Roppongi

This district is a favorite among night-clubbers and the younger foreign crowd, and it’s not far from the New Sanno Hotel. Here you will find coffee shops, bars, discos and restaurants for people of all cultural backgrounds and tastes. Trendy people come out to liven up the area on the weekends. Yet Roppongi is not only for the party-goers. It also provides an atmosphere for people interested in culture, theater and museums. Shopping is expensive, but there are some shops that are reasonable in Roppongi. Many of the clothing store prices are based on the latest fashion trends. Most people go to Roppongi for the countless bars and restaurants that line its streets. It’s also home to American favorites such as Hard Rock Café, Tony Roma’s Ribs and Johnny Rockets.
GENERAL DIRECTIONS: It takes about 1-1.5 hours to get to Roppongi from Yokota. Take the Ome Line to Tachikawa or Tokyo. Switch, if necessary, at Tachikawa for the Chuo (orange line) for Tokyo. Get off at Yotsuya, one stop after Shinjuku. Change to the Marunouchi Line and get off at Roppongi. It’s just a 30 minute walk from the New Sanno (less if you use the subway) and 10 minutes from Hardy Barracks.
Or, if you’re leaving in the morning, catch the daily shuttle to the New Sanno Hotel. It leaves the Kanto Lodge at 9:30am and costs $8.

SIGHTSEEING

Tokyo Tower – see separate entry

SHOPPING

Aoyama Bookstore
One of the several book stores with English books is found in the Roppongi area. Aoyama Bookstore is near Almond’s and the main Roppongi intersection under the highway.
Brian Marriott 2002

Jane’s Pearls
The Wally Yonamine Pearl Company, affectionately known as Jane’s Pearls, is located on one corner of Roppongi Crossing outside Roppongi station on the Hibiya (exit 4A) and Oedo Subway Lines or about a 25 minute walk from the New Sanno Hotel (ask for a map). Jane’s carries  a selection of jewelry, with $ prices depending on the yen rate and cost of gold, ranging from inexpensive freshwater pearl bracelets to valuable larger diameter cultured pearl necklaces. If you don’t know much about pearls, Jane’s can give a detailed introduction on the different types and sources.
The popular t-shirt necklace of seed pearls, often given to young women, can be worn all year long and dressed up with a pendant, while the so-called Jodie Foster necklaces in white or yellow gold with red, blue, or green enamel spacers cost three times more due the increase in gold price. Jane’s also has opera length strands of different colored fresh water pearls which can be combined into an elegant twisted necklace.
Open 9:30am-5:30pm Monday-Saturday, closed Sundays and Japanese holidays. Look for the blue and white “pearls” sign in the entrance of the Arts Shop building, and take the small elevator to the 5th floor. Credit cards OK, janespearl.com; Tel. 033-402-4001 or 033-403-4687.

Amit Trading
While Amit has a branch at the New Sanno, their main store is on the 5th Floor of the ISO Building, next to the Softbank shop on the corner of Roppongi Crossing opposite Jane’s Pearls. While Jane’s seems to carry a larger array of designs, Amit’s is known for good prices in custom gem jewelry and traditional cultured pearl strands as well. If you know what you want or have a specific design in mind (whether for a necklace, earrings, bracelet or other accessory), check with Amit.
Open 9:30am-5:30pm weekdays, www.pearls.jp; 033-3404-3853.

Asahi Pearls
Noted in Frommer’s guides, Asahi (Shoten) Jewelry has stores within the Imperial Hotel arcade and 1st Floor of the Yurakucho Building outside Exit A-3 of the Hibiya Subway Station. While not as popular with the base crowd, Asahi also carries a selection of moderately priced pearl and gem jewelry. Open weekdays 10am-7pm, 10am-6:30pm weekends and holidays. 03-3271-6260.

