Halloween is right around the corner, and Tokyo’s nightclubs are gearing up for one of the biggest nights of the year.
Over the past ten years, Tokyo has seen a dramatic growth in interest for Halloween. Halloween candy is now available at most grocery stores, department buildings decorate with jack-o-lanterns, and families celebrate from home (now commonly referred to now as HaroPa ハロパ). More famous are the wildly huge Halloween street parties that have been receiving international mass media attention year after year.
Snap from Six Tokyo’s Halloween
2017 is gearing up to be even bigger with more Halloween parties, costume contests and a street parade on October 22nd.
To help our fellow Tokyo Night Owls, we have put together a list of the Best Halloween Parties to attend this year. Before heading out, here are some useful Tokyo Night Owl tips:
Nightclubs have ghoulishly long lines. To avoid this, we recommend arriving at the club no later than 11 pm.
Buy your costume beforehand. You don’t want to be stuck wearing a Pikachu snuggie. The Mega Donkey Hotte in Shibuya and Roppongi have a wide selection of Halloween costumes. Also, Amazon.jp has dozens of options with next day shipping. Be warned though, Halloween costumes in Japan are typically overpriced.
Pre-funk. Lines at the bar on Halloween can be hellish. Get the party started with some conbini 9% chu his or a canned hi-ball.
Avoid the Roppongi dumps. There are loads of small bars masquerading as nightclubs in Roppongi. And during Halloween, with the long lines for the hot nightclubs, you may be inclined to hit these places up. Don’t! They will be packed, sleazy, and possibly dangerous.
Arrived dressed up and ready to party. It may seem odd to wear a costume on a train, but in Tokyo, its commonplace during Halloween. Nothing worse than having to find a corner or bathroom in Shibuya where you can get into costume.
Bonus tip for the fellas:
Skip the scary or bloody makeup, and stick to cute costumes. Japanese girls will be more inclined to chat up a handsome Mario than a decomposing zombie.
This “super” Halloween party encourages guests to wear either a hero or villain themed costume as they party at one of four different dance floors available at ageHa. Upon entering the nightclub, heroes will receive a blue led wristband or a red led wristband for villains. Guests can easily distinguish who is a do-gooder and who is evil with these glowing red and blue lights.
The main floor is decorated in comic themed Halloween decorations, and the bars will have hero and villain themed cocktails as well! If you are a lover of Super Hero movies, comics or just being a Hero / Villain, this is the party for you.
Tokyo Night Owl Tip:
Use our exclusive Discount Coupon and save at the door
Show this coupon at ageHa’s front counter and enter for only 1,000 yen when you wear a costume!
All of Tokyo’s disco clubs will hold Halloween parties, but only Camelot is stepping it up with a creepy Prison theme! The nightclub will have prison-themed decorations, loads of guest DJs, and several photo booths. Guests can also use the hashtag #CamelotPrison in their Instagram posts for a chance to win cash prizes!
Tokyo Night Owl Tip:
Book a VIP table, and avoid having to wait in line to order drinks. ENVYME.jp has several tables available for booking at Camelot starting at 70,000 Yen for four guests.
For the last five years, Legato has hosted one of the biggest Halloween parties in Tokyo. The venue is a large and elegant restaurant that transforms into a club on special occasions. With its recent renewal, the newly installed glass windows provide guests with a nearly 360° view of the city.
Tokyo Night Owl Tip:
Arrive Early! Access to Legato requires using an elevator which creates a massive queue.
Every year the hipster promoters behind White Rabbit throw an underground Halloween party at the infamous Trump Room nightclub. White Rabbit packs it’s two floors with 16 different DJs playing the filthiest techno, bass and trap beats this side of Japan. Also, there will be live performances and free shot giveaways during the night.
Tokyo Night Owl Tip:
The drinks and service at the bar leave much to be desired. We recommend picking up some chu-his before hitting this party!
Are you looking for something a little more upscale? Then check out this party put on by foreign magazine Metropolis and upscale party promoters Black List. Held on the 52nd floor of the beautiful Andaz Hotel, this party doubles as a networking event with some of Tokyo’s most successful expats. Metropolis is supporting the event with loads of costume contest giveaways including two business class tickets to Hong Kong, BMW test drives, hot stone massage vouchers and more!
Tokyo Night Owl Tip:
Blacklist events tend to attract guests in their 30’s and 40’s, so if you are looking for something a bit more underground or “raging” than this Halloween party may not be for you.
6. Party on the Shibuya Streets!
Date: October 28th & 31st, typically starting at 10 pm till morning.
Location: Shibuya Streets
How Much: FREE!
Let’s be honest… the best party on Halloween is located on the Shibuya streets! It starts early, its packed with cuties, and food is available on every corner. The street Halloween street parties have become internationally famous, and it’s worth partaking in. If crowded nightclubs are not your bag, stick to the streets!
Tokyo Night Owl Tip:
The booze in the convenient stores tends to sell out on the main Shibuya Center Road. So we recommend picking up your conbini drinks a few blocks away from the madness.
Where are you celebrating Halloween in Tokyo? Let us know in the comments!
I would be willing to bet that many of our Tokyo readers have enjoyed an inebriated late-night hookup with no strings attached. After a few 9% CHU-HAIs the thought of keeping safe, wrapping up with a condom that fits, and avoiding the club rats can be a tall order. In the heat of the moment, it is nearly impossible to ponder whether your late night hookup partner has an STD.
Well, it appears we need to be more careful.
Just this year, Japanese hospitals are reporting that syphilis cases have seen a rapid increase with 4,259 syphilis cases from January to early December 2016, up 77 percent from the 2,412 cases logged in the same period in 2015.
Seeing that I’ve never tested in Japan, I thought what better time than now to get myself checked.
The challenge was to find a clinic where I could test for STDs with English speaking staff and was cheap with no Japanese Health Insurance
Where To Get Tested
I asked my friends for any tips but quickly realized that sexually transmitted diseases are rarely discussed and finding information on where to get tested with English test results would be challenging.
Like anything in Japan, finding reliable information in English can be a hurdle. After a few google searches I came across Japan Health Info, which provides home testing kits starting at 6,696 yen for an HIV testing kit, and 14,295 yen for the HIV, Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Candida and Trichomoniasis Kit. This website sounded like a convenient service, but I was looking for something dirt cheap.
After a few more google dives I came across the Shinjuku Public Health Center located at the Shinjuku Metropolitan Taxation Office. I sifted through the website and found an English hotline I could call to get details on STD testing ( 03-3369-7110 )
The Shinjuku Public Health Center performs STD and HIV tests twice a month on Thursdays from 1:30 pm to 3 pm. The tests are free, 100% confidential, and English speaking nurses would be available.
Upon arriving, there was a small sign that pointed me to a room where an English speaking Japanese nurse greeted me and handed me a number with a short survey to fill out. The place was surprisingly busy, so I suggest arriving before 1:30 to avoid having to wait too long. It was awkward sitting in a lobby full of people (both Japanese and foreign) getting tested for STDs, but I couldn’t complain since it was all free and 100% confidential.
