Tokyo Nightlife Tips by AKtravelers
Tokyo Nightlife: 211 reviews and 352 photos
Shinjuku is one of the most interesting places in the world at night. And I can say that without having even entered a bar there. The crowds of people wandering through the streets and the bright lights make Shinjuku a visual feast that cannot be passed up. If you are hungry, there are plenty of fine restaurants -- I ate at a sushi place there that was delicious. If you are thirsty, there seeem to be plenty of great bars that I can't wait to try. And, if you want to see naked women, there seems to be plenty of that, too. Just find an African tout and he'll lead you to his favorite place! I'm sure of that, since they hounded me constantly being a guy alone when I was there in 1998.
Mostly, I like wandering around the crowds and lights of Sinjuku. When you think of Japanese nightlife, this is the image that come to mind!
Theme: People Watching
Tokyo Tower climbs above the nightscape
The Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills is a great place to spend an early evening. Catch the sunset view of Tokyo from the rooftop overlook, then dine in one of the many flavorful restaurants. Or you can take in the latest exhibition at the contemporary art museum on the 51st floor -- usually highlighting the work of an emerging Asian artist like China's Ai Wei Wei, designer of the Bird's Nest Olympic stadium and modern sculptor. Then you might decide to relax with a drink overlooking Tokyo at CityView. We chose to do all three, finishing off with a memorable Teppanyaki dinner at Hildalgo's on the 5th floor. I had shabu shabu but Janet had an unforgetable pancake concoction called okonomiyaki that she still raves about. It's a tasty melange of meat, cabbage, and onions in a thick batter that is fried right in front of you. Topped with tuna shavings and a tangy sauce -- it's yummy!
Theme: Eating and Drinking
An alley of love hotels off Dogensuka in Shibuya
For a great window-shopping experience, wander the back alleys of of Dogensuka in Sibuya (just adjacent to the 109 shopping center). This is one of the densest clusters of Love Hotels in Japan, and on a Saturday Night they are lit in their full glory, hoping to attract lovers young and old (but mostly young) who have have no place to go for quality alone time. Love Hotel architecture is gaudy, cororful and meant to draw one in -- especially to appeal to women and make them willing to say, "Yes, I'll go in there". They usually have themes ranging from romantically French to passionately Italian to tropically Carribean -- offering an otherwordly, transportative experience. There is nothing seedy or hidden about Love Hotels -- see my General Tip for a discussion of how they're a normal part of Japanese life -- so they proclaim their presence with a boldness that may astonish those from more prudish cultures.
...WE walked into several lobbies of places that looked interesting: The Venetian, Hotel Lios, Festa (covered with Santa clauses on the outside!), Hotel Caribe, and a few others, though we ultimately chose Neocosmo (much to our regret as you'll read inthe General Tip).
Theme: Adult Spot
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