"I'm afraid that as a capital of business and culture and travel, Tokyo has been losing its attractiveness," says Nagamori. "But that's one of the things that Mr. Mori is trying to say to the world through Roppongi Hills. He is saying, 'Mori welcomes the world.'"

From one end to another, Roppongi Hills resonates with international touches and cosmopolitan character. The winding walkways and plazas of the complex are lined with more than 200 landmark retail stores, including Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Poiray, and Emma Hope's. From a shopper's standpoint, it is Paris-meets-New York-meets-Rome-meets-L.A.

Dining is a similarly cross-cultural, and star-studded, affair. Restaurants in Roppongi Hills range from Roppongi X, the first Japan-based venture by re­nowned U.S. chef Todd English (of Olives) to L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, run by the Michelin-ranked Parisian chef who has earned the title "Chef of
the Century." The ubiquitous Wolfgang Puck has a restaurant in the com­plex, too. Roppongi Hills has Chinese restaurants, Japanese noodle shops, Italian trattorias, and French bakeries. There are teahouses, cafes, and bagel and dumpling stands. And for those who can't get through the morning without a tall decaf soy mocha with extra espresso, there's even a Starbucks.

But for all its international flavor, Roppongi Hills also pays homage to traditional Japanese culture. A large rice paddy covers the rooftop of a building occupied by TV Asahi, one of the country's leading television stations, which now has its headquarters in Roppongi. And 17th-century-style Japanese gardens surround Mohri Pond, a natural, lily-pad-dotted pool that sits at the heart of the development, undisturbed.