Roppongi Housing Guide

Living in Roppongi

Famous for its iconic nightlife scene and more recently the upmarket Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown mega-complexes. Home to many foreigners living in a microcosm of Tokyo's many urban delights.

Details

Highlights
A foreigner-friendly neighborhood historically famous for its nightlife and more recently high-end shopping, dining, entertainment and art museums.
Trainline(s)
Roppongi Station on the Hibiya and Oedo Subway Lines
Roppongi Itchome Station on the Namboku Subway Line
Access
10-min direct ride to Shinjuku on the Oedo Subway Line
15-min ride to Tokyo Station, with one transfer

Surrounded by the foreign embassy and ex-pat dense neighborhoods of Azabu to the south and Akasaka to the north, Roppongi is a district famous for  its iconic nightlife scene and more recently the upmarket Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown mega-complexes.

Roppongi is a unique mix of down-market and up-market.

This is where locals and foreigners go to party the night away, but it is also home to Tokyo’s most luxurious urban re-development projects and some of the city’s most expensive residential real estate.

Hundreds of foreigner-friendly bars, clubs, and restaurants are packed into several hectic square blocks roughly bordered by the upscale developments of Roppongi Hills to the west, Tokyo Midtown to the north, and the ARK Hills buildings and the Tokyo Metro Namboku subway line to the east.

Roppongi’s association with the international community began after WWII when the US military and Allied government officials occupied a number of facilities in the neighborhood.

Starting in the late 1960s, Roppongi became a hub for Tokyo’s entertainment elite and both Japanese and foreigners flocked to the area for its night scene; and its reputation as a foreigner-friendly area grew as many embassies and headquarters of international corporations were established in the area.

When the bubble burst in the late 1980s many of Roppongi’s small clubs and restaurants were forced to shut down.

roppongi-club

One face of Roppongi is the iconic club and bar scene.

Roppongi’s character changed significantly starting in the early 2000s when the Izumi Garden Tower and Roppongi Hills complexes were completed in 2002 and 2003, respectively. These developments brought high-end office and condominium space to Roppongi for the first time.

Another face of Roppongi: The Roppongi Hills complex

The newer face of Roppongi is symbolized by the Roppongi Hills complex, an expansive (27-acre [100,000-sqm+]) development that includes the offices of many top-tier international companies, an art museum, a cinema, scores of luxury retail shops and marquee restaurants, and a direct connection to Roppongi Station. Photo: find-travel.jp

Roppongi has also developed a reputation as a cultural center. The National Art Center is Japan’s largest art museum, and together with Roppongi Hills’ Mori Art Museum and Tokyo Midtown’s Suntory Museum of Art form the Art Triangle Roppongi.

The National Art Center in Tokyo. Photo: Wikimedia

The National Art Center in Roppongi, Tokyo. Photo: Wikimedia

These complexes, along with Tokyo Midtown, which opened in 2006, has changed the face of Roppongi from not just a nighttime entertainment district but to an upmarket retail, leisure and residential neighborhood that is home to some of the city’s top international companies.

Average Rent in Roppongi

Given its central location and the attractions of Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown, Roppongi is a highly desirable place to live among both locals and ex-patriates. This is reflected in the average rent level in the neighborhood.

According to HOME’S, the average rent for an apartment near Roppongi (as of October 2016) is:

  • Studio (1R, 1K, 1DK): ¥136,100 ($1,361 @ 100 JPY = 1 USD)
  • 1BR to 2BR (1LDK, 2K, 2DK):  ¥241,000 ($2,410)
  • 2BR to 3BR (2LDK, 3K, 3DK):  ¥428,000 ($4,280)
  • 3BR to 4BR (3LDK, 4K, 4DK):  ¥477,500 ($4,775)

Roppongi “Super” Budget Apartments

Relatively high average rent in Roppongi does not mean that budget housing options cannot be found here.

If you want to be live in Ropongi on a limited budget, you can, if you are willing to make do with relatively spartan accommodations. Shared apartments and guesthouses in the area, for example, can be had for under ¥50,000 ($500) a month.

Please see our listing pages for budget Roppongi apartments.

Guesthouses are a budget-friendly way to live in Roppongi. You give up a little privacy for being able to live in an excellent location.

Guesthouses are a budget-friendly way to live in Roppongi. You give up a little privacy for being able to live in an excellent location. This is a shared bedroom in the XRoss House located in Moto Azabu, about a 15-minute walk from Roppongi. Monthly rent is ¥36,000 ($360) a month for a bunk room. Please click on the photo for the full listing.

Roppongi Apartments For Rent: Mid-Range

There are more options available in the ¥60,000 to ¥100,000 ($600 to $1000) a month range, but as detailed above, this budget would still be under the average rent for a studio apartment near Roppongi.

In this price range, you will be looking at smaller (around 15-sqm) studio apartments or even larger (between 20- and 25-sqm) units in older buildings. Some of these units will have been renovated, so it is often worth taking a look at the apartment itself and to not rely completely on the age of the building.

Also, you may find that landlords have no compunction about charging “key money” even for smaller, older apartments in Roppongi because of the desirability of the neighborhood.

Please listings for mid-range Roppongi apartments.