After an hour of waiting, the staff called my number, and I was taken into a small room where an English speaking nurse took some of my questions. The nurse asked if I had any symptoms, about my recent sex history, and answered the questions I had. She also gave a short lecture on how important it is to check for STDs and also how chlamydia and syphilis rates are on the rise in Tokyo. After the consultation, she gave me a few pamphlets to take home, and I was brought to the next room where they took urine and blood samples.
It was all done in about 15 minutes, and I was told to come back one week later for my results. I was given a paper with my number on it with instructions to come back next week Thursday for the test results.
A week later I went back to the Shinjuku public health center with my paper in hand and was asked to wait till they called my number. Again, it was awkward watching other foreigners return from their rooms happy or distressed about their results.
My number was called and I was taken to a room with the nurse I met the week before and an additional Japanese nurse who gave me my results. Luckily I was all clean, but it was admittedly a nerve racking week.
The process was easy, convenient and FREE! I recommend our Tokyo Night Owls to consider getting tested if they haven’t in the past few years.
Below are the full details from the Shinjuku City Public Health Care Center.
●Shinjuku City Public Health Center Foreign Language Telephone Consultations Tel: 03-3369-7110 Languages: English, Thai, Spanish, and Portuguese Hours: Thursdays (excludes holidays), 1 to 5 p.m.
Thai-speaking staff is present twice a month on Thursdays. (On the days HIV tests are conducted.) Note: Consultation can be conducted on an anonymous basis.
●Japan HIV Center Tel: 03-5259-0256 Languages: English Hours: First Saturday, noon to 3 p.m.
HIV Test (Consultations at the time of notification of test results are conducted by counselors who speak foreign languages)
Languages: English, Thai, Spanish, and Portuguese Days: Twice a month on Thursday, as a rule (except national holidays) Hours: 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. Location: Shinjuku City Public Health Center test site (Shinjuku Taxation Office 1F, 7-5-8 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku)
○Reservations are not required. Please come during reception hours on a test day.
○Syphilis, chlamydia and hepatitis B tests can also be taken at the same time upon request.
○Results are notified at the test location one week later, from the doctor directly to the patient only. Medical certificates and other documents are not issued. Notes:
Consultation can be conducted on an anonymous basis and is free of charge.
For more information, please call Shinjuku City Public Health Center Foreign Language Telephone Consultations at the number mentioned above.
Have you experienced testing for STD’s in Japan? Tips, advice? Share it in the comments!
Pub crawls are a common sight in big cities. What better way to get acquainted with a big city than by pounding down shots at as many bars as you can in one night.
Tokyo has its own version of the pub crawl, with the biggest and most popular being The Tokyo Pub Crawl aka TPC. The TPC is a bar tour that takes place in Roppongi or Shibuya every Friday and Saturday night with a final stop at a popular night club. And since first appearing on the scene, TPC has been at the top of Trip Advisors Best Nightlife listing, offering an affordable and fun way to meet new people.
We see this wild bunch pub crawlers every weekend so we decided to chase down the team behind the Tokyo Pub Crawl to find out more.
1. For those who don’t know, tell us a little about the Tokyo Pub Crawl (TPC), what can guests expect?
Tokyo Pub Crawl is a weekly international bar hopping party that gathers 150 pub crawlers per event, including both locals and foreigners. Every week, we prepare different themes to give our customers a unique and fun experience. So people who visit us regularly can experience a different style and genre, enticing them to come back for more.
We are widely known to be the safest and the friendliest pub crawl, and we are really good at reaching our customer’s satisfaction. By the end of the night, you’ll be surrounded by new friends, effectively turning an ordinary night, into a crazy and memorable one.
2. How did Tokyo Pub Crawl originally begin?
It began with two friends, who met 4 years ago. Andrew Nguyen & Brett Berghauer love to socialize with many people as they used to live in a share-house. They decided to create an event wherein people can gather in one place and have a fantastic time. These two weren’t amateurs. Andrew and Brett were professional event planners and they knew how to interact with the crowds. They managed to pull 40 people during their first event and everyone had a great time. The more events we produced, the more customers participated. From 40 guests to 600 people at a special event. Now, we currently run three operations around Japan; Tokyo, Osaka, & Kyoto. If you are in the area on a weekend, let’s go!
These two weren’t amateurs. Andrew and Brett were professional event planners and they knew how to interact with the crowds. They managed to pull 40 people during their first event and everyone had a great time. The more events we produced, the more customers participated. From 40 guests to 600 people at a special event. Now, we currently run three operations around Japan; Tokyo, Osaka, & Kyoto. If you are in the area on a weekend, let’s go!
3. Why do you think TPC is so highly rated on Trip Advisor?
Customer satisfaction is the crucial point for our events. It sounds cliché, but it is the truth. We focus everything we do around that central idea. Our goal is to make sure that everyone has a great time. We have an excellent and charismatic team to assist and entertain throughout the night, and we make sure our guests blend in with the crowd.
Of course, we can’t please everyone but we try our very best to get rid of the “alone” vibe. It’s a challenge to maintain the rank of “No.1 in Tokyo’s Nightlife” on TripAdvisor, but we strive to improve where we can to stay on top.
4. Where does the pub crawl typically take place? What kind of venues?
In Tokyo, we mainly hold pub crawls in Roppongi and on special occasions, we hold events in Shibuya. Both have unique environments, and with over 24 venues working with us, we can provide our customers with a new experience at each visit.
5. Can you tell us a memorable pub crawl moment?
That’s quite difficult because we try to make each pub crawl memorable. Each event has a new theme with a new bar lineup, and a majority of our customers are first timers so we try to leave a good impression. Even though Tokyo has so much to offer, we strive to make the Tokyo Pub Crawl the highlight of their trip to Japan.
6. Are there any special Pub Crawl events coming up that we should keep an eye out for?
Every week is a special event for us. We offer a wide variety of party themes based on National Holidays, bizarre Holidays, latest trends, humorous concepts, etc… Join us every week, and you’ll experience a whole new party every time.
7. And lastly, how can people join?
If you are of drinking age, you are absolutely welcome to join us. You can book your slot online from our website at www.tokyopubcrawl.com or click going on our event page on Facebook. You can also book via Tripadvisor. And of course, if you can’t book online, you can always go to our starting location and we’ll take care of you from there. So get your drinking game on and Cheers!
Tokyo is one of Asia’s top nightclubbing destinations and for good reason. The city has two of DJ MAG’s Top 100 nights clubs, a long and rich history of night clubbing, and the world’s biggest DJs performing in Tokyo on a weekly basis.
Unfortunately, with such a wide range of nightclubs available, it can be hard to determine which club to spend your night partying away.
Let us ease your nightlife decision making with Tokyo Night Owl’s Top 5 Tokyo Nightclubs of 2017.
Our Selection Criteria
We are making our selection based on the following criteria:
Entertainment: The club needs to be exciting, and provide thrills that customers can’t experience anywhere else. This entertainment could be top tier DJs or an incredible stage production.
The quality of sound: It is a nightclub, after all, and we want to dance without having our ears ringing the next morning.
Popularity: A dead club on a Saturday night is awful, but a club full of thirsty men is the worst. The venue should also have a decent ratio of male to female guests.
Safety: Feeling safe in a nightclub is a must. Women must be able to enjoy the club without being harassed. Additionally, the nightclub should not be overcrowded with overly aggressive security guards.
