While Tokyo is a buzzing metropolis during the day, nothing compares to the electricity of its nightlife! Engulfed in an explosion of massive neon lights and traditional paper lanterns, the city streets are constantly filled with millions of Japanese looking to unwind from their work-filled lives. 

    One of the liveliest cities in the world at night, Tokyo seems to never sleep. Entertainment areas are equally as crowded at 4am as they are at 11pm, and several clubs and bars remain open until the subways start running again at 5am in the morning. Whether you're looking for music, pubs, gay bars, live shows, dance clubs, or just an unforgettable night of enjoyment, you'll find what you are looking for somewhere in Tokyo's nightlife.


    Akasaka Blitz

    This huge live music hall looks like a hangar, but Akasaka Blitz is actually a first-rate venue for top international and local bands. Many famous Japanese bands and respected indie bands play here to audiences of up to 1,900 cheering fans. The venue also has direct access to Akasaka station, which is very handy for visitors traveling by subway and makes it preferable over many other concert halls. While tickets are usually sold far in advance you might be able to secure some through your hotel concierge.

    Location: 5-3-2 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo 107-0052, Japan


    photo by 正和 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Body and Soul Jazz Club

    Established by Kyoko Seki, one of the first people to open a jazz bar in Tokyo, Body and Soul is a small intimate jazz club with a rich history of finding and featuring the best upcoming and established jazz musical talent in the world. Take a close up front-row seat and feel first hand the true power of a live jazz performance. Many top musicians end up at Body and Soul after playing other venues in the city. The club has an extensive menu of drinks and food. There's an entry fee of around ¥3,500.

    Location: 6-13-9 Minami Aoyama, Minato, Tokyo, Japan

    Open: Monday–Saturday, live sets at 8.30 pm and 10.20 pm (closed on Sundays)


    photo by Gene Jackson (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Blue Note Tokyo Jazz Bar

    Blue Note Tokyo is arguably the most famous jazz venue in the city with a history of big names from Dizzy Gillespie to Sarah Vaughan. It has a connection to the famous New York jazz institution of the same name, along with the same high standards. Today the world’s best musicians still grace the Blue Note; Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, John Legend. The bar is compact, which gives the performances a deeper intimacy, and the name-sake blue-lit stage creates a moody ambience for jazz. The setting of low, broody lights, great food, and high-level music is sure to impress you. There's usually an entry fee starting from ¥7,000.

    Location: 6-3-16 Minamiaoyama, Minato, Tokyo, 107-0062, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5485-0088


    photo by 663highland (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Kabuki-Za Theatre

    Kabuki-Za Theatre in Ginza is the center for traditional performing arts in all of Tokyo, and the most famous kabuki venue outside of Kyoto. Built in 1889, Kabuki-Za Theatre has presented the best of this traditional Japanese performing art for generations.

    A kabuki show normally lasts 3 to 5 hours, divided into several acts. The highly stylised costumes and actions on stage is a real spectacle, though the you might lose the finer details unless you speak Japanese. While tickets for the whole show may range from ¥2,000 to ¥20,000, you can purchase a 1-act ticket for roughly ¥1,500, making it a very affordable introduction to this ancient art form.

    Location: 4-12-15 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo, 104-0061, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3545-6800


    Tokyo Takarazuka Theatre

    Tokyo Takarazuka Theatre is home of the Takarazuka Revue, a family friendly stage show that combines singing, dancing and acting. Established in 1934, this theatre introduced a new performance gimmick where young women adopt all the roles in western style productions. Musicals performed here have included homages to classic western productions such as Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables.  

    Location: 1-1-3 Yurakucho, Chiyoda, Tokyo, 100-0006 Japan


    photo by Kakidai (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Tokyo International Forum

    This enormous entertainment complex contains seven multi-sized exhibition and concert halls centered around a magnificent glass atrium. There is always something interesting going on here. Popular events to be held here include pop concerts, Broadway musicals, touring ballet companies, and annual events like the Tokyo International Film Festival. The Forum is connected to Yurakucho Station.

