Tokyo Nightlife

The sheer diversity of nightlife in Tokyo is breathtaking. Rickety street stands sit yards away from luxury hotels, and wallet-crunching hostess clubs can be found next to cheap and raucous rock bars. Whatever your style, you'll find yourself in good company if you venture out after dark.

Most bars and clubs in the main entertainment districts have printed price lists, often in English. Drinks

generally cost ¥800–¥1,200, although some small exclusive bars and clubs can set you back a lot more. Be wary of establishments without visible price lists. Hostess clubs and small backstreet bars known as "snacks" or "pubs" can be particularly treacherous territory for the unprepared. That drink you've just ordered could set you back a reasonable ¥1,000; you might, on the other hand, have wandered unknowingly into a place that charges you ¥30,000 up front for a whole bottle—and slaps a ¥20,000 cover charge on top. If the bar has hostesses, it's often unclear what the companionship of one will cost you, but you can bet a lot. Ignore the persuasive shills on the streets of Roppongi and Kabuki-cho, who will try to hook you into their establishment. There is, of course, plenty of safe ground: in hotel lounges, jazz clubs, Irish-themed pubs, sake bars, and sedate retreats where the social lubricant flows past millions of tonsils nightly.

Major nightlife districts in Tokyo include Aoyama, Ginza, Roppongi, Shibuya, Shinbashi, and Shinjuku. Each has a unique atmosphere, clientele, and price level.

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Shinjuku 14

Roppongi 10

Greater Tokyo 8

Shibuya 6

Ginza 4

Aoyama 4

Asakusa 3

Harajuku 2

Marunouchi 1

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Tokyo Nightlife

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  • Music Clubs

A small, basic venue in western Tokyo that's been going strong for more than a decade, Showboat attracts semiprofessional and professional...

Smash Hits

  • Music Clubs

If karaoke just isn't karaoke for you without drunken strangers to sing to, this expat favorite is the place to be. It has about 50,000...

Star Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

It's often said that Ginza has all the best bars, and Star Bar may be the best of the lot. Owner and bartender Hisashi Kishi is the president...


  • Dance Clubs

This isn't quite a dance club. You could call it an experimental party space, with almost each night hosting a different kind of event.


  • Bars/Pubs

The concrete walls are adorned with rock musicians' autobiographies and posters of the Sex Pistols and Ramones, who also provide the...

Top of Tree

  • Bars/Pubs

Perched on the top of the Soramachi complex, this bar-restaurant attracts locals and tourists for overwhelming, breathtaking views of...

Two Rooms

  • Bars/Pubs

Aoyama's dressed-up drinkers hang out on the stylish terrace. Drinks are big, pricey, and modern—think martinis in multiple fresh fruit...

What the Dickens

  • Bars/Pubs

This spacious pub in the Ebisu feels like "grandma's house" and more authentically British than many of its rivals, thanks partly to...


  • Dance Clubs

Well-known techno and break-beat DJs make a point of stopping by this Shibuya überclub on their way through town. The turntable talent,...

World Beer Museum

  • Brewpubs/Beer Gardens

As the name suggests, beers from around the world are for sale, including 300 kinds in bottles and 20 more on tap. The large outdoor...


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