Roppongi Area Bar and Club Guide 2012 – Part 3: Heartland

Roppongi Bar and Club Review 2012

Coming, or new, to Tokyo and want to go out but can’t speak Japanese ? Here’s a guide to help you. This is the first of two reviews of bars from inside the Mori Building (a.k.a the Roppongi Hills Building)


I remember reading somewhere on someone reflecting on a less than spectacularly successful jobs summit held in this venue in the wake of the Lehmann shock, that the one thing Heartland does well is sex. I dont agree. I’d venture to say it doesn’t do inexpensively priced beer too shabbily either (500 yen for any beer you like as long as it shares the same name as the bar itself) given the location at the base of the Mori Tower and the well-heeled clientele it tends to attract.

Not that the guy quoted was wrong about everything. If you were to walk over to a wall in this place and stick a fork in it, it would suprise noone who knows of this bar if, Ghostbusters 2 style, enough built up pheromone goo comes gushing out and drowns everyone in the bar and half of Shibuya down the road. With a bit of luck there might also be enough goo to run down TV Asahi Street to spawn a post 9pm scene in the plush but slightly lame expat ghetto of Hiroo at the bottom of that particular hill as well. What would surprise is that it would only be 8 years worth of pheremone goo, it seems to have been around much longer such is Heartland’s reputation as Tokyo’s premier pick up bar.

Now you dont need anywhere near that amount of pheremone goo to attract the night scene’s more commercially minded lasses to the place, doubly so given the quite illustrious names, and salaries, upstairs. Yet their numbers remain remarkably low. Yet that certainly doesn’t mean some of the girls with less exotic job titles making their way in here aren’t playing a longer game. This is Tokyo’s most famous dry cleaner’s.

If this sounds appealing, yet you haven’t as yet received an annual bonus check weighed down with as many zeros as a Goldman Sachs one is, you might want to at least pretend they’re roughly in the same ballpark. In addition to the proverbial investment banker; the words and phrases pilot, high flying IT worker or embassy staffer would no doubt strike pleasing notes to not a few of the girls prowling around this neck of the woods.
Meanwhile, if you are, in fact, a banker, pilot, techie or embassy type, or a combination thereof, you might want to up the ante by pretending you are a telecommunications mogul, movie director or international assassin. Or you could just order the pricier cocktails to help establish your bona fides. Do also give the somewhat cursory menu a once over replete with look of studied disdain (head to Rigoretto in the Mori Building proper if you are hoping for decent pub grub to go with your Mojito), before jettisoning it to one side and getting on with the business of plying yourself and those in tow lest you give the impression you’re one to cut corners.

Who ought to have atleast one drink here?However, in spite of what you’ve heard and read, it’s not only for those guys and gals out on the pull. The decor is comparatively stylish and the music suitably wanky, so it is a decent place to kick off the evening off with friends and on quieter nights, a sound choice for a warm up potion before or after the movies or a nearby restaurant.

If there is to be any other criticism, assuming being Tokyo’s no.1 pick-up joint doesn’t immediately register to you as one, is that like any such bar it will tend to become a sausage fest, though it’s certainly not like that all the time. Also the place has been known to die off fairly quickly after the last train, while a younger lad might find other places find more girls within his strike range if he’s after some company for the evening. Meanwhile for the single, and looking, guy or gal in their late 20’s or over however, it’s hard to think of a more fun place before last train, especially on Friday evening.


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