Roppongi Roi Building Flea Market
The Roppongi Roi Building (near the Hard Rock Café and Spago’s) houses a flea market on the fourth Thursday and Friday of each month. It has more than 30 dealers, and the prices are said to be good. Hours?
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: From Fussa Station, take the Ome Line to Tachikawa. Change to the Chuo Line to Shinjuku. Transfer to the Yamanote Line to Ebisu. There, change to the Hibiya Line and go two stops to Roppongi. Exit the ticket turnstile and turn right. Go upstairs and turn left. On the corner across the street, you will see the Almond Cafe (large pink sign). Cross the street to the cafe, turn right at the corner and go one and one-half block. The next big corner will be the Roi Building. For more information call the Kottoichi Company at 03-3980-8228.

Author, date?

Uchida Is this store still around? It’d be nice to have an update, and an address or GPS coordinates.
For a unique shop/gallery with a wide array of art and artifacts from all over the world, visit Uchida, located in Azabu. They carry Indonesian baskets, Japanese lacquerware, clay figures, textiles from all over the world, and more. Uchida provides a showcase for a collection of art and gallery space for artists to show their work.
DIRECTIONS: Exit the Roppongi Subway Station using the Roppongi Crossing Exit. Turn down the side street to your right. Follow this street past the Swedish Center and Homeworks. Turn right at the gas station, and at the second corner, turn right again. It is only about a block from the Blue and White Store (under the New Sanno section). Hours: open daily until 7pm, except Tuesdays and the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays. Also open on holidays. Melody Hostetler, date?

RESTAURANTS

Gonpachi
This is the restaurant Quentin Tarantino used as inspiration for the Crazy 88s fight scene in the movie “Kill Bill”. It’s located in Roppongi, 1.5km from the New Sanno Hotel. This place has a beautiful modern Japanese atmosphere, good food with a variety of Japanese dishes (tempura, yakitori, soba, etc.) as well as Gonpachi’s specialties, such as house pizza, tuna tartare and Camembert/avocado tempura. Prices are reasonable.  Their website is www.gonpachi.jp/en/nishi_azabu/home/location. Reservations are taken online, via the website. The restaurant has branches in Ginza, Odaiba and Shibuya. Tel. for the Roppongi location: 03-5771-0170. Address: 1-13-11 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0031. GPS: 35.6600, 139.7234
DIRECTIONS: Take the train from Fussa Station to Ebisu, then take the Tokyo Metro to the Roppongi Station. Exit the station onto Roppongi Dori (crossing under the street) and turn left. Walk about 850 meters to the intersection of Roppongi Dori and Gaien-Nishi Dori (second major intersection). The restaurant is on the corner to your right. It is across Gaien-Nishi Dori from Zest, and diagonally across Roppongi Dori from a Hobson’s ice cream shop. Kevin Green, 2012.

Pizzakaya Roppongi
This small groovy eatery has California-style pizzas with excellent options for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. The name is a contraction of “pizza” and “izikaya,” a casual Japanese pub. The atmosphere is relaxed and retro, and the selection of American craft beers is excellent. You’ll fee like you’re in Santa Cruz again, though the prices (¥2100 for a medium 10-inch pizza) will remind you that this is still Tokyo. The two-person set for ¥4725 seems like a good deal. The menu includes big salads and pasta. It’s convenient to the New Sanno, and they do deliver. English menu and English-speaking staff. Hours: Lunch: Mon-Sat, 11:30am-2:00pm (Except Japanese national holidays). Dinner: 5-10:30pm (-9:30pm Sundays) Address: Dai-ichi Koyama Building 2F, 3-1-19 Nishi Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0031. Tel: 03-3479-8383. GPS: 35.6605, 139.7266.
Directions from Roppongi Station: Take Exit 1C (Hibiya Line, Oedo Line), turn left and walk away from the Roppongi Intersection, towards Roppongi Hills. After Roppongi Hills you will come to the intersection of Roppongi and TV Asahi streets. Cross the street and keep going about 100 meters toward the Nishi Azabu Intersection until you reach a restaurant called “Charleston Cafe Oriental.” Pizzakaya is on the second floor of the next building. There’s a sign out on the street. It is about a seven-minute walk.
Directions from New Sanno Hotel: It’s a 1.8km walk. Turn right out of the hotel and right again at the next major road, which has a pedestrian bridge overhead. Walk up hill, passing the Hiroo Metro stop. Keep going along this road until you get to Roppongi Dori, which has an elevated expressway down the middle. Turn right on Roppongi Dori and go about 300 meters, until you see the blue-trimmed Papasu Pharmacy. Pizzakaya is in the next building, on the second floor. If you get to a dark building with the sign “Charleston Cafe Oriental” you’ve gone a few steps too far. Liz Ruskin, 2012.

