The Best Things to do in Tokyo at Night
By Jashan Sidhu | Updated December 6, 2020
Tokyo is a very busy city, day and night. You will hardly ever catch the streets empty and the city lights shut off. So if you are looking to make the most of your time in Tokyo, you have to get out and enjoy all the crazy places to be at night. Don’t worry, if you’re on a budget but would still like to enjoy what the city has to offer at night, we have added things you can experience for free. However, if you would like to spend some money and get busy making some crazy memories, we've got drinking alleys and clubs that are really popular among foreigners right here in this list. So the next time your friends hit you up for a night on the town, consider the options below!
Make sure to check the websites for each location in this article before planning a day out. Some locations have changed hours due to Covid 19 restrictions. Some events may also be put on hold until the government deems it is safe for operations to carry on.
Things to Enjoy for Free
If you’re a student or if you’ve just started working in Japan, you probably don’t have much money to blow on a night out. That doesn’t mean you can not have fun and that you need to be in bed by 9pm. Why stay in when you are in one of the most lively and safest cities? Of course you’ve got to start somewhere, so why not begin with the free things to enjoy in Tokyo at night. We promise you won’t regret checking these out!
How about going for an evening stroll across a beautifully lit bridge with a grand view of Tokyo's towers? It’s always nice to get out and get some fresh air, and even more so with a view like the one from this bridge. The Rainbow Bridge is located in Minato City and sits on top of the Tokyo Bay. It is free to access within it’s open hours, which is 9am to 9pm in the summer and 10am to 6pm in the winter. However, it is closed on every 3rd Monday of the month and pets are not allowed on the pathways.
Speaking of pathways, there are 2 on this bridge. One is on the south and one on the north side, and they each have a different view of the city. It takes approximately 25 minutes to walk across the bridge, and if you have a bike you must get off it and walk it as well. During the day you can enjoy a lively and fresh walk across, but at night you can get to see all the lights of the bridge, hence its name “Rainbow Bridge”. It’s also the perfect destination for pictures so don’t forget to bring your cameras!
Enjoy Public Art
Tokyo is home to fabulous street art that you can walk around and enjoy for free. So pick out a night you’d like to travel to these art pieces and see for yourself just how magnificent they are. If you are a fan of Studio Ghibli’s work, such as “Howl’s Moving Castle”, then you will surely enjoy visiting the big Ghibli Clock. You can get a chance to see the clock in action at 12pm, 3pm, 6pm and 8pm everyday. The clock is located in Shiodome outside the Nittele Tower. Another popular tourist attraction is the Eye of Shinjuku which you can come by fairly easily at the Shinjuku train station. This art piece has been there since 1969! You can also cross off another art attraction while in Shinjuku, the sculpture of “LOVE” in front of Shinjuku i-Land. The sculpture was made by American artist Robert Indiana and there are other pieces just like it in New York, Taipei and Bilbao.
These art pieces are celebrated around the world and are famous landmarks that you should definitely take a chance to check out while in Tokyo to make the most of your time in the city.
The Japanese love fireworks, and they are a highlight of every summer. People flood parks and streets to enjoy these shows. In fact, you can catch them at most summer festivals. The months of July and August are even known as “Hanabi Season”. The first part of the word, “Hana” means flower and the last part “bi” means fire. Therefore, it roughly translates to “fire flower”! It is common for there to be competition for a good viewing spot, so make sure you get there early or at least on time.
There are some popular shows that stand out in Tokyo, such as the Adachi Fireworks. The Adachi show has a long standing history in Tokyo, and is generally the first big show that starts off Hanabi season. It takes place on the Arakawa river bed and shoots off over 13,500 fireworks within an hour! It’s also common for people to dress up in a Yukata.
The fireworks are a great spectacle to watch either on your own or with a group of friends. It’s also a common way to end off a date in Japan among couples. So whatever the occasion may be, going out to watch fireworks is a must when in Tokyo!
You’ve probably seen photos of Tokyo's incredible skyline, so how about experiencing it for real, and for free! There are numerous places you can go to see just what Tokyo looks like from above at night. For example, you can visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and stand on either the South or North side decks. You can get this amazing free view in Shinjuku and it is one of the most popular spots! Another amazing place to get an unreal view is Bunkyo Civic Centre. The view from here not only lets you admire the city of Tokyo, but also Mt. Fuji in the background! The view is truly a hidden gem in Tokyo. If you’re looking for a view during the holidays, check out Caretta Shiodome. You’ll be able to see all the beautiful decorations around the city, and even the lights from the Rainbow Bridge.
