First of two parts

Minato Ward's northern half is a Valhalla of ambitions. Towering skyscrapers, pinnacle purveyors of fashion and food, as well as top (and sometimes topless) entertainments all aspire to grandeur here.

Newest in the latest Tokyo trend toward the vertical is Mitsui Fudosan's Midtown complex, which boasts the tallest building in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The 2007 Midtown Tower's 248 meters — whose upper reaches are leased to Ritz-Carlton — trumps all others in the altitude stakes.