Bars & Nightlife

All the best Tokyo bars, clubs and nightlife news

Best cocktail bars in Tokyo
Bars and pubs

Best cocktail bars in Tokyo

Whether you fancy a classic drink or the kind of creative concoction you’d only ever find in Tokyo, these cocktail bars are the best in the city

Best things to do in Tokyo at night if you're not drinking
Things to do

Best things to do in Tokyo at night if you're not drinking

Nightlife in Tokyo is more than just the bars and clubs. Here are some top late-night booze-free activities that don't involve drinking

Guide to Harmonica Yokocho
Restaurants

Guide to Harmonica Yokocho

The best alleyway restaurants and bars at Harmonica Yokocho in Kichijoji

Best live-band karaoke in Tokyo
Things to do

Best live-band karaoke in Tokyo

Embrace your inner rock star at these special karaoke joints where you’ll have the backing of a live band

Best night views in Tokyo
Things to do

Best night views in Tokyo

Want to gaze out at the mesmerising Tokyo skyline? Check out these great views of the city after dark

Nightlife events

Open Air Tokyo
Nightlife Buy tickets

Open Air Tokyo

The rooftop bar will transform into a massive all-day open air party with Australian DJ TOURS spinning the decks...

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Corey Fuller + Break Ensemble with Special Guest

Corey Fuller + Break Ensemble with Special Guest

Corey Fuller’s music is eclectic and refuses to be pigeon-holed into a specific genre. While his piano tunes are slow and gradual, Fuller incorporates different sounds including recordings, electronics and instruments for a layered effect. The combination surprises listeners, draws on their curiosity, and tugs at their emotions. The US-born, Japan-bred Fuller uses his multicultural background to further his creativity, earning him collaborations with renowned artists like Ryuichi Sakamoto, Taylor Deupree, and Simon Scott. He hopes to mesmerize WWW at Shibuya, with the help of the diverse instruments of the Break Ensemble. // !function(d,s,id){var Js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="https://zaiko.io/widgets/all.js.php";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","ZAIKO-jssdk"); // Time Out Tokyo Tickets2019-05-27Corey Fuller + Break Ensemble with Special Guest @ 渋谷 WWWBUY NOW

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Kelsey Lu

Kelsey Lu

The North Carolina-born singer-songwriter was widely praised for her debut album: ‘Blood’ defied all genres, combining electronic music with pop, blues and even classical. The trained cellist’s work was hailed as imaginative, meditative and utterly beautiful. On May 29, Lu brings her mystical style of ambient and acoustic music to WWW X in Shibuya as part of her global tour spanning four continents. Doors open at 6.30pm and all-standing tickets for the two-and-a-half-hour performance is priced at ¥5,000 (advance sale). Come enjoy a new, experimental sound from a breakout star from the US. // !function(d,s,id){var Js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="https://zaiko.io/widgets/all.js.php";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","ZAIKO-jssdk"); // Time Out Tokyo Tickets2019-05-29Kelsey Lu @ 渋谷 WWW XBUY NOW

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Modern Disco feat. Poolside Disco Set
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Modern Disco feat. Poolside Disco Set

After acclaimed performances at major festivals like FYF, Primavera Sound and Coachella, Poolside brings its unique ‘daytime disco’ beats to the dance floor of Contact in Shibuya. Hailing from Los Angeles, the band has been gaining attention since 2011, when it debuted with a style that combined the elements of pop and disco in an extremely casual style. For this show, as part of its ongoing global tour, Poolside will be joined by a trio of top Japanese DJs – okadada, YOSA and TAAR. // !function(d,s,id){var Js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="https://zaiko.io/widgets/all.js.php";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","ZAIKO-jssdk"); // Time Out Tokyo Tickets2019-05-31Modern Disco feat. Poolside Disco Set @ ContactBUY NOW

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Bars of the week

Premium Sake Pub Gashue
Bars and pubs

Premium Sake Pub Gashue

Gashue in Ueno aims to make sake appreciation easier for beginners and especially tourists...

