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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Fodor's Choice

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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

Views 1

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Tokyo Nightlife

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Ageha

  • Dance Clubs

This massive, bay-side Ageha is probably the Japan's largest club venue with the city's best sound system and most diverse musical lineup.

Craft Beer Market

  • Brewpubs/Beer Gardens

This craft beer specialist serves nearly 30 Japanese beers on tap, with regional variations from around the country, at reasonable prices.

Kuri

  • Bars/Pubs

Specializing in seasonal sake, this little bar serves about 100 varieties from around 40 breweries. Food is limited to appetizers that...

Manda-la 2

  • Music Clubs

Relaxed, quiet, and intimate, this local favorite in the bustling western suburb of Kichijoji attracts an eclectic group of performers.

Popeye

  • Bars/Pubs

Of the staggering 70 beers on tap here, 70% are top-quality Japanese microbrews, from pilsners to IPAs to barley wines. The owner is...

Shelter

  • Music Clubs

An ever-popular, long-running venue attracts everyone from their late teens to early forties. This is a great place to catch promising...

Showboat

  • Music Clubs

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

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