    Location: 3-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-0005, Japan


    Bar Lupin

    Anyone with an interest in Japanese literature will enjoy Bar Lupin, where photographs of Japan’s most celebrated writers dot the walls. Steeped in history, it was a favorite hangout for many famous Japanese writers including Kafu Nagai and Osamu Dazai. The menu is concise and sticks to whiskeys and a few cocktails, but everything served is first-class. It's a lovely place to lounge in Ginza. It’s worth bearing in mind, this blast from the past stays true to its roots as a cash-only bar.

    Location: 5-5-11 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo, 104-0061, Japan

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 5 pm to 11.30 pm


    photo by Özgür Cam (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Big Echo Karaoke

    Big Echo is one of the biggest karaoke chains in the country, so you should expect to experience it Japan-style. This means no public performances, or ridicule, as each party has its own private, air-conditioned room with TV screens, sofas and karaoke set. Waitresses come and go with food and drinks and are ready to assist you at the touch of a button. The Ginza branch of Big Echo is well known because of the Hello Kitty theme room. There are all-you-can-drink packages available if you need some liquid courage to get you started.

    Location: 4-2-14 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo, 104-0061, Japan

    Open: Daily from 12 pm to 5 am. Opens from 11 am on weekends


    photo by 運転太郎 (CC BY 3.0) modified



    Check out Tokyo’s best amateur and professional stand-up comedians at Crocodile. The Tokyo Comedy Store puts on a show here on the fourth Friday of every month with various stand-up acts followed by an hilarious improvisation session. Throughout the week you can catch local rock'n'roll groups doing their thing on stage, Crocodile opens at 6pm and the laughter starts from 8pm. The entry fee varies but starts from ¥2,000.

    Location: B1 6-18-8 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan


    photo by Fujimama101 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Den Aquaroom

    Den Aquaroom has a huge aquarium as a focal point so you can enjoy a cocktail while angel fish glide by. How about a tequila next to a tetra? The Den Aquaroom is one of the most visually stunning bars in Aoyama. Inspired by the ocean, this swanky cocktail bar has floor-to-ceiling fish tanks bordering plush lounges where you can lounge back and enjoy a few drinks. It's a great date spot. You can find this stylish bar and restaurant close to Omotesando Station.

    Location: B1F, KDX Minami Aoyama Bldg., 5-13-3 Minami, Aoyama, Minato, Tokyo 107-0062, Japan

    Open: Monday–Friday from 6 pm to 2 am. Saturdays from 5 pm to 2 am. Sundays from 5 pm to 11 pm


    Daikanransha Ferris Wheel

    Standing 115m tall, the huge Ferris Wheel at Palette Town is the best way to enjoy the surrounding Odaiba cityscape. From inside your capsule, views stretch all around the city and the harbor. Known in Japanese as Daikanransha, the popular family ride takes 16 minutes to complete a revolution. The Ferris Wheel is lit by 120 different lights and illuminates with 16 different light patterns.

    Location: 1-3-10 Aomi, Koto, Tokyo 135-0064, Japan

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm


    Fuji TV Building Observation Deck

    This popular viewpoint in Odaiba is located on the 25th floor of the iconic, space-age Fuji television building. The Sphere Observation Deck sits at 123 meters tall, making it the highest viewpoint in the surrounding area. It costs from ¥550 to enter the observation deck. Fuji also gives tours of their studios if you wish to learn more about Japanese television.

    Location: Fuji Television Bldg.25F, 2-4-8 Daiba, Minato, Tokyo, Japan

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday 10 am to 6 pm


    photo by Stéfan Le Dû (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Telecom Center Observatory

    The 21st floor of the Telecom Center has an observatory that is more similar to a lounge with small tables and seats placed near the glass to make viewing more comfortable and mitigate any feelings of vertigo. Very romantic at night, it is a good place to stop in to on an intimate night out.

