The Roppongi District

The Roppongi District

Roppongi belongs to Minato District. It is especially known for the Roppongi hills (where the Mori Tower rises, a skyscraper overlooking the area), for its numerous nightclubs and for being a destination for many Western tourists and immigrants, although most visitors are Japanese. The name "Roppongi", first used since 1660, literally means "six trees". Legend has it that the name is due to the fact that during the Edo period, six daimyō lived in the area, whose name was kanji (ideogram) containing the word "tree". Roppongi was not too populated before the Meiji period, although the area was a place of trade for centuries, chosen in 1626 to cremate the wife of the shogun Tokugawa Hidetada.

In World War II, the district was again destroyed by air strikes. Today the district includes numerous bars, nightclubs, restaurants and other forms of entertainment. In the past, it was known that Roppongi was a district under the strong control of the yakuza (Japanese mafia), which took care of the surrounding affairs, management and ownership of clubs and bars. However, although it still exerts some influence, the yakuza has recently moved from Roppongi to other areas of Tokyo.

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