Value: Spending a fortune on a simple gin tonic at the bar is “No Bueno.” And no one wants to break their bank at a VIP table with surprise service charges. The club should have a balance between well-priced drinks and reasonable doors prices.
The Top 5 Tokyo Night Clubs
ageHa is a must see for anyone looking to have a memorable nightclub experience. The club boasts four different dance floors, three VIP sections, three large bars, an outdoor pool, a garden area and a food court. The main floor is a large arena encircled by octagon shaped speakers that pump out an enormous amount of sound. Many of the world’s most famous DJs have held concerts here with over 3,000 party goers in attendance.
The food court itself is amazing with a variety of foods on sale including kebabs, beef bowls, ramen and more. ageHa also offers free shuttle buses from Shibuya station. The party atmosphere on these buses can be a fantastic way to make new friends before arriving at the club.
We recommend checking out ageHa in the summer when they throw foam parties at the pool every weekend. Nothing beats dancing at the pool as the sun rises over the horizon.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget your photo ID at this club. Being stuck at ageHa with no trains available can be a nightmare. Remember they do not accept student IDs or photocopied IDs.
Average Door Price: 3,500 Yen
Address: 〒136-00822-2-10 SHINKIBA, Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Access: ageHa is not centrally located, so guests will need access the club via train or the free shuttle bus available every 30 minutes after midnight from Shibuya station.
Club Camelot is a three-story nightclub with two main floors, dozens of VIP seating options and four different bars. Camelot had a significant renewal in the summer of 2016 that saw the addition of LED screens, circular bar counters, and more VIP tables. This club excels at providing three different kinds of parties every night of the week. It never feels too crowded, and the lines at the bar are always short. We believe Camelot provides the most foreign-friendly nightclub in Shibuya especially on the B2 floor.
Pro Tip: Splurge on a VIP table near the round bar on the B2 floor. The Camelot bottle service is second to none, with friendly staff, and a great view of the party. Book your table at ENVYME.JP for cheap deals starting from 40,000 yen.
Average Door Price: 3,500 Yen for Men, 1,500 Yen for Women
Address: 〒150-0041 1-18-2, Jinnan, Shibuya, Tokyo,
Access: About a seven-minute walk from Shibuya station, located around the corner from TGIF.
Harlem is the most authentic Hip-Hop Nightclub in Tokyo, if not Japan. You will discover a scene here rich with history and packed with Japanese hip hop fans. The club has a modest warehouse aesthetic with a large dance floor on the 2nd floor, and a lounge found upstairs. Check out the BX Lounge on the 3rd floor for its chilled R&B vibes, VIP tables, and intimate setting.
Pro Tip: Directly outside Harlem, there are typically DJs or staff who pass out discount flyers. These will allow guests to enter for only a 1,000 yen with one free drink before midnight. Grab one of discount flyers and enjoy a cheap night out at Harlem!
Average Door Price: 3,000 Yen
Address:〒150-0044 2-4 Maruyamacho, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Access: From Shibuya station, walk up Dogenzaka street for about five minutes. After passing a Sushi bar and a second Family Mart on your right side turn right and go straight on this street until you see Harlem on your left.
WOMB is famous for its underground house, techno, and bass music parties. It’s consistently ranked in the DJ MAG Top 100 night clubs prestigious list which makes WOMB the must-see Shibuya nightclub for most Tokyo travelers. The club’s interior recently received a makeover, including new lighting, an upgraded lounge floor and an entirely new VIP balcony that overlooks the main floor. Saturday nights at WOMB can provide some of the purest nightclub experiences available in Tokyo.
Pro Tip: Skip the weekdays. Despite WOMB’s status as a top tier Tokyo night club, the weekday events are always slow featuring DJs who play disturbingly cheesy EDM music.
Average Door Price: 3,500 Yen
Address: 〒150-0044 Tokyo, Shibuya, Maruyamacho, 2-16
Access: WOMB is about a ten-minute walk from Shibuya Station. The club is hidden within the Shibuya love hotel district, so we recommend checking google maps.
With several re-openings and name changes, the ALIFE club has gone through some growing pains in the past few years. But apparently, it has been worth it because ALIFE is now the definitive nightclub of Roppongi. The ladies dress up, the VIP tables are full, and the dance floors are packed with hip young people. Get your Top 40 fix here with international hits being played loud on three different floors. The club is a safe distance away from the seedy massage parlors, and kebab stands that litter the Roppongi street. ALIFE is the perfect club for a night out with friends who are seeking an international atmosphere.
Pro Tip: This club is very popular with beautiful party people. If you are looking for where the models party in Tokyo, this is the spot.
Address: 106-0031Nishi Azabu 1-7-2 Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan, Tokyo
Access: ALIFE is a seven-minute walk from Roppongi station towards Roppongi Hill.
ELE Tokyo is a gorgeous two-story nightclub with dozens of VIP options. This club regularly books sexy go-go dancers who perform on the weekends. Unfortunately, the flow of the club is awful with choke points everywhere, and the dance floor is cramped.
Sound Museum Vision can be a fantastic night club for seeing famous guest DJs from commercial EDM to deep underground acts. We enjoy the underground vibe of the club and the maze-like layout of the different floors. But, the main floor sound system is painfully loud requiring ear plugs. There are also four different dance floors. However, only two are worth checking out. Also, the wait times at the door can be obnoxious.
ATOM is another popular nightclub in the Shibuya with a long operating history, 13 years to be exact. Everything about this club screams, Shibuya! Recently the club gave its 4th floor a much-needed makeover, and it’s worth checking out. Friday and Saturday nights can be unbearably crowded, with overly aggressive security. But we are adding this club to our honorable mentions because the weekday parties here are the best in all of Tokyo. Always busy, loads of ladies only seats, three different floors, and cheap 500 yen drinks.
ageha, Japan’s largest night club is holding a heaven themed white party this Saturday night starting at 11 pm. And it looks to be a fun-filled night with thousands of Tokyo party people dancing on four different floors, one of which is a pool!
Guests receive free Halos at the door!
TURNED ON, a Tokyo-based event organization is hosting the party, and they are celebrating nine years of big parties.
Also, the incredibly popular CYBERJAPAN DANCERS will be holding a BIKINI Party at the pool. Just imagine dozens of some of the most famous, not to mention gorgeous Go-Go dancers in Asia, hyping up up the pool floor. Sounds good to us!
From what we can tell, this is going to be HUGE! And we have an exclusive discount for our TOKYO NIGHT OWL readers! Just download the image below onto your phone, and show it at the discount tent to receive your Tokyo Night Owl discount.
These discount coupons are good for just one guest. Feel free to share it with your friends.
Guests who wear at least 50% white, can enter for a 1,000 Yen! Don’t have any white clothes? Show this coupon and enter for just 2,000 Yen.
Need a white outfit? You can purchase cheap white clothing at either Uniqlo or H&M, located in Shibuya and Shinjuku.
Making your way to ageHa can be difficult for Tokyo newcomers, so we recommend taking the free ageHa bus shuttle from Shibuya. It is about a 5-minute walk from the Hachiko Crossing, and the shuttle bus picks up party-goers every 15 minutes or so starting at midnight.
