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 13

Greater Tokyo 7

Shibuya 6

Roppongi 4

Aoyama 4

Ginza 3

Asakusa 3

Harajuku 2

Marunouchi 1

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Bars/ Pubs 23

Brewpubs/ Beer Gardens 3

Dance Clubs 5

Music Clubs 12

Wine Bars–Nightlife 1

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Family 2

Gay and Lesbian 6

Historical 1

Romantic 1

Service 1

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Tokyo Nightlife

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Blue Note Tokyo

  • Music Clubs

This premier live jazz venue isn't for everyone: prices are high, sets short, and patrons packed in tight, sometimes sharing a table...

Le Baron de Paris

  • Dance Clubs

The Tokyo branch of the Paris and New York club is partly owned by superstar designer Marc Newson and as you might expect, draws a fashionable...

Radio

  • Bars/Pubs

Koji Ozaki is the closest thing Tokyo has to a superstar bartender. This demure septuagenarian, who still works one week per month, has...

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...

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