There’s something about the word “Roppongi” which makes most expats in Tokyo shudder. It’s notoriety as a roaring, rowdy night spot is a reputation you approve of when you’ve had a beer or two and deplore when you’re sprawled on the pavement the next morning hoping you wont add any unwanted decoration to the pavement.
The Roppongi Hills Public Art and Design Project has seen to it that no more decoration is required here. Dotted around outside the glamourous Hills building (famous for the Mori art museum and high class boutiques) lie giant, endearingly haphazard sculptures which are spectacles worthy of tourist attention in themselves.
I’d recommend going at night when the backdrop of the office-light stars help create a perfectly melodramatic mood for viewing the giant spider, who rests his spindly, monstrous legs over one of the entrances of the Hills. Behind this, an enormous rose emerges from the ground, reminiscent of something from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
The fantasy world of art and sculpture follows this theme of random bursts of creativity through to the street outside. Rather than sit on a traditional wooden, plastic, or often as the case may be, no bench at all, the public seating areas surrounding the hills have also been transformed with a pinch of imagination. Choose from a giant ice cube, an ice chair, modern white and black seating pebbles or a marble sofa.
Morning or night, pavement or majestic marble couch, Roppongi is designed with going out in style in mind.
Google map: bit.ly/Tc6ERx
* Hollie is our Been there local for Tokyo. You can check out her profile here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/tokyo-local-hollie-mantle.jsp and follow her tips here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/HollieMantle
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