    The view is magnificent with landmarks like the Rainbow Bridge, Fuji Television Building, Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower all clearly visible, with the endless lights of the city shining all around.

    Location: Telecomcenter Bldg.21F, 2-5-10 Oumi, Koto, Tokyo, Japan

    Open: Tuesday–Friday from 3 pm to 9 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm


    photo by Guilhem Vellut (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Tokyo City View and Sky Deck

    Tokyo City View and Sky Deck occupy the 52nd and 54th(top) floor of Roppongi Hills. At an elevation of 250m and with little else around, the view is almost unobstructed. This is a particularly good spot to get photos of Tokyo Tower, Japan’s version of the Eiffel Tower.

    Tokyo City View is open until 1am on weekends, making this is great stop-off point on a night out in Roppongi. There's also an outdoor terrace that offers a different experience to being in the glassed-in interior. The admission fee is ¥1500 with discounts for students and children. It’s a good idea to buy your tickets in advance to skip the queue when you arrive.

    Location: Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 52F, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo, 106-0032, Japan

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 11 pm (closes at 1 am on weekends)

    Phone: +81 (0)3 6406 6652



    For a change of pace from the gaudy side of Roppongi, SuperDeluxe is an avant-garde lounge which hosts an interesting array of events. Popular with designers, writers and photographers, the events are aimed at this creative community such as film noir nights, edgy art performances and DJ jams.

    Location: B1F 3-1-25 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku


    photo by Biennale of Sydney (CC BY 2.0) modified



    Muse in Roppongi is a multi-roomed club with a different atmosphere in each space. Centered around a large main bar, there are rooms filled with couches, a karaoke room, a darts room and 2 large dance floors with DJs playing the hottest techno and dance tunes. A very friendly atmosphere and late opening hours keeps most people at Muse all night. There's usually an entry fee starting from ¥3,500 which includes free drinks coupons. 

    Location: B1F, 4-1-1 Nishi-Azabu, Minato, Tokyo, Japan

    Open: Thursday–Saturday from 10 pm to 5 am. Tuesday–Wednesday from 9 pm to 2 am


    photo by kobakou (CC BY 2.0) modified



    Bunkamura is a popular live music venue in Shibuya. This cultural village presents a number of live concerts from hot local and international musicians in addition to housing a movie theater where you can watch popular Japanese films with English subtitles.

    Location: 24-1, Dogenzaka 2-chome Shibuya-ku


    photo by ITA-ATU (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified



    Womb is a popular dance club in Shibuya that was designed by the people who built New York’s well known Twilo club. It's often packed and enjoys a steady following with young hip Tokyoites. There are 3 floors of bars dance floors and VIP rooms where world-class DJs strut their stuff, along with the best of Japan's up-and-coming artists. If you’re looking for stomping bass and a cool crowd reminiscent of the best techno clubs in London or Berlin, then Womb should be high on your list.

    Location: 2-16 Maruyamacho, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0044, Japan

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 10 pm to 4.30 am


    photo by Connie (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Bellovisto at Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel

    Located on the 40th floor of the Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in Shibuya, Bellovisto is a romantic cocktail lounge where you can unwind with a drink and some great views of the evening cityscape of Japan. There's live piano performances most nights, which adds to the chic atmosphere. The bar has a smart casual dress code which means no shorts or sleeveless shirts for the guys. 

    Location: 40F Tokyu Hotel, 26-1 Sakuragaokacho, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-8512, Japan


    photo by 江戸村のとくぞう (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Tokyo Opera City

    The grand concert hall and art gallery at Tokyo Opera City hold regular events featuring top domestic and international talent. Unsurprisingly, opera recitals are regularly held here along with ballet and classical music played by visiting orchestras. Tokyo Opera City is walking distance from Hatsudai Station on the Keio New Line.

