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Roppongi and Azabu Juban
During much of the last decade of the 20th century, Roppongi was a better-heeled, better-behaved version of Shinjuku or Shibuya, without the shopping: not much happens by day, but by night the area is an irresistible draw for young clubbers with foreign sports cars and wads of disposable income. Today, this area has become an entertainment capital, attracting tourists to its bustling bar, restaurant, and nightclub scenes; English is spoken at most restaurants and shops.
Ritzy developments like Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown have revitalized the area. However, since opening in 2003, the loss of some of its high-rolling tenants—the now-defunct Lehman Brothers Japan and tech company Livedoor, founded by disgraced renegade businessman Takafumi Horie—has taken a bit of the shine off Mori Tower, the main building in Roppongi Hills. Tokyo Midtown, which was completed in 2007, is home to the headquarters of Cisco Japan, FujiFilm, and game maker Konami. Further separating Roppongi from its wild ways is "Art Triangle Roppongi," a promotion campaign for three of the area's museums: the National Art Center, Tokyo; Mori Art Museum; and Suntory Museum of Art.
Azabu Juban is a prestigious residential district with many embassies in Minato-ku. Before the fire raids of 1945, Azabu Juban, like Roppongi, was a famous entertainment district with department stores, a red-light quarter, and theaters. The fires destroyed the entire neighborhood, and it was reborn as a residential area. Though the apartments may be small, this is one of the most expensive areas of the city and many celebrities, artists, and businesspeople reside here.
Roppongi and Azabu Juban at a Glance
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Elsewhere in Tokyo
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- Aoyama, Harajuku, and Shibuya
- Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
- Greater Tokyo
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