Going to an observatory is the perfect way to spend a relaxed evening. You can visit one on your own or take some friends along and get some amazing photos.
Best Tokyo Clubs
Tokyo has some of Japan’s most famous clubs for foreigners. Who wouldn’t want to spend a night out with friends partying in this city? Of course it can be a little overwhelming with so many venues to check out, and that's why we’ve come to help you by suggesting some of the best locations for foreigners. Clubs are a great place to meet new people and spend a night dancing and drinking. You definitely do not want to miss out on the opportunity to party it up in these clubs!
Known to be Shibuya’s most foreigner friendly nightclub, Club Camelot has a variety of customers at it’s doors every night. People from all over the world lineup here to go all out, so it’s the perfect opportunity to make all sorts of friends. The club has also recently upgraded and added a 4th floor to its building. Now there are two floors for dancing, one that holds 300 people and the other one holds 700 people. The two other floors are lounges with comfortable seats where you and your friends can sit back and enjoy the night. The club also has 5 different bars, so the lines are fairly reasonable when you go to get drinks. There are also many VIP seating options with amazing atmospheres and great service. The staff at Club Camelot also has a great reputation for being very friendly and accommodating to foreigners.
The average price to get into the club is about ¥3,500 for men and ¥1,500 for women. You can check out the Club Camelot website for prices on VIP bookings. The club is located in Jinnan, Shibuya and it is about a 7 minute walk from the Shibuya train station. If you plan on drinking, you should also plan to take the subway or get a ride.
How about visiting a club with a pool! AgeHa knows how to throw some of the best pool parties in the summer with foam parties taking place every weekend. Famous DJs are a norm at this club with attendance of over 3000 people on these special occasions! Although the club only has a couple events each month, they are always quite a show. Also, did we mention that this is Japan's biggest night club? The club has 4 dance floors and 3 large bars, as well as a garden area. There are 3 VIP sections as well that you can book at the AgeHa website. The club is so large that it even has a food court. The food court has actually been praised for offering really good food for all types of cravings. The menus offer a selection of beef bowls, ramen, and even kebabs!
The club’s average entrance fee is ¥3,500. Of course, that varies for each event and you’ll have to pay more for VIP access or other bookings of sorts. The club is actually on the outskirts of Tokyo, so you will have to take a train to Shinkiba. You can also take a free shuttle bus after 12am from Shibuya station to the club.
If you are looking for friends to go with to all these crazy places, check out Bff Tokyo!
This is Shibuya’s most famous nightclub and it is a must go if you are into techno or house music. The club is able to hold 1,000 people and has 3 floors. The main floor is the most popular as it has a giant disco ball. The club is also popular for its high quality sound systems and amazing laser and light productions. The Womb is constantly ranked very high yearly by the London music magazine “Mixmag”. The Womb scene is also brought to other top-class clubs worldwide, such as “Space Ibiza” in Spain, through special events like “WOMB Tokyo Night”. Many famous DJs have played at this club, including The Chemical Brothers, Paul Mac and even Diplo! The club also hosts many famous, and rising to fame, acts from Japan. The club's most popular demographic is usually between 22-27 years old, so it’s another great place to meet other students.
The club's average door price is around ¥3,500, but of course it can vary depending on what event is taking place each night. The club is located in Shibuya, and it is about a 10 minute walk from the station. This club is pretty deep into the love hotel district in Shibuya, so consider using maps on your phone to find the place.
If you are into hip hop and would like to check out a club that is centered around that genre of music, then you need to check out Harlem. You will without a doubt get to see some new and upcoming rappers and performers from the Japanese underground scene. It’s not uncommon that you witness a dance battle on the floor here. Also, it’s a great way to learn about, and experience, Japanese hip-hop culture. The DJs don’t only spin hip-hop beats, but also R&B, so if you are looking for something along those lines, this club has got it. The club opened in 1997 and has since built a reputation for being not only the best hip-hop club in Tokyo, but the best in all of Japan! You can recognize this club as you walk by it from its famous red carpet. You will mainly meet people in their early 20’s here, so it's a great place for students.