Strange things happen in the Big Mikan’s witching hours, when the sober, family-oriented, and conservative wardens of civilized society are tucked happily in their futons and dreaming of short excursions to the safe, Japan-approved getaways of Hawaii and Guam.
The changing of the guard occurs frantically around midnight, hordes of belching salarymen trying to hold the beer and gyoza down while mashing onto the crowded final Yamanote line train.
The trains inbound from the outskirts of Tokyo, by comparison, are far more peaceful – empty, even.
I can’t say I haven’t taken a brief nap on the overhead luggage rack of an inbound last train to Roppongi before – guilty as charged. But no matter whether you’ve been drinking since 6pm or are just now sallying forth on the last train for a heroic night on the town, there is no doubt that the trains dictate the pace of the night. Everybody living more than a couple stops away from the night time destinations knows they have to either go home around midnight, or stick it out until 5am.
The first and last trains are like tides – both signal a high-water mark of traffic, people, and energy. If you want to meet a partner for the night, it’s crucial to keep this in mind. So what’s the hookup timeline of a late Tokyo night? When and where is the best place to hook up with someone in Tokyo?
11pm – 1 am: The Magic Hour
Okay, so it might be a little more than an hour but the idea is the same. The cities (especially Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Roppongi, and other major stations) are bright and loud with the sound of laughter and lively conversation as people are emptying into the streets from finished nomikais (drinking parties), dinner dates, social obligations, and some unlucky overtime shifts. Whether their night was a success (drinking with their friends) or a feat of endurance (watching the clock until the boss stops drowning them in shochu and forcing them to listen to rude jokes), the transition to last train usually has people in a good mood.
Location 1: The Streets
In the smoking area near the Kabukicho exit of Shinjuku station, near 109 and the scramble crossing in Shibuya, and outside the East and West exits of Ikebukuro station, you’ll see the nanpa-shi (pickup guys), standing guard with their standardized uniform – gelled hair, man purse, loafers, and phone in hand – eyeing women from their sentry posts along the main pedestrian thoroughfares.
If you’re a girl looking for a hook-up, it can be as easy as walking slowly past these areas by yourself and making eye contact with these guys. Then, when they approach simply smile and demurely mention you’ve missed your last train.
If you’re a guy – it won’t be as easy, but the existence of such nanpa-shi illustrate that it’s neither strange nor culturally insensitive to talk to strangers on the street – in fact, it is very much a part of Japanese culture. During this “Magic Hour” probably the single best place to meet women is on the street near the station. Keep in mind that as groups splinter off heading to different train lines, you generally have only until the ticket gates to make a good impression before she enters the station. Within the first minute or two you want to communicate that:
You are a normal person.
You want to hang out in the city tonight.
She should join you.
While many of the Japanese nanpa-shi will offer short, rapid-fire invitations to girls with low probability of success, you can easily outperform them by adjusting your game to be a bit more human and less robotic and shady.
Forget canned pickup “lines” or strange techniques and routines, and stay away like the plague from any ideas you might have about “tricking” the girl into sex – the best approach is a simple one. Walk up to her. Talk to her normally. Mention whatever it was you were just doing – eating with friends, drinking, etc. Mention something you’d like to do tonight (your agenda!). Invite her to join you. Ideally, by the time you invite her, she’s paying attention to you and engaging with you in conversation. If you’ve been walking, you can gradually slow to a stop now. If she’s enjoying herself in your company (it doesn’t really take that much), she might voluntarily miss her last train or agree to come for “Just one drink.” If it’s after last train time (12:30ish), then most people are out for good. If a woman is by herself, there’s a decent chance she missed her train and now has no plans – perfect opportunity to make a new friend who might just end up becoming more!
Location 2: Smoking Areas / Meeting Areas
In Shibuya, Hachiko is the most famous meeting area. Right next to it, there is a smoking area, and another newer smoking area closer to the koban outside the station exit. This area is great for meeting people who are either taking a break before leaving for home, after arriving, or after missing their last train.
In Shinjuku, these areas are right outside the Kabukicho exit, in front of Alta (with the large TV monitor overhead) next to the fruit shop, and outside the west exit. In Ikebukuro the West and East exit are both good, although the East exit is more younger “normal” crowds, and the West exit tends to be more salarymen and red light crowds (including workers heading to and from their shifts, if that’s your thing).
For people waiting or smoking in these areas, you can simply walk up to them and initiate a conversation. Some might move away wordlessly – this means they are either not interested or waiting for someone – but don’t be disheartened. If you end up talking to one for a while, you want to determine what her/his plans are for the night. If they are waiting for a friend you could either try to get their contact information for another day, or alternatively, try to befriend the friend when they arrive and join the party for a drink!
Location 3: Tsutaya
It’s a reasonably safe bet that anyone looking for DVDs on a Friday or Saturday night has relatively little planned for the night. Perhaps they’re picking a DVD out to watch with their significant other, or perhaps they’re bored out of their minds and wish they had a friend to hang out with and maybe more! There’s only one way to find out – head to your local Tsutaya, GEO, or DVD rental shop and check out the foreign movies section. If someone strikes your fancy, make some casual conversation and you might end up in bed with a sexy new partner.
1am – 3am: The Dead of Night
Whereas the Magic Hour was characterized by lots of people either heading to, from, or narrowly missing their trains, the Dead of Night is the opposite – most everybody is indoors somewhere. You might find a few stragglers outside, but by and large, most people have made their ways to a club, karaoke, izakaya, or a bar. Most establishments are open until 5am, and places like Izakaya and Karaoke often have a flat fee for all-you-can-drink / sing / party until 5am.
Location 4: Izakaya
While I don’t recommend going to an izakaya for the sole purpose of hooking up with someone (unless you’re bringing that someone there), if you are already there with friends you might just find a table of friendly people (or a cute girl/guy on the way to the bathroom) who you can meet and share laughs with. If you’re lucky and leave the place together or formulate a good enough connection and reason for them to leave their friends, you might even end up splitting off with your new friend and heading somewhere together. Popular izakaya include:
You could also try your hand at Aiseki-ya (http://www.aiseki-ya.com/ ), a “hook-up izakaya.” The general idea is that the men pay (up to 1800yen per 30 minutes) for all-you-can-drink and food, while the girls drink and eat for free. While this can add up quite a bit for the guys, and there’s no guarantee about the quality of women you might end up paired up at a table with, it might be something to check out. Women especially can have a great time with this – at the worst you get free drinks and food, and at the best you might end up across from a nice young salaryman who, while a little shy, is really quite sweet.
Location 5: Karaoke (カラオケ)
Again, it’s better for sure to “pack your own lunch,” so to speak, by bringing girls/guys you are interested in here rather than trying to meet new people from another room – but it can be done! In all karaoke places there are free soft drinks included with the room, so you can often bump into people from other rooms near the soft drink area or the restrooms and strike up a conversation. You can then pop into their room or invite them into yours for a song or two, or if you’re feeling extra adventurous, pull them into the bathroom for some private fun.
