During my stay in Tokyo, I had the chance to go to Roppongi, Tokyo’s most famous bar district, packed with night clubs, restaurants, and many foreign travelers. I asked one of my older students what they thought of the area, and they reluctantly replied “it’s not like Japan”! Roppongi has the reputation of being dangerous due to some of the crimes that occur in shady hostess clubs, but is relatively safe if you stick to the well-lit foreigner-friendly bars near the station. Though I initially traveled there alone, I felt safe the entire time and was treated politely by all of the bartenders and staff. During the day I had the opportunity to visit the upscale Ark Hills area for a business meeting, and I night I wandered through Tokyo Midtown to see the winter illuminations. Unfortunately, the National Art Center of Tokyo was closed for the holidays, but I was able to explore a lot of the town (including window art displays) and even catch a glimpse of Konami HQ. I also ate sushi at the Roppongi Hills shopping center, which was surprisingly inexpensive and tasted out of this world.
Two of the bars I checked out were Havana Cafe, which was a cute Hawaiian bar that sold piña coladas and frozen drinks, and a dance club that featured a 1000 yen all-you-can-drink happy hour called Jumanji 55 (also known as OOH YEAH). Both were amazing experiences. I ordered 2 frozen drinks at the Havana and then took full advantage of the happy hour at Jumanji. I was impressed with their “happy hour” menu because it included White Russians and Malibu Milk, two of my all time favorite drinks that usually cost 600-700 yen at most cocktail bars. Though some of Roppongi is upscale, you can definitely get your money’s worth if you plan ahead. Though barhopping is a lot of fun too! I met a bunch of really great people that eventually led me to Geronimo Shot Bar, which, as the name implies, was an experience in itself. There I met even more party people and ended up doing a bunch of Baileys shots. I ended up missing the last train and staying out all night, but the experience was beyond worth it.
I had previously traveled to Roppongi during my study abroad trip in 2013, and fell in love with the exciting and high energy atmosphere. Roppongi was one of my first drinking and nightlife experiences so it will always have a special place in my heart. Not to mention it also has a lot of awesome shops, including a pet shop and a mini aquarium outside of Don Quixote. The people that you meet at the clubs are some of the most interesting I’ve encountered since they travel from all of the world. I will definitely be back for more crazy adventures in the future!