New Sanno to Pizzakaya, on foot

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Hard Rock Café

The Hard Rock Café in Tokyo is like any other Hard Rock. Americans and others fill the place, listening to classic rock and viewing paraphernalia donated by some of America’s best music artists. Food selections are also the same. Starters range from homemade soup (¥600) to pizza (¥1400)). Salad and sandwich choices include chef, chicken, and fruit/avocado salads, HRC Sandwich, BLT, and the awesome California Club (¥1,300-1,600). Last, but not least, for the “American palate,” there is the charbroiled burger, cheeseburger, bacon cheeseburger, and Mt. Fuji Double Burger (¥l,400-2,000). Desserts are plentiful: Apple pie, devil’s food cake, brownies, Key lime pie, N.Y. Cheesecake, etc. The servers speak English, and there is no dress code. Address: 5-4-20 Roppongi MinatoKu, Tokyo 106.
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Pay parking is available, but it is easy to go by train. From Fussa Station, take the train toward Tokyo. Change trains at Shinjuku Station and get on the Yamanote line (lime green) to Ebisu (four stops). Exit and to the right will be the subway station. Take the Hibiya line two stops to Roppongi and exit from Exit 3. Turn left out of the station and cross the street to your right. Turn left. Turn right after the Almond Restaurant (pink and white canopy-also on the right). You should see Tokyo Tower straight ahead. Follow this road until you see a McDonalds on your right. Turn right directly past it and Hard Rock Café /Tony Roma’s is ahead of you. If you get lost, ask. Hard Rock is well known. Hours: 11:30 am – 2:00 am (Monday-Thursday), 4:00 am (Friday-Saturday), and 11:30 pm (Sundays and holidays). Tel: 03-3408-7018 Karen Ozment, Delores Street, date?

Tony Roma’s
Located in the bottom half of the Hard Rock Café building, this one is also an international classic. It attracts a more business-like crowd so most people are dressed in work attire (as in no shorts). Specializing in ribs, Tony Roma’s charcoal broils them and adds barbecue sauce to make them as tender as anything Memphis has to offer. Order the onion rings for ¥780. They are absolutely mouthwatering and feed 3-5 people. Other appetizers include fried cheese, shrimp tail fingers, cold fresh asparagus and country pork sausage with dijon mustard, all for ¥980. Salads include seafood, Mesa Verde, garden, Cobb, and Santa Fe, ranging from ¥650-1,450. Tony Roma’s original barbecued baby ribs come in regular (¥2,750) and large (¥3,980) sizes. Combination plates with barbecued chicken, grilled swordfish, steamed lobster, steamed lobster tail, grilled lamb, grilled steak or grilled scallop brochette are also available, ranging from ¥2,080-2,980. Seafood entrees include lobster, Spanish shrimp, swordfish, salmon, rainbow trout, and a combination platter. Meat selections include charbroiled N.Y. cut sirloin steak (¥2,880), barbecued chicken (¥1,780), grilled lamb chops (¥2,080), London broil (¥2,180), and Roma burger (starts at ¥l,380).
DIRECTIONS: follow the directions to Hard Rock Café (above). Tony Roma’s is on the first floor of the same building. Hours: 5-11:00pm, last order at 10:30pm. Telephone: 03-3408-2748 Karen Ozment, date?

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