The alchohol in karaoke places is watered down and overpriced, so I recommend packing in a bottle of hard liquor and mixing it with the free soft drinks. Just keep it out of sight of the staff and you should be fine. As for tips on actually hooking up IN the karaoke, this is covered a bit later in this post so stay tuned!
Japan isn’t as much of a “bar” culture as most other Western countries are, however there are a few. The best ones are detailed in the Tokyo Nightlife Guide on Amazon.
HUB is probably the most popular and prominent bar, and is known as a hook-up place, even late into the night. It also has a higher concentration of English speakers and girls who like foreigners. Most other bars are small, with table charges and low/unreliable traffic so there are no guarantees of finding someone you like at them.
In Roppongi there are a few bars which cater to the foreigner scene, namely:
R2 – Quite classy, with a heavy mix of foreigners. Drinks here are on the expensive side, from 1200-2000yen. There is live music on occasion as well, and tables with limited food selection. R2 is known for “angels” or “drink-backs” and “pros”. Drink-backs essentially try to take you to a bar of their choosing where they will pressure you to order champagne or buy them drinks. At the end of the night you’ll end up with a much lighter wallet and blue balls. If you sense you are getting taken for a ride, ditch the girl. I recommend not following any girls from this bar to a bar of their choosing – always know a place you can go, and take them to your place, not theirs. Pros simply want cash for their time and action. That said – you CAN find normal girls who like foreigners here, you just have to be cautious.
A971 – Another foreigner-focused bar. This one has fewer pros and drink-backs, but nowhere in Roppongi is totally free of them.
Rigaletto – Rigaletto has a somewhat crowded bar area and a wide open restaurant area. Women come here to meet bankers and businessmen, so if that fits your profile, you might have luck here. Even if that’s not at all you, the women here are more friendly than most venues and you can still end up with a bed partner by the end of the night with a little gift of gab.
Geronimo Shot Bar – Hit or miss. Sometimes has a great crowd, other times not so much.
Location 7: Events / Parties
Tokyo Pub Crawl http://www.tokyopubcrawl.com/ – Every Friday and Saturday, Tokyo Pub Crawl gathers a group of about 100 tourists and locals for a fun night out on the town in either Roppongi or Shibuya. The price is reasonable and you get to bounce around a bunch of bars and end up at a club. The sense of camaraderie and variety of venues makes for a fun night as well.
International Parties – These often take place earlier in the night, however some of them happen at clubs and you can stay the whole night, so I’m including them here just in case. While the ratios of guys:girls might be a bit skewed at some, sometimes you can find a nice lady (and if you’re a lady, well the ratio is in your favor!). Entrance usually includes some sort of food buffet and perhaps a drink, or maybe nomihodai (all you can drink). Here are a few to check out:
There’s a full break down of events and parties in this book too.
3am – 5am Go Time
Whereas during the dead of night, people are either firmly nestled in their izakayas, karaoke rooms, or just arriving to a club (and therefore want to enjoy themselves, blow off steam, dance, and have fun), around 3am everybody is tired and often just want to rest and/or go home. As such, it becomes “Go Time,” which means (especially in clubs) to try to bring that special girl or guy into a taxi and off to a love-making location. It also means that more people leave the club and head somewhere to wait for the last train – usually a after-hours restaurant. Additionally, this is the hour at which many working girls – especially kyabakura / hostess girls get out of work, so if you either know one or position yourself in the right areas around this time, you might be able to meet one. Needless to say, these are some very attractive women! While the hostess bars are a bit of a trap (expensive, almost always leads nowhere beyond transparent flattery and conversation), meeting such girls outside of their clubs can make for memorable encounters. More on that later.
Location 8: Clubs
Whew, we’ve been through 7 places to meet someone to hook up with and we’re just now getting to clubs! Clubs might not be the best place to meet a future wife, but hey, this is Tokyo Night Owl, not Tokyo Teatime Pheasant, so let’s dig into the club scene in Tokyo – it’s huge! There are already a ton of great articles on TNO about all sorts of clubs and the types of music you can find at each. But since this article is about hooking up, I want to start out by pointing out that there are two main types of clubs, with a spectrum in between them.
Social clubs. These clubs are more like a “scene.” People go here because their friends go here, they know the DJs / bar staff, etc, and the type of music is less EDM and more so a specific sub genre, for example, Drum+Bass or Reggae. Often, the people who go to these clubs ONLY go to these clubs, or follow events around the city at different clubs, such as the Psy-trance crowd going to Mother events and raves in Shizuoka. At these types of clubs, the best approach is to A.) actually like the music and B.) befriend everybody – girls, guys, staff, grandmothers, etc. The more you seem like someone who is a part of the “scene,” the friendlier everybody will be – including the lovely ladies and gentlemen of the venue who you wish to leave with. Examples: Womb, Harlem, Air, Ageha (depending on the night), etc
Meat market clubs. These clubs generally play top 40 and EDM hits. Think David Guetta, Avicii, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, etc. Most people who go to these types of clubs enjoy the music, but aren’t quite as deeply involved in the music scene as those who go to social clubs. In this type of venue, they key (for men) is to approach, approach, approach.Talk to lots of girls, and move them around the venue. Talk to her for five minutes, then head to the bar for a drink or the dance floor. If there’s a chill area, take her there next and chat a bit more.Moving the girl around creates a “conspiracy of two” and makes it seem as though the two of you are naturally together – which makes it easier when you want to leave with her for some romantic times. Bouncing her around the venue also has the added advantage of not letting the interaction “stall out” due to communication issues or limited ability to hear each other over the loud music. If she gets bored, she’ll likely leave to find her friends again or head to the bathroom. Moving her around and then eventually out of the club will work better (and be a lot more fun) than trying to initiate a long-winded, effusive dialogue with her while jammed in a corner between the Mevius companion girls handing out free cigarettes and the line for the ladies toilet.
For ladies, the strategy is much simpler. Japanese men (assuming that’s who you’re interested in!) aren’t always fans of direct approaches initiated by womenso you should stick to dancing, smiling, and appearing approachable.
If you see a particular guy who strikes your fancy you could move to be directly in front of him, and make eye contact occasionally. If he still isn’t taking the bait you could initiate the conversation with something indirect – like “Where is the bar?” or “What’s this song?” If you get in a conversation with a guy and he seems to be a bit slow to pull the trigger you could try saying something subtle like “My legs are tired, I want to sit down somewhere” or “I’m hungry..” and hopefully he’ll get the message.
By and large, the clubs in Roppongi will be a bit more friendly to foreigners. Many clubs in Shibuya can be a bit harsh for foreign guys and Japanese girls might not be into foreigners or at least not want to be seen hanging out with them. Once again, your ability to put her at ease and have a fun interaction mitigates this. Japanese ability and cultural understanding helps loads.
If your main goal is to hook up, I’d recommend going to somewhat friendly meat-market type clubs. Here are a few I’d recommend:
T2 (can be difficult, better on weekdays than weekends – when it’s absolutely packed)
Muse. It used to be said that you “Can’t lose at Muse” if you’re a foreigner, however I think it’s no longer a sure bet as much as it used to be.
Ivy. The now defunct super-club Feria hosts events here, and the crowd here is foreigner-friendly, although the venue is a bit small.
