Tokyo Nightlife

Tokyo nightlife presents one of the most exciting scenes in the world. The weird and wonderful meets the painfully normal in a city that defies all rules and instead carves a path uniquely its own. Tokyo is a trend setter. Fashion, food, and music collide in a burst of vibrant activity, some of it naughty and some of it nice. The famous neon lights, ablaze in every color of the rainbow plus some, illuminate Tokyo at night, and the streets and bustle of crowds moving to the beat of the night have bright lights to radiate their purpose.

Tokyo clubs and bars cater to the twenty-plus crowd, as the legal drinking age is twenty years. Get your ID out and ready as clubs do check. Also be ready with a cover charge, generally 2,000 to 4,000 yen, a common practice at almost all Tokyo clubs, no matter which district. Another must is to decide whether you’re in for the long haul or heading home early. Tokyo night clubs accommodate the late-night crowd who have chosen to skip the last subway home at 12 a.m. Morning service starts at 5 a.m. so a taxi is the only way to go between those times.

Tokyo at night is a sight to behold, and like no other place in the world. From laid-back outings of dining and a few cocktails, to the crazy Tokyo clubs in Roppongi, nightlife runs the gamut and offers virtually anything sought. Hostess clubs are a common endeavor, especially with tourists but note that a drink with a pretty companion can cost upwards of 10,000 yen. Though most Japanese pubs and clubs charge a cover or entrance fee, generally a drink or two is included. Dress codes are uncommon, though depending on where you venture, you might want to amp up the wardrobe a bit. Gay bars are found throughout the Shinjuku area but a word to the wise: visit with a Japanese friend for foreigners are warily regarded.

Izakaya are pubs where food is on offer along with drinks. They are a staple on the Tokyo nightlife scene. The concept is similar to pubs worldwide and the atmosphere is energetic. Izakaya offer an opportunity to delve into Japanese culture and see just how locals relax and socialize. They range from simple to slick. Exploring Tokyo at night presents another great opportunity to get an earful of local and international bands, solo performers, and popular DJs spinning the latest tracks. Jazz music has a large and growing following around the city and plenty of bars present live acts.

Roppongi is home to mega-clubs, dining establishments, karaoke clubs, and public and private bars. It is laced with an array of options and is a good place to hang out for the night if you’re not keen on spending a small fortune on taxis to travel from one district to another. Anyone well versed on the social scene is aware that Roppongi clubs and bars (and other establishments the city over) can spring up overnight, change names at a dizzying pace, and close down at the drop of a hat. There are numerous big bar and club names that outlast hundreds of others throughout the city. They are well known, provide quality acts and service, and afford a bonafide Tokyo nightlife experience for neophytes and experts alike.

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