Wondering where to party in Tokyo?

In this guide, I will tell you about the best nightlife areas, the happening bars and clubs, and plenty of useful tips to enjoy a night out in the city.

General Tips About Tokyo Nightlife
Dress Code:
Surprisingly, it's not that strict. Still, I recommend wearing at least a pair of jeans with a collared shirt. If you have tattoos, you will have to cover them in most nightclubs (except Zero).

You'll need to show a valid ID to enter most clubs. Photocopies are rarely accepted, but you can bring a driver's license.

In nightclubs, you need to be 20 to enter. Bars generally don't care, unless you really look like a teenager.

Tinder, Bumble have mostly English-speakers but few that will be interested in meeting with a tourist.

An alternative is the luxury dating site Seeking.com that matches wealthy guys with younger women.

Finally, if you are not in Tokyo yet, you can use Japan Cupid. Girls on this website tend to be a bit older (25-40) and they are generally looking for foreigners who want to marry. They won't mind if you are not physically in Japan when chatting. You can subscribe to the site a month before going to Tokyo and arrange all your dates even before arriving.

Best Time to Go to Nightclubs:
Friday and Saturday from 2 AM to 5 AM. There are often discounts if you arrive before 12 AM, or on weekdays.

It is rather expensive to party in Tokyo, especially if you are a man since you won't get any discounts. Before midnight, you'll pay ¥1,000 on average for an entrance fee (USD 7). After midnight, it generally ranges from ¥2,500 to ¥4,500 for the best clubs. On special events, expect to spend even a little bit more. Girls almost always pay less (from ¥0 to ¥2,500). You often get a free drink with your ticket.

A standard alcoholic drink will cost you between ¥700 and ¥1,200 and a half-pint of beer between ¥300 and ¥600.

Overall, I would say that to enjoy a night out in Tokyo, you will need to spend between ¥10,000 and ¥15,000 (USD 65 to 100).

Bring cash as many venues don't accept cards.

Going Around:
Forget Uber, they are more expensive than taxis. The latter cost about 4-5$ per kilometer, with a 20% surcharge from 10 PM to 5 AM.

Note that most trains and buses stop working shortly after midnight. They start again in the morning around 5.30 AM, so what most people do is just party until then. You can also hang out in a McDonald's or a 24-hour internet café.

That said, I would really recommend you to choose a hotel walking distance to the nightlife. I'm recommending a few properties below that are ideally located, highly-rated, and budget-friendly.

Drugs in Japan
Abstain from consuming or trying to obtain drugs while traveling to Japan. The country has some of the toughest drug laws in the developed world. If you get caught, expect a nightmare.

Beware of scams!
There are many touts in the streets of Shinjuku and Roppongi who will invite you to try a bar, often enticing you with the promise of free/cheap alcohol (and possibly girls). You'll most likely end up in an empty place with overcharged drinks. Never follow them!

Pub Crawl
A fun way to explore Tokyo's nightlife and to meet new people is to join the Tokyo Pub Crawl.

Nightlife Areas - Where to Party in Tokyo?
As you can see on the map above (click to enlarge), there are 3 main nightlife areas in Tokyo:
➤ Roppongi: Upscale nightlife, popular with tourists and 30+ expats/businessmen
➤ Shibuya: Trendy nightlife with large clubs, popular with both young Japanese and expats
➤ Shinjuku: Busy area with an eclectic nightlife (LGBT, red-light, speakeasies, live music, nightclubs).

Let's look at each of them in details:

Roppongi, 六本木, literally “six trees”, is well-known as the city’s most popular nightlife district for foreigners (or "gaijin"). If you don’t speak Japanese, this is where it will be the easiest for you to go out.

Japanese in Roppongi are more open-minded and welcoming towards expats or tourists, and you'll have more chances to bump into English speakers. There are actually many who work in clubs, bars, or even in the street as touts (see below).