LINE, Myst, Greenland. Many (Myst and Greenland) offer all-you-can-drink before 11pm/12pm for guys, and often all-you-can-drink all night for girls. Tokyo Night Owl mentions these in Tokyo’s best budget clubs. The tradeoff is that these clubs are quite small. After 5am however, these are some of the few places where the party continues on (and the entrance is free after 5am) – so if you’re a REALLY late night owl you can continue here.
Location 9: McDonald’s
Laugh if you will. McDonald’s (and other similar fast-food restaurants and family restaurants) in major areas are often full of tired girls and guys just waiting for first train – or for someone fun to come along. Especially late in the night, such restaurants are gold mines for meeting slightly tipsy, yet tired girls and guys who would love nothing more than to rest in a bed (love hotel / your house!). Can you say “opportunity?”
Location 10: Ramen
Ingrained in the very fabric of Japanese society is the idea that after a long night of drinking, everybody goes to eat ramen. Not only is this a great way to invite someone to leave the club/bar/venue with you, but it can also be a good place to meet people as well! As you slurp up your tasty tonkotsu ramen and chashu, you might just find a pretty gal or cool guy sitting right next to you.
Location 11: Don Quixote
Don Quixote (for those who don’t know) is a variety store which sells just about everything you could want – sort of like a Walmart which you don’t instantly hate – all jammed into a few dense floors. The fact that it’s open until 5am means a lot of people pass through and around here at all hours of the night – especially the Don Quixotes in Shibuya, Roppongi, Shinjuku, and Ikebukuro. Notably, if what I wrote about hostesses piqued your interest, the Okubo Don Quixote sees quite a few pass through after 2-3am. If you meet a suitable gal or guy inside Don Quixote, you’re also just a few steps from some really cheap drinks and snacks. Why not suggest a “snack party” in a nearby hotel? I’d be lying if I said I haven’t found some great late-night hookups in the make-up section and the snacks area.
Location 12: The After-Hours Clubs
While most clubs are only open until 5am, a few after-hours clubs keep the party bumping far into the daylight hours. Jumanji (now Myst) is free after 5am, and often still packed when normal families are drinking their morning miso. Oath is open until 8am on weekends on the Shibuya side of the Aoyama tunnel. Blue Bar doesn’t even really get hot until around 11am. For more early morning suggestions check out this post on Roppongi’s after-hours clubsor readthe guide.
Where to Get Jiggy Late at Night
So you’ve found yourself some good company, and the laughs and fun are flowing freely and you’d like to take things to the next level. Where can you go if your place is not an option? There are many alternatives.
Love Hotel. There are relatively few in Roppongi (seems like a huge oversight on their part!). In Shinjuku they are located deep past Kabukicho towards Okubo. In Shibuya they are located up “Love Hotel Hill” aka Dogenzaka. Usually by the late hours of the night, many are full so you might have to walk to a few before you find one which has vacancy.
Karaoke. Karaoke rooms often have glass windows in the doors, and a camera in the room as well. However, adventurous types (like myself) simply cover the camera with a jacket and don’t worry about the door! The room is dark anyway.
Manga Cafe. Most manga cafes consist of cubicles with walls which don’t completely separate from the rest of the room. As such, you might want to keep relatively quiet, and a curious customer might peer over the barrier. However, they are quite cheap and have hot coffee, instant ramen, manga, and even showers!
Get creative. A dark stairwell. A park. An alleyway. A rooftop. The options are limited only by your imagination (and modesty). These are all options in which I have personally partaken in Japan. I regret nothing! 🙂
While people may tell you the Japanese are reserved or asexual, I can tell you that is certainly often not the case – especially if you’re able to slice through to their world and relate to them in a casual and fun way. Don’t expect to come in and just grab up any girl or guy you want simply because you’re different, but you certainly shouldn’t have too much trouble finding someone to hook up with late at night, especially if you head to a few of these sweet spots and take action towards the objects of your affection. Keep the vibe fun and energetic, and don’t get too upset if they aren’t that interested – there are TONS of people in Tokyo and another chance is just around the corner.
Japanese people are rarely explicit about leaving to a hotel or to have sex, but you can be reasonably confident if you leave the club together that the girl/guy will be happy to end up at a hotel if you smooth the path there.
Hope you guys enjoyed this post. Check out my site if you’d like or you can take my course for dating Japanese women.
Do you want to have one of the best nights of your life in one of the greatest cities on the planet? If so, pick up our Tokyo Nightlife Guide available now on amazon.com.
Well, this popular (and often controversial) app has a presence in Tokyo, all right, but keep in mind that it’s a very small one. Tokyo is the only part of Japan where it operates, and it’s a taxi-hailing rather than a ridesharing app. (Uber also started a ridesharing project in Fukuoka in early 2015, but that proved to be short-lived, as the government declared it illegal.)
Perhaps the first question to ask is, “Is it worth it?”
Uber tends to thrive in cities where taxi operators are found lacking in comparison, what with problems such as rude drivers trying to rip passengers off, poorly maintained cabs, and the difficulty of flagging down a taxi. Tokyo, however, doesn’t really have to deal with these issues.
For one, Tokyo has a very efficient railway system, thus making cabs more of a pricey last resort. And for those who do need to use taxis, Tokyo’s taxis tend to be clean, comfortable, and well-maintained, with the drivers being affable, polite, and honest. The meters work just fine, too, so there’s no need to worry about being ripped off. When Tokyo’s cab industry is already doing its job well, it seems to make little sense for Uber to have entered the market.
However, Uber does have some slight edges over its competitors, so here’s a rundown of Uber ‘s pros and cons:
Whereas most taxi companies add a late-night/early morning surcharge of 20-30% for rides hailed between 10:00 pm-5:00 am, Uber cars don’t. Thus, while Uber cars are often pricier than the competition, that’s not necessarily the case at night. That makes it perfect for night owls!
Uber’s cars are bigger and offer more legroom.
Transactions are cashless – perfect for those who don’t carry too much cash on them.
Most drivers can speak English – not necessarily fluently, but decently enough.
It’s pricier than a regular taxi. For comparison purposes, a typical taxi in Tokyo costs 730 yen for the first two kilometers, then 80-90 yen for every additional 270-300 meters. UberBLACK starts with a base fare of 103 yen, followed by 67 yen per minute and 308 yen per kilometer, with the minimum fare being 823 yen.
Uber’s small fleet in Tokyo means that there aren’t always available cars.
Your mileage may vary, but my verdict is that, lack of night surcharge aside, there is little reason to choose Uber over a regular taxi, as the service that Japanese drivers provide is already quite good (and transactions can be cashless, too, as most drivers accept card payments).
Tokyo also has plenty of taxis, so hailing one usually shouldn’t be too much of a problem in the first place. However, if you’re still on board and willing to give Uber a try, read on for my Uber experience in Tokyo.
After downloading the app, I got a welcome e-mail promising that using Uber would be a breeze, as these were all it would take to get a ride:
That night, I was in a prime nightlife area, so I had no trouble finding an available car. As mentioned earlier, Uber has a small fleet, so you stand a better chance of finding a ride in swanky expat neighborhoods and/or areas with bustling nightlife, such as Minato-ku (Roppongi and Azabu-Juban) and Shibuya.
