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Roppongi Nowadays


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Dec 13, 2013
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Having been out of Japan for some time now, though before intimately familiar with it and I go back regularly, have been hearing all kinds of things about Roppongi.

Spiked drinks, dangerous Russians, less Nigerians - is there any reason to go to Roppongi anymore?
When were you here in Japan? Which years? The entertainment business fell like a vertical cliff after the World economical crisis. Roppongi as I knew it in early 2000s used to be full of events with music-oriented clubs, the clubs that remain these days are drinks money ripp-offs only. The times when people used to publish their phone numbers through Metropolis are gone (too many pranks), now their ads are a total frustration. Which is the Roppongi that you knew?
The Roppongi of legend was back in the 80s and 90s. The 90s appears to be the peak of wild times. That's when you went to clubs and hooked up for first night sex. Lots of alcohol, ecstasy, marijuana, etc... behind the scenes. High school girls getting banged and even paid. Sex outside, on rooftops, on stairs, in club bathrooms, etc...

In the 2000s, Roppongi started slowly dying. But 2000 to 2007 still had plenty of wild times (with 2000 to 2003 being wilder). Not quite the wild crazy times of the 90s, but still kind of wild and crazy. Lots of stories from this time period. Wild Russians and Eastern European women, Brazilians, Swinger sex orgies, still lots of wild sex, Pride (MMA) fighters walking the streets of Roppongi, partying hard until 11AM in the morning or just not stopping for days, etc... The election of Governor Ishihara, particularly his 1st re-election would be the harbinger of bad times and bad days for Tokyo. Nutty right-wing racism and anti-foreigner propaganda gets a firm foothold and goes more mainstream over time.

2008 is when things hit the toilet. Markets were crashing everywhere, jobs with crazy salaries and fat cat expense accounts started to dry up too. As the money went, the international flavor started to die, and people started leaving. Also the anti-foreigner and racist policies of right-wing Governor Ishihara stated to take it's toll even more with immigration crack downs and restrictions... Things were coming down, but during 2008, everything came tumbling down hard. 2008 also marked the rise of Roppongi scam artists. They were always there, but they became worse than ever. The rise of the skinny Japanese metro-sexual and ambiguously gay guys...

2011, Fukushima and the Earthquake. Roppongi night life nosed dived and became total shit. Roppongi becomes anti-sexual. Wild adventurous and passionate sex dies. Now, all about your money. Scams of every kind become even more prevalent. Right wing anti-foreigner Japanese propaganda dominates the minds of many Japanese, but on the flip, the world is more international and interconnected than ever. So a kind of double-mindedness permeates. Roppongi becomes a rip-off town. All about scams, ripping off, cheating, lying.... Not worth it at all. All the smart pickup artists, with a clue, stop hitting the clubs and start hitting the streets (where the experts were always at). Girls scamming guys for drinks, not hot sex, becomes the new Roppongi game in town. Japanese women in lesbian-like groups become more prevalent in the clubs. The rise of the sneakier, ambiguously gay, and non-sexual younger Japanese generation becomes more prevalent. Brown and yellow hair dye among Japanese a big hit.

Present- Roppongi is totally shit. The Tokyo club scene in general is dead. The small fires of the old days and old ways burn in the hearts of the older wise cats who play among the disaster and still find entertainment. Some exciting times can be had, but you must now be or become really good at finding them. Adapting a more pickup artist type style is what works in the city now. Especially with the sneakier, quasi-conservative, public image conscious, and ambiguous younger generation. You have to find it and make it happen, not expect to walk into a club full of it.
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I've been partying/playing there regularly since 1990 and generally agree with Solong's "Brief History of Roppongi", though it is necessarily (given its length) simplified and generalized, that is pretty much my impression of the way it went down too. I'd be a bit less negative about the last decade and the present than your/Solong's perspective, but then I'm a glass half-full type of guy.

I remember my first time to Roppongi was back in 2001 and I barley turned 17. It was a great time to hang out at places like Velfarre that closed down in 2006. A lot of the older fellas told me it was totally awesome back in the 80s and someone like me would have fit in that scene perfectly.
What a coincidence, 2001 was my first clubbing year too since that was when I turned 21. How did you get to Velfarre with just 17? The club closed but every year, the DJs of those days make an "ENCORE" at club Ageha in Shin-Kiba playing all hits. Last year the party gathered 5.000 people :joyful:. They promised they would return... Im still waiting... a lot of ravers were asking for Velfarre to come back, you sould have seen our nostalgic-cries.
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Let's say I made some friends and they got me in when I was getting into para para back in 01
It's perfectly safe in Raponggi, unless you're associated with yakuza or you follow a sleazy-looking guy/gal on the street into some joint. Yes, there have been instances of drinks being spiked and credit cards being compromised but such things are not nearly as common as you read about online. If the place is crowded and there are a lot of men and women there having a good time, then you'll be OK. 99% of the establishments are legit.

Parts of Roppongi did sort of look like King's Cross, especially the parts where the illegal immigrants frequent and try to make some money. The shopping malls are nice. Bars are like other bars no matter what country you go to.

Tokyo Midtown is a really nice mall actually. Still, I wouldn't specifically go to Roppongi just to see a shopping mall. If you are going around Christmas, Tokyo Midtown and Roppongi Hills both have really nice
In the 1980s there were few foreigners in town apart from the USA military. It was enough to be a white guy to have a reasonably good chance of picking up a decent looking piece of ass for the night.

These days you have to be very lucky. Competition is tough. Even the young dudes struggle. In some ways its not even worth trying. By just hanging in the bars you can still have a good time though if you got the stamina to hang until 6:00 AM. NOthing really gets going till after 11 PM or l8r