    Location: 3-20-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5353-0700


    photo by Ville Miettinen (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Tokyo Metropolitan Building Observatory

    With 48 floors and measuring over 200 meters tall, the Tokyo Metropolitan Building is an impressive landmark in Shinjuku. The 2-floor observatory deck encompasses an 360 degree view of Tokyo. On a clear day, it is possible to see all the way to Mount Fuji, and, by night, it's a great place to start a night out. What's most amazing is that entrance is free! You can reach Tokyo Metropolitan Building Observatory from Tochomae Station on the Oedo Line. 

    Location: 2-8-1 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 163-8001, Japan

    Open: Daily from 9.30 am to 11 pm


    photo by kobakou (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Shinjuku Pit Inn

    The Pit Inn is a live music joint where you can catch some hot jazz by some of the city’s best up-and-coming musicians, as well as some seasoned international professionals. This is one of Japan’s oldest jazz houses and is serious about providing a quality music venue.

    Live music starts every evening at 8pm and there are daytime performances on Saturdays and Sundays from 2pm. Entry costs from ¥3,000 including 1 drink. The Pit Inn is walking distance from Shinjuku-sanchome station.

    Location: B1F Accord Shinjuku Bldg., 2-12-4 Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0022, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3354-2024


    photo by Ville Hyvönen (CC BY 2.0) modified



    Vagabond is a legendary live music joint that's popular with Tokyo internationals and was once reviewed in the New York Times. This cool, stylish venue has a relaxing lounge on the ground floor and live jazz on the second floor. Walls are decorated with eclectic art pieces in gallery form and drinks are surprisingly affordable.

    Location: 1-4-20 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan

    Open: Daily from 5 pm to 11.30 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3348-9109


    photo by shuets udono (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Kirin City

    The largest beer brand in Japan, the Kirin Brewery Company introduces beer lovers to a whole new realm of experience at Kirin City in Ueno. The staff at this specialized beer pub are all expertly trained in a 3-step method for pouring the perfect beer. The technique is slow – taking between 3 and 5 minutes per glass – but some good things in life do take time. The menu even has dishes that were specially created to complement Kirin beer.

    Kirin City is a good spot for large groups as the menu mixes western and Japanese favorites and the casual atmosphere is welcoming for all. 

    Location: Ueno KS Bldg.1F, 6-8-8 Ueno, Taito, Tokyo, 110-0005, Japan

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 11 pm. Closes at 10 pm on Sundays.

    Phone: +81 (0)50-3476-4777


    photo by Keng Susumpow (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Asahi Super Dry Hall

    Famous designer Philippe Starck was responsible for the curious look of the Asahi Super Dry Hall. One wonders what Starck was going for when he created the large golden form that sits atop the hall roof. Inside, the same shape appears at unexpected moments, never quite explaining itself.

    Within the high-rise building, the first and second floors contain the Flamme d’Or bar, which serves 1 of the freshest draft Asahi beers you're ever likely to find, or you could take the elevator up to the 22nd-floor Asahi Sky Room for a cold beer with a view.

    Location: 1-23-1 Azumabashi, Sumida, Tokyo 130-8602, Japan


    Golf & Bar Grip

    If sitting at a bar while enjoying a drink sounds too predictable, what about experiencing the national passion for golf at the Golf & Bar Grip. The bar has a realistic golf simulator with a 150 inch screen that makes you feel you’re really on the fairway, but you can play a whole round of golf in just under an hour. Booths have gloves and clubs for use and are of course fully serviced by the bar. This is ideal for people who want to play golf in the middle of the city. The use of their golf clubs is included in the price.  

    Location: Akasaka Tomoe Bldg. B1, 3-12-1 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo, 107-0052, Japan



    Expect extravagant glittery costumes and lots of laughs from the Kingyo transvestite show. High-energy dancing and a heavy dose of comic irony underscore this popular stage show in Roppongi.

    You can choose from 2 sets per night, at 7.30pm and 10pm. The 60-minute show is full of big show tunes, colorful costumes and some amusing skits. Kingyo is located in the Daisho Building, and is walking distance from Roppongi Station. 

