Nightlife in Tokyo: Night Out in Roppongi
In Tokyo, everything is well organized. While there are small bars in every neighborhood, the bigger clubs and attractions for nightlife are all concentrated in one area called Roppongi.
Bars and Pubs
There are hundreds of small bars and pubs in Roppongi. Many are very small and have seating available for only a few people, who are all usually men. The prices for drinks and food in Tokyo are very high, so it is best to check the menu before placing an order. Bars with hostesses (girls that serve and sit with guests) are more expensive and some have a “time charge’ for the period that the girls sit at your table. You are expected to pay for your drinks and food, plus the drinks ordered by the girls.
Karaoke is very popular in Japan and offered in many small bars. One that is expensive, yet very fun, is a bar called “John Lemon.” It has an entrance fee of 15,000 yen (about US$133) per person. This all-inclusive fee includes the music charge and drinks (mostly whiskey). All of the workers in the club are young women who are also musicians. Guests are allowed to sing and play instruments along with a live band. The songs include over 100 Beatles songs and other rock and roll classics.
The Art N Bee Pub features beer and fresh homemade food. The beer is from more than ten of the microbreweries in Japan such as Coedo, Minoh, and Yoho. A glass of beer in the Imperial pint size is 1,200 Yen (about US$11) or for a U.S. pint-sized glass is 900 Yen (about US$8).
Shamrock Pub is an authentic Irish pub in that serves Guinness, Kilkenny, and Hoegaarden beer on draft for 870 Yen per pint (about US$7.50). They also offer fish and chips, pizza, and pasta dishes.
Hardrock Cafe is just like any other Hardrock club in other parts of the world with drinks, food, and live music on the weekends.
The Agave Bar has over 600 types of tequila from the cheap to the rare and expensive. The Chicago Rock Club and Bauhaus are good for those that like live music.
There are many strip clubs in Roppongi for men to visit and their main goal is to take as much of your money as possible, so everything is very expensive.
Some tourists complain that they are drugged by something slipped into their drinks and the equivalent of thousands of U.S. dollars are charged to their credit cards without their permission. In Japan, it is common for the companies to pay these outrageous bar bills for their senior executive workers and that is why the clubs charge so much.
Exercise caution when going to these clubs, look out for scams, and if you decide to partake, check prices on your bill.
Popular small dance clubs like Jumanji and Greenland have an entry fee of 1,000 Yen (about US$9). Drink specials are offered before 11 p.m. for a small draft beer at 100 Yen (about US$1) and mixed drinks for 400 Yen (about US$4). Other small dance clubs like Vibration and Black Horse do not have an entry fee; however, the drink prices are much higher.
Large multi-floor dance clubs like Feria and Wall Street have an entry fee and are very popular. These clubs are more likely to have a local, young crowds with students from nearby universities.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about nightlife in Roppongi (Tokyo).