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 5

Aoyama 4

Ginza 3

Asakusa 3

Harajuku 2

Marunouchi 1

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Tokyo Nightlife

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  • Fodor's Choice


  • Bars/Pubs

In this authentic Mexican cantina, your palate will be tempted by a choice of more than 450 kinds of tequilas and mescals—making this...

Aiiro Cafe

  • Bars/Pubs

Almost every great gay night out begins at this welcoming street-corner pub with a large red shrine gate, where the patrons spill out...


  • Wine Bars–Nightlife

The emphasis here is nama, unrefined, unpasteurized sake. About 80 kinds from 60 brewing companies are available daily. You may want...

Albatross G

  • Bars/Pubs

This tiny, artsy bar and its red walls, hung with paintings and deer head, and many chandeliers attracts crowds with its friendliness...

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...

Baird Taproom Harajuku

  • Bars/Pubs

Expat Bryan Baird runs an acclaimed microbrewery in a Shuzenji area of Izu, and he serves his range of brews in this casual and friendly...

Billboard Live Tokyo

  • Music Clubs

With everything from rock and J-pop to soul and funk, this three-story joint makes one of the best food-and-live music experiences in...

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...

Cotton Club

  • Music Clubs

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

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.


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