As one of the world’s most dazzling cities, even long-term visitors can't run out of new watering holes. From the small and smoky bar to the wallet-busting lounge, Tokyo knows how to show you a good time. If it’s cultural evenings you’re after, you won’t be disappointed either. Fully embracing the legacy of the pleasure-loving inhabitants of old Edo, modern Tokyo continues to host an astonishing number of festivals, rituals and celebrations.
The Tourist Information Centre (tel: +81 3 5321 3077; www.tourism.metro.tokyo.jp) and the English-language magazine Metropolis (www.metropolis.co.jp) publish listings of events, concerts and exhibitions, as well as the latest nightlife hotspots. The English-language booking agencies, Ticket Pia (tel: +81 3 5237 9999; t.pia.jp) and Lawson Ticket (l-tike.com), are the major ticket merchants in Tokyo, with outlets located around the city. Events regularly sell out so book well in advance.
Bars in Tokyo
A bar, cafe and late-night spot rolled into one, this cozy haunt has adopted a New York hipster aesthetic, with wooden floors, leather armchairs, shelves filled with books and dim lighting. It's a popular hangout day and night - be prepared to queue at busy times. Drinks include imported microbrews and sophisticated cocktails, and food offerings are American-style - burgers, pasta, steaks, sandwiches.Address: , 3-1-26 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo,
Telephone: +81 3 6457 7763.
An ultra hip izakaya (informal bar) with a wine list as good as its sake one, Buchi has earned a reputation as the place to be seen for Tokyo's arty crowd. The food here is ace too, so be sure to grab a few small plates to go with your early evening drinks.Address: Shibuya-ku, 9-7 Shinsen-cho, Tokyo,
Telephone: +81 3 5728 2085.
This standing bar has more sake than you could drink in a lifetime. Let the bartender be your guide, although we suggest you give the frozen version a go. This place starts early and finishes late, so be sure to pace yourself if you want to go toe to toe with the locals. The grilled snacks should at least help soak up some of the booze.Address: Shibuya-ku, 1-14-1 Ebisu-nishi, Tokyo,
Telephone: +81 3 3496 7744.
Clubs in Tokyo
Sound Museum Vision
This Shibuya basement club is one for true night owls. Spread over four floors, with a different vibe on each, it caters for whatever mood you're in at any given point of the evening. Gaia is known for its custom-made soundsystem, while Deep Space plays underground tunes. The White and D–Lounge floors are designed for clubbers looking to have a breather.Address: Shibuya, 2-10-7 B1F Dougenzaka, Tokyo,
Telephone: +81 3 5728 2824.
For well over a decade, Womb has been bringing dance music to the streets of Tokyo. Long-lauded by dance music aficionados as one of the best nightclubs on the planet, its three levels, enormous shuffling space and massive mirrored disco ball make Womb the only place to party the night away.Address: Shibuya, 2-16 Maruyama-cho, Tokyo,
Telephone: +81 3 5459 0039.
Tokyo's largest club has three dance floors, several bar areas for kicking back, and even an outdoor pool if the mood takes. There are regular shuttle buses from Shibuya to its out-of-centre location, but don't let that put you off. The party here is on a par with the best clubs in London, Berlin and New York.Address: Koutou-ku, 2-2-10 Shinkiba , Tokyo,
Telephone: +81 3 5534 2525.
Live music in Tokyo
Blue Note Tokyo
The Blue Note has become something of a jazz classic in Tokyo, with an impressive line up of artists and prices to match its renowned sister venue in New York. It's chic too with the blue tables running right up to the stage and dimmed lights. Find details of upcoming shows on their website.Address: Minato-ku, Raika Bldg 6-3-16 Minami Aoyama, Tokyo,
Telephone: +81 3 5485 0088.
Blues Alley Japan
For a smooth take on the blues, head to the basement of the Blues Alley Japan. Spend a relaxing evening in this jazz club and forget about traipsing around Tokyo by dining here as well.Address: Meguro-ku, B1 Hotel Wing International Meguro, 1-3-14 Meguro, Tokyo,
Telephone: +81 3 5496 4381.
If it's a bona fide, bizarre Japanese experience you're after, look no further. This so–called Live House sits under train tracks in Koenji. Its PA system is renowned for being on the dodgy side and the owner's passion for cats will be obvious when you go in. Relax, grab a beer and let the music wash over you at this staple of Tokyo's internationally acclaimed noise scene.Address: Suginami-ku, 3-67-1 Koenji-Minami, Tokyo,
Telephone: +81 3 3337 7735.