Time to pick a car! Uber has four types of cars to choose from:
Uber Black, their standard classy black car, which can accommodate up to 4 people
Uber Black Van, which can accommodate up to 6 people
Uber Taxi, which are taxis from third-party companies that have partnerships with Uber. For Uber Taxi, you just pay a pickup charge (which varies depending on the company) and the price indicated on the meter.
Uber TaxiLux, which cost an additional 500 yen on top of the pickup charge and meter value. This is the premium choice because you get to ride in a Toyota Crown Royal, BMW 7 Series, Toyota Alphard, or Lexus LS.
Selecting UberBLACK, I set my pickup location and specified Nagatacho Station as my destination. Zenshin, my driver for the night, then promptly arrived in less than five minutes. Unlike regular Japanese taxis, the black car didn’t have doors that opened automatically, so Zenshin opened the door for me. Naturally, I’m perfectly capable of opening the door myself, but this gesture is apparently part of Uber’s services. It was a nice personal touch, and it made me feel like I had a personal chauffeur for the night.
Making small talk with Zenshin, I asked how Uber was faring in Tokyo, to which he said that Uber’s presence in Tokyo is still barely felt, and that most Japanese aren’t aware of Uber.
Regardless of that hurdle, if interviews with Uber Japan’s president are any indication, Uber intends to target foreigners in Japan, and is preparing for the surge in tourism that the Tokyo Olympics will surely bring about.
Nearly 15 minutes later, we’d arrived at Nagatacho Station. Once again, Zenshin opened the door for me, after which I thanked him for his service. Just a few minutes later, I got an email informing me of the fare breakdown.
And just like that, my first Uber experience wrapped up.
It was quick and easy, with a polite and affable driver, a clean, spacious, sleek car, and – most importantly – a safe ride.
If I ever find myself out late at night, I think I’d consider Uber again. But otherwise, as good as Uber’s service is, I think I’d go for a regular taxi, because I’m a cheapo after all.
Copy and paste my Tokyo Uber coupon: TIFFANYL3708UE
Tiffany Lim moved to Tokyo from Manila, Philippines in 2013 for grad school. She got her MA in September 2015 and is currently still in Tokyo, working. Tiffany enjoys reading novels, crafts, and taking pictures of interesting things, places, and events (though she is no photographer). Lately, she’s also been trying to maintain a blog called Golden Time Lover.
Use Tiffany’s code above for a free ride, and comment below to tell us how it went!
Do you want to have one of the best nights of your life in one of the greatest cities on the planet? If so, pick up our Tokyo Nightlife Guide available now on amazon.com.
The LINE app has many translation "friends" that can help you communicate in Japan! The English to Japanese translation is even better than Google Translate! Want to learn Japanese phrases for nightlife? Tokyo Nightlife Guide is on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2gZVLRS Follow us: Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tokyonightowl Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/tokyonightowl Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tokyonightowl_ Download LINE: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/line/...
In the smartphone capital of the world, apps are an essential part of everyone’s day…and night. They not only make Tokyoites’ lives easier, but also maximize the amount of enjoyment and fun that can be had on any night of the week. So with your phone in hand, let’s download the best apps for Tokyo’s nightlife!
At the Bar:
LINE (iOS or Android):
This is the most used messaging app in the country. All calls (including video chat) are also free of charge to other LINE users. And if that doesn’t sell you on this free app, the various stickers and cartoons surely will.
Make sure you add the high speed translation “Friend” (move aside Google Translate). It makes translation, meeting new friends, and forming long lasting relationships a breeze. Here’s a “how to” to add the friend:
There’s even a “Taxi” call function!
Imiwa (iOS only): Offline in a crowded club or bar with no service? No worries- Imiwa has you covered. It’s a comprehensive offline dictionary capable of helping you form basic conversations and learning along the way.
Akebi (Android only): Imiwa’s Android kid brother, it offers almost parallel functionality for those who lack Apple’s iPhone.
Google Translate (iOs and Android): While speed is best covered by other apps above, Google Translate beats the crowd with it’s ability to both pronounce and recognize new words you type or speak into it via the microphone. It’s incredibly accurate at recognizing spoken Japanese.
As an additional plus, you can also hand-draw kanji (Japanese symbols) on your touch screen. If you draw them accurately, Google Translate will have spot-on recognition of the kanji and even tell you how to say it.
At The Club:
iFlyer (iOS; Android is “pending”): Utilizing all the event information in its comprehensive site, this app allows you to select the type of music you want and your location to find events near you. As an added plus, you can put yourself on various discount lists or get an iFlyer coupon for some money off.
Shazam (iOS and Android): This classic app works just as well in Tokyo as anywhere else in the world. It even works on Japanese songs!
Jorudan (Japanese only; iOS and Android): Currently only available in Japanese, this app is essential for those who want a convenient way to find the last train home.
Google Maps (iOS and Android): Tried, true, and tested: It is still the king of directions and one of the most essential apps for Tokyo nightlife. This app not only shows you how to get to your destination, but also calculates the cost of the full journey (and alternative pricing for different routes)! As an added bonus, it even provides your estimated walking time. If you fiddle with the times, you can also use it similar fashion to Jurodan to discover the last train times.
AirBnB(iOS and Android): With hotel prices in nightlife areas being upwards of 200 USD a night, why not try the way more budget- and way more fun- AirBnB? The government even has a policy of “benign neglect” for the company… it’s all good to use the app and for those to host! While they don’t work for last minute booking (use a love hotel for that), they are perfect for even the “night before” to book. Get a 20 dollar AirBnB voucher here!
Late Night Eats:
Guru Navi (iOS and Android): Want delicious ramen? A 24 hour izakaya? This app is available in English and allows you to find exactly what you want to eat and where to find it.
XE (iOS and Android): This Currency Conversion app works offline as well. It will allow you to hand over that 1,000 yen bill without worrying that you just gave away your personal nest egg.
Yurekuru (iOS and Android): The cutest way to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This cute little catfish will always notify you instantly should a dangerous earthquake strike.
What’s your favorite app for Tokyo nightlife? Are there any apps you think are missing from the list? Comment below!
While many cities around the globe claim to be the “city that never sleeps,” they often tout early closing times or crowds that dissipate shortly after 2 am. Not Tokyo. While most mega-clubs in Japan’s capital close by 5 am, you can continue the partying well into the wee hours of next evening if you know where to go. So drink that Red Bull (or two) and don’t let your Tokyo nightlife experience end just because the sun came up. Head to Roppongi’s best after-hours clubs!
Entrance Fee: 1,500 Yen (13 USD) with one drink included
Venue Type: Club
Music Style: Deep house /Techno, Trance and Psychedelic Trance, EDM
Hours: (Week, M-F): 6:00 Am Till 2:00 Pm /(Weekends, Sat /Sun): 6:00 Am Till 7:00 pm (sometimes closes at 4 pm)
Blue Bar has one of the, if not the best, after-hours sound systems in Roppongi. And remember: doors open at 6 am– so don’t come too early! The staff are very cool and will drink with you until you drop (which is likely, given you’ve been probably partying for over 12 hours!).
The music is very loud, so you may have a difficult time having a conversation. That being said, the venue itself is very clean. Most of the clientele are (surprisingly) Japanese. Careful how long you stay though, you may end up walking out and see the sun setting.
