Tokyo is one of the most exciting cities on Earth, and has a legendary nightlife. You can begin your evening at a tachinomi stand bar, drink and dine at a cozy izakaya, enjoy seasonal cocktails at an only-in-Tokyo mixology counter, venture into a hole-in-the-wall rock or hip hop club, sing all-night karaoke à la Bill Murray in Lost in Translation, and dance until morning to the beats of DJs from around the world. In short, Tokyo is home to one of the most diverse and fascinating nightlife scenes on the planet!
In such a massive metropolis, and with so many amazing options, trying to decide what to do can be overwhelming. So to help you figure out where to begin, before you see where the night takes you, we’ve put together this introductory guide to Tokyo nightlife, featuring an overview of Tokyo’s best nightlife districts and more!
Of course, with a complex and ever-changing nightlife scene, this is only a small sampling of what’s out there – and many of the best spots are firmly off the radar of most travelers (and even locals), with some venues even lacking addresses.
To get you started, here’s an overview of what you can expect from a handful of Tokyo’s most prominent nightlife neighborhoods, Shibuya. As one of Tokyo’s most densely packed and brightly-lit central districts, it’s no surprise that Shibuya stays up late, with countless eateries, boutiques, watering holes, clubs, arcades and karaoke bars catering to night owls well into the small hours.
If you’re going to miss the last train (most trains and subways only run until around the midnight hour), this is the place to be.
Shibuya is especially popular with Tokyo’s youth, but is relatively accessible to and full of non-Japanese locals and visitors as well. With dozens of clubs featuring top local and international DJs, Shibuya is one of the city’s dance music hubs. There are also countless smaller establishments well worth checking out, including the character-filled Nonbei Yokocho, an old-fashioned area of tightly-packed side streets filled with charming tiny bars and intriguing restaurants.