclubs, bars, pubs and many other night attractions it’s basically a sleepless city. So there’s a handful or restaurants that you can go to midnight or morning. I’ll be introducing some of my favorites.
Tsuru Ton Tan (Udon)
Located right across from nightclub V2 Tokyo, Tsru Ton Tan is a super famous and popular udon shop. You may be like noodles for a recovery meal? but it’s Japanese culture to eat noodles after drinking. This shop is often crowded from around 4 – 5 AM with people finishing their clubbing night but, is open until 8AM so if you went to a bar or pub after you still have plenty of time to avoid the peak hours, and get your noodles.
Source: the appearance of Tsuru Ton Tan / Official website
Located at the heart of Roppongi crossing, making it a great access point wherever you spent the night, Afuri Roppongi is a famous ramen shop. There number one ramen is the Yuzu Salt ramen which offers a refreshing meal, great for after drinking. There’s only 20 seats which is small and is often crowded with a line even at midnight. But it is totally worth the wait and might as well experience another Japanese culture of waiting in line for something delicious!
Tips to enjoy Roppongi Nightlife safely
Do not follow any staff that claim to take you to a nice night club or bar on the street
Everyone wants to enjoy the night without any trouble. A great way to mitigate this is by simply not following any staff that claim to take you to a nice night club or bar. While you are walking around the city, many people will start talking to you and a language barrier or miscommunication can lead to some unwanted trouble so just avoid it outright and you should be safe.
Do not go to bars and clubs that don't exist on the Internet
Many new bars and night clubs open especially in Roppongi but just because they are new doesn’t mean it’s great to be going there. Among these newly opened stores there could be businesses illegally run or could outright be a scam for tourists and locals. The best way to avoid all this trouble is just sticking to the popular and famous clubs, epecially the places mentioned here are great to avoid these issues. If you do find a place that isn’t listed here, make sure to do a simple Google search and at least find the store online before you go in.
Do not make trouble in clubs
Despite Roppongi night clubs bringing a majority of well matured adults, there are the occasional gang-like kids. Just be on the lookout for these kids. As well as don’t overlly get friendly with the locals after drinking, especially the ones that are really drunk. For a more detailed list of tips and tricks to have a safe and fun tokyo nightlife refer to the Tokoy Nightlife article.
Once you learn the night life of Roppongi it’s hard to go back. That is how fun and charming Roppongi area at night is. If you ever visit Tokyo, it is definetly worth coming at least once. If you’re worried going alone, you can take part in a night tour hosted by MagicalTrip where a local guide will take you and some other foreigners to a night you can never forget.