There are few things more breathtaking than gazing out over the sea of lights that is Tokyo at night, and virtually everyone in the city has their own favourite spot for viewing the spectacle. Admiring the view is of course best done while sipping a drink in good company, but the vast selection of rooftop restaurants and bars can be a little tricky to navigate – especially if you're on a budget. Whether you're looking to impress a Tokyo newbie, planning a very special date or just want to feel like a VIP for a few hours, consider checking out some of the 15 top Tokyo bars listed below. All of these offer noteworthy night-time views, ranging from classic skyscraper vistas to offbeat perspectives, and are accessible even to thrifty boozers on the hunt for a little luxury.
The best Tokyo bars with a view
Get a taste of the high life at these fine establishments
The top 15
Nihonbashi, the heart of old Edo, now has its share of high-rises, but none of these towers stand out quite like the one housing the Mandarin Oriental hotel. Perched on the 38th floor, its comfy lounge boasts stunning city vistas – consider picking a seat by the windows on the north side and gaze out over the still very Showa-esque cityscape of Akihabara, Asakusa and the rest of the old shitamachi. Dim lights and candles set the mood for live music in the evenings, while the drink selection ranges from classic cocktails to a plentiful lineup of Japanese craft gin.
For an offbeat spot to admire the city at night, this small, all-standing bar on the top floor of the Tokyo Dome Hotel is a choice worth noting. Although somewhat awkwardly placed on the side of a banquet hall mostly used for weddings, C Maj offers gorgeous vistas toward the Imperial Palace and Kanda, as well a rare overhead look at Tokyo Dome and its associated amusement park.
Odd man out on this list is the Forest Inn Showakan's retro lounge and its unique night-time view: you'll be able to look straight beyond the Showa no Mori woods and into the USAF's Yokota Air Base, a hub of activity until late at night. The lounge is even decorated like a passenger airliner, adding some fun extra flavour to your plane-watching.
The Conrad's signature bar and lounge dazzles with huge windows that reach almost all the way up to the 8m-high ceiling, offering unbeatable views over the Hama-Rikyu Gardens, the Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Bay. The tipple selection is relatively unsurprising and predictably pricey, but the bossa nova and other live Latin tunes make up for it. Go at night for the best atmosphere.