Bar la Hulotte
Bars and pubs

Bar la Hulotte

A trifecta of rough stone, warm wood and faint light welcomes the thirsty to Hulotte – 'owl' in French – an Azabu watering hole that regularly appears in flashy bar features praising its unique atmosphere. But this is no trendy date spot – far from it. It's much better suited to lone imbibers, who are prepared to make the hike from Azabu-Juban Station for the chance to sit quietly, sample a fine cigar and sip on a cocktail mixed up by Hulotte's master bartender, a veteran of Aoyama's extraordinary Radio. There is a seat for two at the very end of the room, but you'd probably have to come here at least a dozen times before they let you use it...

Another 8
Bars and pubs

Another 8

The sister shop of Kyoto-based craft beer and sake bar Before 9, Another 8 landed in the capital in April 2017, opening in posh Meguro in a space that used to be a garage. A place for laidback drinking, it’s got tables and benches both inside and out front, in addition to a stand bar that tends to get very crowded on weekends. Although beer is the speciality at Another 8 – the place is equipped with eight taps – there is also a small but very nice selection of sake. The bar snacks are pretty good too – we’re big fans of the marinated octopus and celery, while those looking for something more substantial will want to try the shirasu (whitebait) and daikon omelette.

Bar Benfiddich
Bars and pubs

Bar Benfiddich

When we visit Bar BenFiddich, Hiroyasu Kayama gives us an unusual souvenir: a bag of dried senburi root (pictured above on the left of the bar counter), a virulently bitter herb that’s normally used to relieve indigestion. ‘I’ve got loads of this stuff sitting around,’ he says, as he grinds a section of root with some red wine, brandy, orange peel and an array of spices to create his own version of amaro, the potent Italian digestif. When a regular customer comes in, Kayama whips out a vintage bottle of Suze that he just bought online – ‘it’s from the ’30s or ’40s’ – and invites him to do a taste test. A first-time visitor’s question about making the perfect gin and tonic leads to a lengthy discussion about the surface temperature of ice cubes. He’s like the hippest chemistry teacher we never had. ‘Oh, I wasn’t into science at high school,’ he says. ‘I was too busy playing baseball.’ Kayama opened BenFiddich in 2013, after working for years as the head bartender at Nishi-Azabu mixology bar Amber. It’s given him free rein to pursue a longstanding interest in traditional elixirs and herbal liquors, often using ingredients – anise, fennel, wormwood – grown on his family’s plot in Chichibu, Saitama. The bar has an impressive whisky selection too, but Kayama’s apothecary style cocktails are the main attraction. Jars of spices and housemade infusions line the shelves behind the counter, and he’s as likely to prepare your drink with a pestle and mortar as a cocktail shaker. He wa

YYG Brewery & Beer Kitchen
Bars and pubs

YYG Brewery & Beer Kitchen

Just down the road from the famed Shin Udon, this casual brewery/gastropub is a great place to wind down from the intensity of Shinjuku

Grandfather's
Bars and pubs

Grandfather's

Established 40 years ago, the aptly named Grandfather’s started out with a playlist style that was uncommon at the time, blending together rock LPs one song at a time. Today, the tunes are a selection of popular music (mainly AOR and funk and soul) from the ’70s, when vinyl records were mainstream. However, the owner is constantly on the lookout for new music and if a modern artist wins his favour they’ll get some ‘airtime’ too. (We recently heard him spin a few tracks by Joss Stone and Rumer.) After all these years, the interior is still well maintained, giving off a rich ambience that’s appropriate for such a venerable bar and that lends an extra level of charm to the music.