Address:〒106-0032 Tokyo, Minato, Roppongi, 3 Chome−15−24, ウィン六本木 3F
Entrance Fee: 2.000 Yen (no drink)
Venue Style: Lounge Bar
Music Style: Salsa – Latin Music – Arabic – Edm – Pop
Hours: (Week, M-F): 9:00 pm till 6:00 am/ (Weekend, Sat/Sun): 9:00 pm till 9:00 am
A luxurious bar in the center of Roppongi-dori! It’s full of exotic and beautiful hookas to smoke and enjoy as well! If you love more of a “sit-down” vibe, or just love to smoke shisha, this is the best after-hours club in Tokyo for you.
The sound system is strong, but not as strong as Tokyo’s other clubs. This is a relief if you want to have some relaxed conversation. The real asset of this venue is the bar and the crowd that frequents it. Expect a very international clientele! Overall, people seem very happy here.
Entrance Fee: 1.000 yen (Events will be higher priced)
Music Style: House – Techno – Trance
Hours: (Week): 8:00 pm till 9 :00 am (week)/(Weekends, Fri/Sat): 8:00 Pm till 2:00 Am
Kick-ass sound system. Odeon is one of the most long standing and famous after hours in all of Roppongi. If house music is your thing, this is the place to go!
The place is pretty dark inside and matches the atmosphere with some (sometimes) heavy electronic music. Neon light overload, and not good for conversation: but if you just wanna keep drinking and dancing, you may enjoy this spot a ton! The only place you can actually talk is in the VIP due to it being quiet. Bring ear plugs (or cash for VIP)! Customers are a mix of Japanese and gaijin.
Address: 3F Hanatsubaki Bldg. 3-15-23 Roppongi Minato-ku Tokyo 106-0032
About This Author:
K-Style is a long term resident, DJ, and producer who resides in Tokyo, Japan. He has DJ’d at some of the best after-hours in Tokyo: including being the resident DJ of the infamous White Room after-hours parties (one of Tokyo’s longest standing after-hours venues that closed down in recent years). After earning his living as a DJ in Tokyo for many years, he has changed his focus to learning music production.
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What makes for an authentic Japanese nightlife experience? Neon lights, hedonistic drinks, and the best sound systems in Asia certainly contribute, but to really experience Japanese nightlife requires embracing an even deeper concept: the culture. In Japan, nightlife is when you can shed your tatemae (建前, the social facade of public appearance), and embrace your honne (本音, your true feelings), to enter a state of lowered inhibitions and social connectivity. By understanding this, and other Japanese cultural idiosyncrasies, you too can live like a local and enjoy an authenticallyJapanesenightlife experience.
The bare essentials of culturally competent debauchery
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Phrase book or translation apps: You just need a willingness to experiment and play with the language. In other words, you just need to be okay with sounding like a 4-year-old Japanese child. So much of “tatemae” involves saving face; toss it back with the shots. I highly recommend you take this free Japanese course as a primer for your visit!
The best (and cleanest socks) you own. Shoes off is a common practice- even in some bars.
Go for the bow instead of the handshake. You don't have to go a full 90 degrees; a nod of the head can often suffice.
If you have a significant other: PDA is taboo. Save the make outs for dark alleyways (it's a low crime rate here, so you're safe).
Police have a right to question you and even search you, so keep your passport on you as it's legally required if you are a non-resident.
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With the bare essentials above in hand, there's no need to be shy.Try out some Japanese phrases!Whether it's aBritish knock-off bar, or an eclectic absinthe bar, you'll find your niche and new connections.
It's legal and acceptable to drink on the street, but don't eat on the street.
It's OK to yell for the bartender even when they aren't in sight. Simply holler the Japanese phrase, “SU-EE-MA-SEN” (the casual pronunciation of the Japanese phrase for “Excuse Me”).
No need to tip the bartender. It'll make it awkward for both of you.
Accept that some venues don't allow foreigners. This is usually due to the type of establishment (sex club, or a small bar where the bartender doesn't speak English).
Give and and receive business cards with two hands, and look at the front and back of the card when you receive it. It is a sign of respect.
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The standard gathering ground in Japan is a hybrid restaurant bar called an izayaka (IZ-A-KA-YA). They often have all you can drink specials, and after a drink or two at a bar, you'll more than likely meet people keen on helping you find one. They stay open very late.
Time to show off those socks! Shoes aren't allowed in a lot of izakayas, so leave them at the door.
You may be invited to sit at another's table, but do be wary if they are showing signs of “tatamae.” Engaging another's table isn't common, but isn't unheard of. Simply say “KAMPAI!” (Japanese word for cheers) to start an introduction.
Before you eat, you can impress your friends with a simple Japanese phrase (loosely equivalent to a “saying of grace” before a meal): it-ta-da-ki-masu.
Be careful with how you place your chopsticks. Leaving your chopsticks upright and stabbed into the rice bowl is a funeral practice in Japan – it's very culturally offensive. Simply placing them beside your plate when finished will suffice (more on chopstick etiquette...)
If you order ramen, or any noodle dish, slurp those noodles as loud as you can. Slurping signals that the noodles are delicious! Additionally, you can add the Japanese phrase “OISHII” to signal that it tastes great.
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Despite the aura of shyness you'll pick up from some Japanese, they know how to rock it when it comes to karaoke. In fact, for many groups of Japanese friends, their night out consists exclusively of karaoke.
Western music is very common in Japan, and many Japanese- even with limited English- know the words to some hit songs.
Don't bring drinks into karaoke; they have unlimited drink specials for great deals and they will kick you out.
Karaoke have somewhat hidden cameras, and the doors don't lock, so save any hanky panky for the hotel. You will get kicked out.
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Up until 2015, you couldn't legally dance in Japan. Police used “selective” enforcement of this most of the time, but luckily this law is gone. Still, some practices remain that it's worth being aware of.
Smoking in most clubs is permitted. This means you will reek of cigarettes.
No tattoos. Tattoos must be covered for almost any clubs in Japan. Even if it's Buddha shaking hands with Jesus, it needs to be covered.
No shorts. Some clubs are more laid back about this, but play it safe if you want to get in. Fancy clubs like Feria even have “jean rental” for the ill-equipped.
By the time clubs starts filling up (between midnight to 1 am), you need to make a choice of your last train, a later taxi, or to party all night long.
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Depending on how “authentic” your experience was, you may be severely hungover. While this hangover may pervade the morning, it pales in comparison to the connections and relationships you made; many of which may last far into the future. Facebook and LinkedIn are now prominent social media platforms in Japan, so you can easily keep in touch with your new Japanese friends. Maybe one day you will be helping them “live it up like a local!”
There’s a contagious myth, in both Japan and abroad, that by simply being a foreigner, one has an automatic advantage for dating Japanese girls. The reality is that there are many reasons why Japanese girls don’t like foreign guys, the majority of which can be summed up by one of Japan’s most relevant cultural exports: anime.
All of the artwork in this post was created by Mizuka Inaba. You are welcome to share the images, but please credit “Tokyo Night Owl” and “Mizuka Inaba”with a link back to this article.