The most famous clubs in Roppongi are V2 and 1OAK. V2 offers a more local vibe, with commercial EDM, while 1OAK is an exclusive bottle club with hip-hop. A newer club, R3, is interesting too if you are into afro-beats and R'n'B. 

You can also dance in El Cafe Latino which, as you could guess, focuses on latin music (salsa/bachata).

Another busy spot is the English pub HUB, part of a chain with over 50 locations in Japan. It has a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere with good value-for-money drinks and food. It tends to be really busy on weekends with foreigners so you might want to start your night there.

If you need a late-night club, Odeon may be your spot. It is a small space, but friendly. DJs play a mix of everything famous.

Most Recommended Hotels in Roppongi Near the Nightlife:
Candeo Hotels Roppongi (rated 9/10 - About 130$ per night): New hotel, comfortable, ideal position for clubbers, affordable price, near the subway.
Remm Roppongi (rated 9/10 - About 115$ per night): Conveniently located next to Roppongi station, great price, rooms a bit small.

If you can afford them, you should know that the Grand Hyatt and the Ritz-Carlton, both in Roppongi, have amazing bars.

Shibuya (渋谷区) is probably one of the most iconic areas of the city. Any trip to Tokyo should include a visit there, and particularly to the famous Shibuya Crossing. It’s a major commercial, shopping and business center, served by two enormous railway stations.

It is also a great nightlife area, where you'll find many of Tokyo's hippest clubs and bars. Compared with Roppongi, you have bigger nightclubs, and they attract mostly young and trendy Japanese. Some clubs also have tons of foreigners, among which many international students.

Within Shibuya, the most popular venues are Womb (very famous among foreigners, pricey, with 3 floors, each with different music like House, EDM, techno), Camelot (large club, also on 3 floors, with mainstream popular music, EDM and Hip-Hop), Atom (near Womb, similar to Camelot but with a more local vibe, EDM), TK Shibuya (cheap, very young crowd, mostly Japanese, EDM) and Harlem (Hip-Hop, R'n'B, Old School).

Baia, a relative new-comer, can get really packed and fun. The DJs will play all types of famous upbeat songs to a 20-30 mixed crowd. Overall nice design + it has an open-air terrace on its last floor.

Cé La Vi, a popular rooftop bar on the 17th floor of Tokyu Plaza Shibuya. Plenty of foreigners. 3500 Yen cover charge for men. Also a restaurant.

Enter, best club in Tokyo if you like techno. For an underground vibe, you can also party in Oath Bar.

Most Recommended Hotel in Shibuya Near the Nightlife:
Excel Hotel Shibuya (rated 8.4/10 - About 350$ per night): Business hotel, great location in Shibuya walking distance to bars and restaurants, fantastic view from the upper floors.

A fun way to discover Shinjuku's nightlife is to join a tour, try this one for instance.

Shinjuku, 新宿, the world’s busiest railway station, is handling more than two million passengers every day!

It has a very diverse and eclectic nightlife, which makes it one of the favorite neighborhoods to explore after dark in Tokyo.

For instance, you can try Golden Gai, a network of several alleys full of tiny bars, each with a unique style. It is packed with an alternative crowd of artists and students who often drink in the alleys themselves.

Nearby, you will find Kabukicho, Japan’s largest and wildest red light district. You can walk around, but beware that most of the venues make a specialty of scamming foreigners. Two "normal" bars that you can try there are St James Pub and the live music venue Rock Bar Mother.

The whole area of Shinjuku 2 Chome is dedicated to the gay/LGBT nightlife. Some of the bars are targeting foreigners, while others are more local.

There are currently 3 main nightclubs in Shinjuku: Space (best music, both live bands and DJs), Warp (world-famous, impressive set-up, lighting, sound, EDM, hip-hop), and Zero (largest club in Tokyo with 4 floors, expensive, DJs changing every hour).

Most Recommended Hotel in Shinjuku Near the Nightlife:
Gracery Shinjuku Hotel (rated 8.7/10 - About 150$ per night): New property, next to Zero and Warp, walking distance to Kabukicho.

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