More bar reviews

The best bars and nightlife in Tokyo

Best Tokyo bars with a view
Bars and pubs

Best Tokyo bars with a view

Get a taste of the high life at these fine establishments

Best casual bars in Tokyo
Bars and pubs

Best casual bars in Tokyo

There's more to Tokyo's bar scene than the serious, formal bars of Ginza. Talk, laugh and just be yourself at these lively and cool bars

Best bars and restaurants at OK Yokocho in Akabane
Bars and pubs

Best bars and restaurants at OK Yokocho in Akabane

This alleyway in north Tokyo features 30 bars and restaurants, ranging from seafood joints to wine bars and izakaya

The best Tokyo bars for drinking alone
Bars and pubs

The best Tokyo bars for drinking alone

Where to go when you need a moment for yourself – and a finely crafted classic cocktail

Best gin bars in Tokyo
Bars and pubs

Best gin bars in Tokyo

The gin revival has hit Tokyo. Here are the best bars in the city for a gin-tastic evening

Best tourist-friendly gay bars in Shinjuku Ni-chome
LGBT

Best tourist-friendly gay bars in Shinjuku Ni-chome

Whether it be dancing the night away at a club or drinking and meeting new people in a tiny dive bar, Shinjuku Ni-chome offers some of the best nights out in Tokyo. No matter if you’re straight, gay or non-binary, the capital’s LGBT hub will deliver. If you want to experience one of the best parts of Japanese bar culture – talking with and being entertained by the staff – but don’t quite know where to head for English-friendly banter, these five bars will fit the bill.

Top Tokyo clubs

Vent
Clubs

Vent

Opened back in late 2016, basement club Vent has defied expectations and become a regular stalwart in Tokyo's club scene. Their 'revolutionary' speaker system and a bold attitude to bookings have worked a treat, with an eclectic line-up of European headliners, local DJ talent, and everything in between drawing the crowds without making it feel overhyped. 

Ageha
Clubs

Ageha

The biggest club in Tokyo, Ageha suffers from a far-flung location and dimensions that can feel a bit too cavernous. It offers three dancefloors, a pool area, numerous bars and chill-out spaces, and the best sound system in town. Women should check out the cubicle nearest to the toilet entrance – it leads to a secret, lockable room. The club provides a free bus from Shibuya every half hour. Board at the bottom of Roppongi Dori; you’ll need photo ID featuring your birth date to be allowed on.

Contact
Clubs

Contact

Labelled the spiritual successor of Yellow, Eleven and Air, the latest venture by Tokyo club scene champions Global Hearts provides much-needed relief for the city's more discerning friends of electronic tunes. The medium-sized space, in a basement on Shibuya's Dogenzaka, consists of a dancefloor and bar area, and is poised to offer a stage to both international visitors and local stars.

Sound Museum Vision
Clubs

Sound Museum Vision

Space Lab Yellow's short-lived resurrection as Eleven aside, it seemed for a good few years that the Tokyo club scene wouldn't be getting any new venues that were any larger than a shoebox. That changed in late 2011, with the opening of this 1,500-capacity space in Shibuya – run by Global Hearts, the folks behind Daikanyama club Air. Sound Museum Vision spreads the action across four rooms, the largest of which, Gaia, has a sound system loud enough to make your teeth rattle. Regular club nights include the Classics (hip hop), Alien Radio (techno) and Girls Festival, in which all ladies get in for free.

Bar Bonobo
Clubs

Bar Bonobo

Found on a Harajuku back street not far from Jingu Stadium, Bonobo occupies an old two-storey house with a rooftop terrace. The ground-floor bar is complemented by a DJ booth and lounge upstairs, which is where the frequent gigs and other music events take place.

Womb
Music

Womb

Womb is a top-flight club with a vast dancefloor, great lighting, a super-bass sound system and what claims to be ‘Asia’s largest mirror ball’. House, techno and drum ’n’ bass are the usual sounds here. Womb’s schedule is packed with foreign names, but DJ Aki (drum ’n’ bass) is one local hero who plays here.

See more clubs in Tokyo