an insider's guide to tokyo nightlife: fun things to do in tokyo at night
crazy fun things to do in tokyo at night
1. hit up shibuya
2. Indoor Golf With drinks and karaoke
3. abbey road tokyo - the beatles bar
4. Eat Yakitori Under Train Tracks in Yakitori Alley
5. hang out at a haruki murakami location
6. gonpachi - the kill bill restaurant
7. maid cafes
8. the maduro jazz lounge & the restaurants at the grand hyatt
9. have drinks above the city at a 5-star hotel bar
One of my all time favorite things to do in Tokyo at night is to have drinks above the city. The best of Tokyo nightlife must include at least one hotel bar. This is from The Park Hyatt Shinjuku. Hit up The New York Bar for drinks in an elegant location over the city.
Alternatively, the Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills (Roppongi) has a super cool rooftop bar and is one of my favorite spots in the city for a drink and a stunning view of the city. Be mindful of dress codes at these places.
10. hang with locals in shinjuku's golden gai
Shinjuku is ripe with Tokyo nightlife. You can hit up the Korean BBQ spots and bars of Shin Okubo, The Park Hyatt Tokyo, and of course the famous Golden Gai district. Golden Gai is filled with an endless maze of local bars where you can experience the essence of Japanese mixology and mix with the locals.
Be warned though, there is a cover charge for foreigners at a lot of bars, but Bar Araku is popular for being foreigner friendly in this respect and has no charge.
11. kabukicho & the robot restaurant
Kabukicho is Tokyo’s red light district, located in Shinjuku but it’s also the home to the famous Robot Restaurant. It’s a hub of Tokyo nightlife with karaoke, love hotels, and bars. Tourism has increased a lot here so it’s generally safe, but you still need to keep your wits about you. It’s also where the yakuza hang out, or the infamous Japanese mafia.
Don’t get pressured into any situation or place you don’t want to go and be aware that this is an area where crime and swindling does exist. I personally never spent much time here for nightlife as it’s not my scene, but I can see its appeal to others. Just don’t be too trusting and in case you don’t see my tip at the bottom, use cash and not credit cards.
the 411 on shibuya nightlife
Shibuya is one of the top places for nightlife in Tokyo. You have a ton of bars, some good clubs, and lots of lights and energy. It definitely has a younger vibe to it, as opposed to some other districts. But, it’s always fun and is always a must at night.
As mentioned earlier, my personal favorite spot is WOMB. WOMB brings in a lot of world-class DJs and is the hub of Tokyo’s electronic music scene. The music starts to get really good after midnight. I particularly love this club because of its high-quality music scene where you can get lost in the beats.
With locations around Tokyo, Karaoke Kan is the largest chain around Tokyo. And the Karaoke Kan in Shibuya is where you can find the famous scene from the movie Lost in Translation that so many people are curious about.
Honestly, I’ve found most of the boxes to be the same, but whether you go to a box or a private bar, it’s highly recommended that you not leave Tokyo without your own karaoke experience.
the 411 on roppongi at night
With that said, the Roppongi scene is very diverse because it’s a hub of the traditional nightclub scene, but it also has some of super classy establishments such as the Andaz Tokyo. The vibe in Roppongi is a lot more subdued than the crazy lights and energy of Shibuya, but it’s also very fun too. As mentioned earlier, Gonpachi is an excellent spot to grab drinks and dinner but it’s also the sight of the beloved Tokyo Pub Crawl.
shinjuku at night
Shinjuku, like Shibuya and Roppongi, has its own unique nightlife vibe. It’s here where you can find a lot of local bars and pubs as well as some classy bars such as The New York Bar, as well as the Kabukicho district.
Essentially, it has everything. But, while Shibuya has a much younger vibe and Roppongi has both a “clubby” scene as well as a super high-end hotel bar scene, I come to Shinjuku for the Golden Gai District and Kabukicho, as well as a ton of amazing restaurants. See my book Hidden Tokyo for a lot more insider recommendations.