The cover charge at Harlem is usually between ¥2,500 and ¥3,000. However, the cover charge comes with one free drink! You can also check Harlem’s website for more information on VIP access and DJ schedules. The club is only a 5 minute walk from the famous Shibuya station.
Best Drinking Alleys in Tokyo
Perhaps you aren't looking for a loud space to dance and drink, then make sure to try out a drinking alley in Tokyo. These drinking alleys have long standing histories in Japan and are made up of many small bars and food stands where you can walk down and try alchohol from around Japan. Tokyo has some of the most foreigner freindly drinking alleys, so why not give them a chance. Grab a friend and some cash and head down to these locations for a fun and interesting night on the town.
If you are still fairly new to Japan and are looking to make friend’s or improve your Japanese before going out to these alleys, check out BFF Tokyo!
Golden Gai - Shinjuku
Initially this alley was actually a black market area, but once that moved in the early 1950’s, people decided to set up shops and small restaurants. The alley is very narrow and is lit up with signs from lots of little bars that are eager to serve you. Although the bars generally seat 4-10 people, you will notice that at night the bars are very busy with people waiting outside to get drinks. You can get a variety of different drinks, such as sakes from all different regions of Japan. Since these are small shops set up by locals, it will be a bit difficult to communicate if you do not speak Japanese. You can bring a friend who does speak Japanese along, or you can check out shops like Totobar and Bar Araku for english speaking bar tenders. Bar Araku is actually owned by a man from Australia and he doesn’t have a cover charge for foreigners.
Most of the bars in this area permit smoking. The average price for drinks in Golden Gai can range between ¥500 - ¥800. There are also food options in many of the bars and you can expect to have to pay using cash for the most part. Golden Gai is only a 7 minute walk from Shinjuku Station.
The Hub is a special bar in Tokyo because it is the “original” foreigner bar. The bar is built to look like a British pub and therefore attracts many local and foreigner customers. Locals usually head into the bar to practice their English with foreigners, so it is a guaranteed place to make Japanese friends! The pub even has classic British foods like Fish and Chips or Roast Beef for anyone who may be feeling a little homesick while in Japan. Or maybe you’d just like to give the dishes a try! The pub also has a variety of other dishes including pizza, pasta and different types of curry. If you are a sports fan you are in luck because the bar holds a special atmosphere on game days as people pile in to cheer on their favourite sports teams or fighters.
Prices for the food here range from ¥100 to ¥980. As for the drinks, a craft beer is ¥400 and the other ale’s and beers average at about ¥650. The whiskey’s range from ¥400 to ¥700 and the cocktails are mostly in the ¥400 to ¥500 range. You can also go in during happy hour (5-7pm) and get basic cocktails for just ¥190 each! The bar is quite literally beside the Kanda train Station, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty reaching it.
Fun Night Activities
Tokyo is filled with lots of things to do at night, you just gotta know what you’re looking for! This city definitely does not sleep at night, instead it is as lively as can be at night. If the clubbing and drinking scene is not where your enjoyment lies, check out some family oriented places to visit. You can also enjoy some classic group activities like karaoke! Whether you are looking for something to do with sports, food or music, check out our list below for entertainment at night in Tokyo! No matter what you are into, you will find it in the nation's capital!
Not only is Tokyo the capital of Japan, it’s also the karaoke capital of the world! There are tons of places for you to go and sing your heart out to songs from all different types of genres. Prices for rooms vary depending on the location, time of day and size of party. One of the most popular chains of karaoke places is Karaoke Kan. You can find one in all of Tokyo’s main districts. The crowd is also very diverse ranging from university students to business owners looking to wind down and relax after long days of work. If you are a fan of Bill Murray’s movie “Lost in Translation”, you should head over to the Shibuya location and try to get either rooms 601 or 602. The scenes in the movie were filmed in those exact rooms! Do keep in mind though that some places, like Karaoke Kan, have a certain minimum of drinks you must buy.
If you’re a little shy or just prefer to go out and put your vocals to the test on your own, there are karaoke places with booths for one. At 1Kara you can get a booth all to yourself and sing like there's no tomorrow! There's also a drink bar where you can serve yourself without any interruptions. Remember to bring your own headphones, or you will have to rent some for ¥300 at the front desk.
