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

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Aoyama 4

Asakusa 3

Harajuku 2

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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 400 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...

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...


  • Bars/Pubs

This venerable bar claims to be Shinjuku's oldest—established in 1951—and has hosted Yukio Mishima and Akira Kurosawa among many...

Dragon Men

  • Bars/Pubs

Despite the name, Tokyo's swankiest gay lounge also welcomes women. The neon-lighted space would look right at home in New York or Paris.


  • Bars/Pubs

This men-only club carries a whiff of the old days when things were less mainstream. Video monitors show contemporary music hits. On...

Ginza Lion

  • Bars/Pubs

This bar, in business since 1899 and occupying the same stately Chuo-dori location since 1934, is remarkably inexpensive for one of Tokyo's...

Gold Finger

  • Bars/Pubs

This relaxed bar for "women who love women" is a cozy den of vintage lamps and cafélike ambience. Men are welcome on Friday; Saturdays...

Harajuku Taproom

  • 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...


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