    Location: 3-14-17 Roppongi, Daisho bldg., Minato, Tokyo, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3478-3000



    Roppongi Kaguwa is a cabaret dinner show that combines the slapstick humor of a drag show with some exciting moments of high drama. It’s popular with groups of Japanese or visitors who want to enjoy a nice meal and have some live entertainment.

    The stage show combines themes from the Meiji era with modern surprises that includes aerial acrobatics. Show times are 7.30pm and 10.30pm, plus an extra-late show on Fridays at 1:30am.

    Location: 3-8-15 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-0032, Japan

    Open: Show times are 7.30 pm and 10.30 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-6434-5455


    The New Salsa Sudada

    Salsa Sudada is a dance club that is packed with a very mixed crowd of Japanese, latin Americans and curious visitors. If you don’t know how to salsa or you fancy learning to rumba, this popular club offers Cuban salsa dancing lessons every night before the party really gets going. Show up early and learn the basics before putting yourself to the test among the active crowd. It's a very friendly spot in Roppongi.

    Location: Forum 2F, 5−16−5 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo, 106-0032, Japan


    La Mama

    La Mama is a ‘standing room only’ live music venue in Shibuya that has been modeled after an old-style American live house. It features great bands playing mostly rock’n’roll but sometimes disco and techno. The long narrow venue allows good views of the stage but be prepared to stand up all night as tables are hard to come by. Considering Japan’s fascination with the reinvention, it’s amazing that La Mama is still going strong since opening back in 1982.

    Location: B1F, 1-15-3 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0043, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3464-0801


    Atom Tokyo

    Atom Tokyo is a famous club in Shibuya. The crowd is made up of mostly young Japanese, dressed to impress. It's not as popular with foreign visitors as other clubs in Shibuya, but there’s still a fun, carefree vibe with many people on the dancefloor.

    Playing a chill-out mix of house, hip-hop, rave and trance music, Atom Tokyo comprises 3 levels with 3 separate dance floors. The top floor is a lounge where you can relax with drinks after dancing hard downstairs. Arrive before midnight for cheaper entry. 

    Location: Dr. Jeekahn's Bldg 4F/6F, 2-4 Maruyamacho, Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-0044, Japan

    Phone: +81 (0)3-3464-0703


    Arty Farty

    Arty Farty is a long-running LGBT club in Shinjuku. This fun dance club serves predominately the gay community but is fun for people of all orientations. The stripper pole on a small stage beckons the very outgoing and the very drunk. Gets really busy late at night. It's worth noting that the club prefers female guests to be accompanied by gay male friends.

    Location: Dai 33 Kyutei Building 2F, 2-11-7 Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0022, Japan

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 8 pm to 4 am. Friday–Saturday from 8 pm to 5 am


    Hard Rock Café Uyeno Eki

    Located within the old Ueno train station building, Hard Rock Uyeno is the classic bar and restaurant brand that plays rock'n'roll and serves the all-American fare. It's that classic taste of home that we’ve come to expect of the Hard Rock brand. This lively bar is full of memorabilia from the history of rock providing plenty to muse over in between toe-tapping tunes.

    Location: Atre Ueno 1F, 7-1-1 Ueno Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0005 Japan

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +81 (0)3-5826-5821


    The Rose and Crown

    Styled after an authentic British pub, the Ueno branch of The Rose and Crown serves a wide range of beers and offers a semi-English experience in Tokyo. Located in the Atre shopping complex connected to Ueno station the Rose and Crown has a Happy Hour every day from 5pm to 7pm and serves a tempting range of British beer food favorites. It's a friendly spot with plenty of locals who are more than willing to say hello and practice their bar-room conversation. This classic British boozer is walking distance from Ueno Station.

    Location: Atre Ueno 2F, 7-1-1 Ueno, Taito, Tokyo Japan

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 11.30 pm

    Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveler

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