Example of a studio apartment for rent in Roppongi.

Example of a mid-range studio apartment for rent in Roppongi. This is a 26.62-sqm apartment for rent, 10-min walk from Roppongi Station on the Hibiya Line. Rent is ¥90,000 a month, with 1 month deposit, 1 month key money, 1 month agency fee. Please click on the photo for the full listing.

Roppongi Apartments: Upper-Middle Range

In Tokyo, apartments renting between ¥100,000 and ¥200,000 ($1,000 to $2,000) are generally considered mid-range to upper-mid range, but as the average rent for a studio apartment in Roppongi is ¥136,100, it makes sense to adjust expectations accordingly when looking at apartments in Roppongi.

In general, in this price range, you will see listings for larger studio and 1-bedroom apartments in relatively newer buildings, built with higher quality materials and facilities, especially if your budget is at least ¥150,000.

Please see listings for upper-mid range Roppongi apartments here.

studio-apartment-for-rent-roppongi-tokyo

This is an example of an upper-mid range apartment for rent in Roppongi. This is a 29.2-sqm (314-sqft) studio apartment for rent, on the 9th floor of a ten-story building. It is located 3-min from Roppongi Station on the Hibiya Line. Rent is ¥200,000 a month, with a 2-month deposit and 1-month agency fee. Please click on the photo for the full listing.

Luxury Roppongi Apartments

Generally, rental apartments in Tokyo are considered high-end if they rent for ¥200,000 ($2,000 @ 1USD = 100 JPY) a month or above.

Because the rental market in Roppongi is skewed to the high-end, the upper limit of what landlords charge for rent in Roppongi may seem astronomical, but keep in mind that these apartments are, in fact, in demand by tenants who can afford apartments in the ¥1 million ($10,000) and above range.

This is especially true of apartments in flagship buildings, such as the Roppongi Hills Residence development.

As of the post date of this article, the listing with the highest rent in Roppongi in Real Estate Japan’s database is a 4-bedroom apartment in the Roppongi Hills Residence C Tower. This apartment rents for ¥3,380,000 ($32,500) a month. See the full listing for this apartment here.

roppongi-hills-residence-c-building

The Roppongi Hills Residence C Tower is considered by many Tokyoites to be the premier place to live and work in the city because of its many amenities, including, of course, its location in the Roppongi Hills Complex. A 4-bedroom apartment on the 40th floor of this 45-story luxury condo tower rents for about $32,500 a month. Please click on the photo for the full listing.

See listings for luxury Roppongi apartments.

Roppongi Hills Residence

A guide to living in Roppongi would not be complete without a special mention of the Roppongi Hills Residences, located in the Roppongi Hills complex. The residences consist of four buildings. Residences A and B have apartments that are sometimes available on the “for sale” market. Residence C is only for rent, and Residence D is a serviced apartment complex.

The famous 10-meter high bronze spider "Maman" sculpture in Roppongi Hills.

The famous 10-meter high bronze spider “Maman” sculpture in Roppongi Hills. About half of the area of Roppongi Hills consists of gardens, pavilions, and other open spaces. The Mori Garden, an elaborate and authentic Japanese garden complete with a pond and trees has proven popular with both residents and visitors.

Some of the amenities available to residents of the Roppongi Hills Residence C Tower include 24-hour bilingual concierge staff, a doorman, porter, access to the Roppongi Hills Spa and gym, in-house doctor, sky lounge, rooftop gardens and guest suites.

Buying an Apartment in Roppongi

Properties for sale in Roppongi range from luxury apartments in newer high-end developments to re-sale renovated and un-renovated condominiums in older buildings and investment-income studio apartments.

Below are examples of the kinds of apartments currently on the market in Roppongi.

Luxury Apartments For Sale in Roppongi

This is a brand new (2016) 138-sqm (1,485-sqft) 2-bedroom apartment for sale in the Foretseine Akasaka Hinokizaka building. List price is ¥410 million ($3.95 million). Please click on the photo to see the full listing.

This is a brand new (2016) 138-sqm (1,485-sqft) 2-bedroom apartment for sale in the Foretseine Akasaka Hinokizaka building. List price is ¥410 million ($3.95 million). Please click on the photo to see the full listing, including many more photos.

Apartments For Sale in Roppongi

Example of a renovated apartment for sale in an older building. This is a 4-sqm 1-bedroom apartment for sale in an older (1970) building. List price is ¥33,490,000 ($322,700). Please click on the photo for the full listing.

Example of a renovated apartment for sale in an older building. This is a 4-sqm 1-bedroom apartment for sale in an older (1970) building. List price is ¥33,490,000 ($322,700). Please click on the photo for the full listing.

Investment Properties For Sale in Roppongi

This is an example of a income-producing investment property for sale in Roppongi. An 18-sqm studio apartment in this building is being offered "for sale" for ¥12.5 million ($120,500). Estimated gross yield is 6.7%. Please click on the photo for the full listing.

This is an example of a income-producing investment property for sale in Roppongi. An 18-sqm studio apartment in this building is being offered “for sale” for ¥12.5 million ($120,500). Estimated gross yield is 6.7%. Please click on the photo for the full listing.

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