During the day, Tokyo can be just any city in the world. At night, however, it changes into a different world filled with bright neon lights, and a crowd that simply wants to party the cares of the day away. Whatever it is that you’re looking for, chances are that Tokyo’s night scene will surely have it on offer.
What’s on Offer
No matter what your interests are, you’ll find that Tokyo has what it takes to meet all kinds of needs and demands. Of the many places to go that are spread across the city, you’ll find that there are sub-categories within categories (price range, atmosphere, clientele, location).
However, some of the most famous of Tokyo’s night life offerings are undoubtedly Ginza, Kabuki-cho in Shinjuku, and Roppongi. Clubs, drinking establishments, and Western-style bars, found mostly in Roppongi, are by far the most popular go-to places in Tokyo. If you know where to look, you will also find places that not only serve drinks, but snacks and other food items as well.
Although Tokyo’s local party-goers are an equal mix of both sexes, you’ll find that for the older Japanese, it’s still very much a man’s world. Japan’s famed geisha bars, albeit a tad on the more pricey side of the spectrum, are a perfect example. Mostly found in Kyoto, the only chance you’ll be allowed admission is if you come as a guest, as it is generally closed to foreigners and outsiders. Meanwhile, for more affordable options, you can also visit what are known in Tokyo as hostess bars, found mostly in Akasaka, Shinjuku, Roppongi, and Ginza. Something to Remember If you want to scout the terrain first without actually going into it just yet, you can turn to The Japan Times, and the Daily Yomiuri, as well as a popular website called Metropolis for free listings regarding events, theatre showings, concerts, and such.
If your Tokyo hotel is one of the higher-end ones, you’ll find that the concierge can probably point you in the right direction and even get you tickets. However, if you prefer to go at it alone, remember that most drinking establishments, cocktail lounges, and bars, add several miscellaneous charges to your bill. An example of this is what’s called a table charge or consumption taxes amounting to approximately ¥300 and ¥500 per person or what is equal to about 5% of the bill, whichever comes first. Likewise, some of the pricier establishments also add a service charge of anywhere from 10% to 20%.