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What's 'ZERO ROPPONGI' – And How Is It Making Sightseeing Safer In Roppongi?

What's 'ZERO ROPPONGI' – And How Is It Making Sightseeing Safer In Roppongi?

Date published: 30 November 2021

Roppongi is one of Japan's most famous and popular tourism spots, an entertainment district that "never sleeps." But despite its spectrum of sightseeing attractions, it has a certain reputation that might scare off more timid visitors. But did you know that Roppongi's reputation is undergoing a change? The entire district is undertaking measures to better uphold rules, aiming to make it a safer place and somewhere easy to visit. Here, we'll go over the rules for having fun safely in Roppongi, and the new initiatives underway by the people of Roppongi.

Many businesses are pitching in to create a Roppongi without rule breakers

Roppongi is an attractive and culturally diverse area. But that same diversity means many people gather and bring various problems, such as littering, discarding cigarette stubs, and illegal activities. To combat this, Roppongi's residents, businesses, and administrators worked together to form the unique “Roppongi Charter for Safety & Peace of Mind” in 2013, and are working towards bringing rule breakers down to zero, collectively known as the “ZERO ROPPONGI” initiative. Many businesses in the area are cooperating in this initiatve, and Roppongi's collective act has gotten cleaner.

Keep reading to learn how ZERO ROPPONGI can help you enjoy Roppongi safely and how to avoid becoming a rule breaker yourself.

The “concept” behind ZERO ROPPONGI

The “concept” behind ZERO ROPPONGI

The Roppongi Charter for Safety & Peace of Mind contains the following five rules. The desire to create a Roppongi with no rule breakers gave rise to the term “ZERO ROPPONGI”

1. We Will Prevent Crime
2. Creating a Beautiful Neighborhood
3. We Follow the Rules When Smoking
4. We Make Our Streets Safe and Secure
5. Try to Operate Our Businesses Without Causing Trouble to Neighbors

These rules are meant to help all visitors to Roppongi feel safe and secure, and many of Roppongi's businesses uphold this charter, as “Businesses Supporting the Roppongi Charter for Safety & Peace of Mind.” We visited some of these businesses to find out how exactly they're doing their part.

Left: Mr. Okada, Owner of atelier.co (hair salon). / Right: Mr. Asgari, Representative of El Cafe Latino (Latin bar).

Okada: "I was a heavy smoker myself, actually. But I knew some people disliked the lingering smell of cigarettes in the elevator, so I gave them up. There are still some people who like to sit down with a cigarette in hair salons, but I let them know about the designated smoking spots in Roppongi and ask them to not smoke in the streets."

Asgari: "Roppongi has a fun and multinational atmosphere, but there are still people who cause trouble by smoking outside. We prepared a smoking room in our establishment that helps prevent smoking on the street, and we keep the area around the store clean and discourage the discarding of used cigarettes."

Left: Mr. Nomura, Chef at “shojin SOUGO” (buddhist cuisine restaurant). / Right: Ms. Nagano of SILIN Fuan Long Yuen (Cantonese restaurant).

Nomura: "We do our best to keep our restaurant entrance clean and the nearby street as well. We participate in garbage cleanup with the members of Roppongi Shotengai, and regularly go out to clean up our town. We hope to make it so that Roppongi is a nice place to stroll around at any time of the day."

Nagano: "The Tokyo Midtown area is active about cleaning, and it's especially clean these days. Now it's a pleasant place to be for both customers and staff. I always make sure, as an establishment, and even in my own life, that we're not leaving garbage lying around outside and that we follow other rules just as much."

Left: Mr. Hishinuma, Chef at restaurant hishinuma. / Right: Mr. Harada, Owner of Nogizaka Maruhikoramen (ramen restaurant).

Hishinuma: "COVID-19 has also been a factor, but late-night and early-morning drinking outside have decreased since the Roppongi Charter for Safety & Peace of Mind was established. Even now that COVID-19 has subsided and people are returning, I hope to keep things in order so that people can enjoy visiting Roppongi without worry."

Harada: "We call out to people drinking and groups of loiterers. We warn them and have them understand the need to mind their language as much as possible. Tasks that serve to improve my beloved Roppongi are another part of my job. I think we'll be able to make it a safer district if we can get every single person to do things like this."

Left: Mr. Naraki, General Manager of Hard Rock Cafe Tokyo (American restaurant). / Right: Ms. Usami, Employee at Padi's Tokyo (West African restaurant).

Naraki: "To get rid of the cigarette butts, scraps of paper, and other garbage, we clean the area around our cafe every day. We work with a broad vision so that Roppongi becomes cleaner as a whole."

Usami: "We make a point of calling out to people we see breaking the rules. And to make this diverse district a safe place without rule breaking, we interact with our customers knowing we are not an exception to the rules."

Left: Mr. Ishiyama, Manager of V2 TOKYO (night club). / Right: Mr. Inoue, Manager of Roppongi Inakaya East Shop (teppanyaki restaurant).

Ishiyama: "We alert patrols any time we see touters trying to pull in customers. And if there are any places behaving like that, as establishments, we warn each other to prevent it from happening. We do not use touters to get customers, of course, and we have an agreement with nearby establishments so they won’t do it either."

Inoue: "Naturally, we do not use touters to pull in customers. In addition, we check outside for disturbances and make sure people aren't being subjected to touting each time a customer comes in. Our consistent monitoring and other measures helps keep the peace in our area."

Have a safe and secure time in a Roppongi with zero rule breakers

Have a safe and secure time in a Roppongi with zero rule breakers

Even people who think that Roppongi is a “little scary” are perhaps starting to come around. Roppongi is bringing businesses and government together to make it a safe and secure place. Why not visit the attractive Roppongi area and see how its continually evolving into a clean place to be? Choose establishments that follow the ZERO ROPPONGI rules while upholding the rules yourself—and have a good time in Roppongi!

Businesses cooperating with this article

Address:Claxheim Roppongi 204, 3-4-15, Minato City, Tokyo 106-0032
TEL: 03-6809-6196

El Cafe Latino
Address:WIN Roppongi 1F/2F, 3-15-24 Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo 106-0032
TEL: 03-3402-8989

shojin SOUGO
Address:Roppongi Green Building 3F, 6-1-8 Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo 106-0032
TEL: 03-5414-1133

SILIN Fuan Long Yuen
Address:Tokyo Midtown Galleria Garden Terrace 2F, 9-7-4 Akasaka, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0052
TEL: 03-5413-0088

restaurant hishinuma
Address:AXIS Building B1F, 5-17-1 Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo 106-0032
TEL: 03-3568-6588

Nogizaka Maruhikoramen
Grand Maison Nogizaka B1F, 1-15-19 Minami Aoyama, Address:Minato City, Tokyo 107-0062
TEL: 03-3796-0888

Hard Rock Cafe Tokyo
Address:5-4-20 Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo 106-0032
TEL: 03-3408-7018

Padi's Tokyo
Address:Koda Building 5F, 3-13-10 Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo 106-0032
TEL: 03-6698-9001

Address:TOWER OF VABEL, 7-13-7 Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo 106-0032
TEL: 03-5474-0091

Roppongi Inakaya East Shop
Address:Arrow Building 1F, Roppongi 3-14-7, Minato City, Tokyo 106-0032
TEL: 03-3408-5040

*Interviews were conducted while strictly following provisions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Masks were removed only during photography.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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