Haunted Tokyo Tour
Looking for a fun way to learn about some of Tokyo’s history, give the Haunted Tokyo Tour a chance to give you an experience of a lifetime. One of Tokiotours most popular packages is the Shitamachi Ghost Tour which takes about 3 hours to complete. You have the option of starting the tour at one of Japan’s oldest amusement parks, but that would mean you will have to start the tour before 6pm. The tours take you through places like Sensoji Temple and Old Hag’s Pond where the guide will explain to you in English the stories of the past. The guide’s will take you to the hidden gems of each location in Tokyo that you visit, and tell you all about the backstories of the scary legends. This is the perfect tour if you are really into spooky stuff and enjoy history.
The organization, Tokiotours, also has other packages available if you are not looking for anything scary. You can check out their Shinjuku or Shibuya night tours to explore the district's food and views with a guide who can show you all the best spots. The organization also allows you to customize tours, so check out Tokiotours to book a tour of your liking. You can also contact them to ask them any questions concerning Covid 19.
Shinjuku Copa Bowl
Are you into bowling? If you are, you need to check out Shinjuku Copa Bowl for a night that you will surely not forget. This is a funky bowling alley that is lit up with bright neon lights. It was newly renovated in 2018 so it’s more sturdy and clean than ever before. The bowling alley is located in the Humax Pavilion building in Shinjuku on the 3rd and fourth floors. If you prefer to bowl in a more bright alley rather than the dark one, you can head to the fourth floor. The bowling alley also allows you to add punishments for the loser in your group to do, making the game more exciting. It’s called ‘batsugame’, and the penalties for landing last place can range from drinking weird concoctions to eating insects. If you want an even worse penalty, you can pay ¥2,500 for scorpions!
The bowling alley also has table tennis for you to play. So if your friends can’t all agree to bowling, you can play table tennis as well! The price is ¥400 for 30 minutes on weekdays and 20 minutes on weekends and holidays. The building is only a 3 minute walk from Seibu Shinjuku station. So gather your friends and check out this bowling alley, it’s open till 6:30am!
All Night Batting Cages
If you’re looking for something that’s a little more athletically demanding, consider going to a batting cage. Batting cages are a great way to blow off some steam or even learn how to bat if you have never played before. There are a couple places in Tokyo you can check out, such as the Asakusa Batting Stadium. It’s pretty hard to miss as there is a giant glove above the entrance to the building. You can play here until 1 in the morning! The building also has an arcade on the bottom floor if you are looking for something to do while waiting for your turn. The price here is ¥400 per game.
If 1am isn't long enough for you, you can also check out the Shinjuku Batting Centre. This place stays open until 4am and the price is ¥300 for one game, which is 26 balls. You can choose from different difficulty options, such as 70kph, or go higher for a more difficult swing. The centre provides customers with bats and gloves, so all you need to bring is friends and an appetite to hit home runs! Also, keep in mind that like many places in Japan, smoking is permitted on the premises.
The Robot Restaurant is one of Tokyo’s biggest attractions. It is a popular live show with loud music and big mechanical creatures, like dinosaurs and monkeys. Do not be fooled by the name, it isn’t really just a restaurant, it is a whole spectacle! They also do special shows for all kinds of events, such as Halloween. When you first are seated in the “restaurant”, you will be amazed by the crazy colours of the immaculate interior design. There is also a bar here with reasonably priced drinks. The hosts will then move you into an open area where you will be seated again. Here is where the magic happens! The loud music begins and performers step out in colourful costumes. You can sit back and enjoy the crazy show from here. There are interludes between performances where you can go get drinks or snacks so you aren’t too overwhelmed.
The price to get in is ¥8,500, and you have to pay extra for meals. However, there are sites where you can get the tickets for a cheaper price. You are encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes early for your show, or else your reservation will be cancelled. So make sure to get there on time! The place is a 10 minute walk from Shinjuku Station. You can head over to the Robot Restaurant Website for more information regarding Covid 19 restrictions.
No matter what type of hobbies you have, Tokyo will always have something for you to try out and enjoy. There's something for everyone in this city, and there's options for whatever your price range may be. Going out to check these spots out is a great way to get to know this wild city. It’s also a perfect way to make friends that will last a lifetime. You can’t put a price on memories, so don’t worry about splurging, just make the most of your time here. So get out in Tokyo and explore the night life!
If you are still learning about Japan, check out this Ultimate Guide To Japanese Customs! It will give you a better idea of what to expect when in Japan.