We were looking at the map of Tokyo, trying to single out the districts that I haven’t covered. One of the more touristy district that I haven’t properly visited is Roppongi. The district is famous among foreigners. It’s more ‘international’ in a sense and is also Tokyo’s hub for high fashion, gourmet, arts and nightlife.
Reza wasn’t too keen on bringing me to the area, for it is famous for its pimps. If there’s one thing you should avoid at Roppongi, it’s eye contact with pimps who are waiting to lure people into their clubs. If you’re pulled in, a couple of victims have testified that these pimps would offer a ‘companion’ throughout the night and then charge excessively as one leaves. Because the area has a lot of foreigners, too, it is regarded as less safe than other areas in Tokyo — so hold on tightly to your wallets!
We went to Roppongi Hills, an urban integrated development constructed by a Japanese tycoon, involving state-of-the-art office buildings, a shopping mall, hotel, residential suites and and parks, all in one place. Here, you don’t have to worry about pimps.
A posh building mainly occupied as office spaces, but the lower ground hosts a couple of fancy retail outlets and cafes. There’s a good observatory here for those who wish to see the skyline of Tokyo and also the Mori Art Museum. A One Piece exhibition was taking place at the time — there were posters of it everywhere near the station. My brother would have really loved that! Reza and I aren’t big fans, so we decided to go round the area instead.
We noticed a really small and pleasant garden with a mini gazebo. Since Roppongi is located near the Tokyo Tower, the deck had a great view of it!
Also saw the Maman, the bronze spider statute, one of the few in the world.
After going round the Hill Side and the West Walk (I’d liken the vibe of the mall to The Gardens), we decided to go to Starbucks to have ice chocolate and a long debate session ensued. Something I noticed — the Starbucks customers in Malaysia are usually chilling out with their laptops and utilizing the free WiFi provided, but there’s no such thing in Japan! Their mobile plans provide superfast and unlimited data. Hence, they depend highly on their phones instead, chatting with friends while tapping on their phones every now and then.
Once we were done with the ice chocolate, we didn’t know what else to do and headed back to Akihabara. Except for the shops, observatory, exhibitions or cinema, I suppose there aren’t a lot of things you can really do at here unless nightlife is part of the plan. All in all, Roppongi is still a place worth visiting… just because it’s Roppongi!