Close this search box.

The Unseen Side of Tokyo: A Guide to Toranomon Hills

When you think of Tokyo, images of bustling areas like Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ginza often come to mind. However, nestled in the heart of the city lies a hidden gem that’s slowly emerging from its cocoon – the Toranomon Hills area.

Known primarily as a business district full of skyscrapers that house giants like Disney, Netflix, and Facebook, it’s not your typical tourist hotspot. But, as I discovered during my exploration, there’s more to Toranomon Hills than meets the eye.

Table of Contents

Toranomon Hills Statue

The Transformation of Toranomon Hills

Recently, the area has undergone significant redevelopment. New buildings, cafes, and restaurants are springing up, adding a vibrant layer to its business-centric persona. Situated in central Tokyo, Toranomon Hills offers excellent connectivity to other intriguing parts of the city, such as Shimbashi, known for its lively nightlife, and the iconic Tokyo Tower, just a short walk away.
Toranomon Hills Streets

I love how the area has this modern feel, but still has so much greenery around. Also, fun fact! Did you know that Toranomon means Tiger Gate?

Toranomon Hills Greenery

Mori Toranomon Hills

At the heart of Toranomon Hills is the Mori Toranomon Hills complex. This includes the residential tower, the business tower, and the Mori Tower, with the newly opened Station Tower adding to its skyline. Staying at the Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills inside the Mori Tower, I got a real sense of the area’s pulse.
Toranomon Hills Lights
The lower floors of the Mori Tower are a haven for food enthusiasts, with a variety of restaurants and coffee shops. The Toranomon Hills Cafe, near this intriguing statue in a quaint park, is one of my favorites. At night, the area transforms, with lights creating a magical ambiance around the gardens and statues.
Toranomon Hills Station Tower
Underneath the Station Tower lies the Toranomon Hills subway station, making the area highly accessible. The tower itself hosts a food court with diverse culinary options, cafes, and unique art installations, including Tokyo Node, a futuristic art experience.

Historical Enclaves Amidst Skyscrapers

Going for a walk around the area, I stumbled upon the Atago Jinja Shrine on Atago Hill, Tokyo’s highest natural point. Established by the legendary Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, this shrine has witnessed the transformation of Tokyo from a feudal society to a bustling metropolis.
Toranomon Hills Atago

Its main attraction, the ‘stairs of success,’ is steep and challenging, symbolizing the hard path to prosperity and achievement.

Toranomon Hills Atago Jinja
A short distance away, enveloped by the shadows of modern structures, lies the Toranomon Kotohiragu Shrine. Over 400 years old, this shrine provides a stark contrast to its urban surroundings. Entering its grounds, one steps into a different era, where the tranquility and spiritual ambiance are a respite from the city’s relentless pace.
Toranomon Hills Shrine
The shrine, with its well-preserved architecture and serene environment, offers a unique experience of peace and introspection, standing as a symbol of the harmonious coexistence of past and present.
Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills Oasis

Culinary Gems

Toranomon Hills, a district often associated with its business ambiance, surprisingly houses a treasure trove of culinary and artistic delights that cater to diverse tastes and preferences. Inside the Business Tower is Toranomon Yokcho, reminiscent of Omoide Yokcho in Shinjuku. This alley hosts an array of eateries, including extensions of Michelin-starred restaurants and craft beer bars. There are plenty of options for you to pick, from Japanese to Western food.
Toranomon Hills Yokocho
One place I loved was an onigiri shop called Taro Tokyo Onigiri. It stands out with its array of colorful and freshly made rice balls, where each season has a different menu. These onigiri are not just visually appealing but also packed with flavor, offering a modern twist on a classic Japanese staple.
Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills Onigiri

Adding to the culinary mosaic of the area is a charming local rice cracker shop Toranomon Kiya known for its aesthetically pleasing and delicious rice crackers. I bought some as a souvenir.

Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills Rice Crackers
At the heart of this gastronomic journey is the Toranomon Sunaba shop, a century-old establishment revered for its traditional soba noodles. These noodles, made with time-honored techniques, are something you must try. They provide a taste of history, connecting diners to the rich culinary heritage of Japan. What I find fascinating is that the same shop has been here for over a hundred years and has seen the area around it change, and the buildings come and go as the city grows.
Toranomon Hills Soba


Toranomon Hills, with its mix of modern development and historical sites, offers a unique experience. It’s a testament to Tokyo’s dynamic character – where the old coexists with the new. I highly recommend adding Toranomon Hills to your Tokyo itinerary to witness this fascinating blend firsthand. And if you decide to stay in the area, Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills is the best option by far! You can read my experience here.

Where is Toranomon Hills?

Mate Mikulandra
Latest posts by Mate Mikulandra (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *