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 will 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 it will cost you 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: you’ll find 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

Area

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Aoyama, Harajuku, and Shibuya 12

Shinjuku 11

Greater Tokyo 6

Roppongi and Azabu Juban 6

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Roppongi 6

Nihombashi, Ginza, and Yuraku-cho 4

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Ginza 4

Asakusa 3

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Category

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Bars/ Pubs 21

Brewpubs/ Beer Gardens 3

Dance Clubs 5

Music Clubs 13

Wine Bars–Nightlife 1

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Best For

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Gay and Lesbian 5

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Tokyo Nightlife

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Advocates Cafe

  • Bars/Pubs

Almost every great gay night out begins at this welcoming street-corner pub, where the patrons spill out onto the street. This is the...

Agave

  • Bars/Pubs

In this authentic Mexican cantina your palate will be tempted by a choice of more than 400 tequilas and mescals from 450 types of bottles—making...

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.

Akaoni

  • Wine Bars–Nightlife

The emphasis here is nama , unrefined, unpasteurized sake. About 70 kinds from 100 brewing companies are available daily. You may want...

ArcH

  • Dance Clubs

The spacious basement joint hosts a wide range of events for gays and lesbians every night. The events include 30-something, underwear-only...

Arty Farty

  • Bars/Pubs

Cheap and cheesy, Arty Farty is a fun club, complete with a ministage and stripper pole. Those with aversions to Kylie or Madonna need...

Billboard Live Tokyo

  • Music Clubs

With everything from rock to J-pop and indies, Dickey Betts, Gen Hoshinoa, to singer-songwriter Boy, this three-story joint offers one...

Blue Note Tokyo

  • Music Clubs

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

Cotton Club

  • Music Clubs

In these intimate and luxurious surroundings you can listen not only to jazz but also a diverse range of music: soul, R&B, J-pop,...

Craft Beer Market

  • Brewpubs/Beer Gardens

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

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