Tokyo Nightlife Guide: 12 Best Bars & Clubs to Enjoy the Local Scene

Tokyo Nightlife Guide: 12 Best Bars & Clubs to Enjoy the Local Scene

Scope out the incredible scenes of Tokyo at night.

Even if you’re not a big partier, you’ve got to get a taste of the epic Tokyo nightlife scene. The capital of Japan is known for its wild imagination, so it’s not a shock that the city is just as captivating after hours as it is during the day — maybe even more.  

Travellers can roam through the different Tokyo nightlife districts to discover the various nocturnal activities available. Explore the narrow alleyways and dive bars of Golden Gai in Shinjuku’s  Kabukicho district, or dance the night away in vibrant Shibuya and Roppongi. Meanwhile, Ginza is home to some of the most upscale bars and clubs in Tokyo.

Wherever you go, you’re spoiled for choice. From cosy dive bars tucked in dark alleys to swanky nightclubs for all-night parties, here are the places in Tokyo where you’ll find the best of the city at night.

Also read: 12 Unique Drinks in Asia to Cross Off Your Foodie Bucket List

Best clubs in Tokyo for an evening out

1. Warp Shinjuku

A relative newcomer to the Tokyo nightlife scene, Warp Shinjuku easily commands the attention of the city’s most avid partygoers. Located in the heart of the famous red-light district Kabukicho, the four-level nightclub has something for every kind of night owl. Head to the Universe Floor to be in the middle of the party action, or find a spot at Bar Mateo to relax and enjoy drinks in a chill space. Local and international DJs keep the crowds dancing all night long to tunes ranging from techno to hip-hop.

Address: Kabukicho, Shinjuku

2. Womb

You can always expect fun times and a great crowd at Womb. Designed by the same people behind New York’s Twilo, it’s been long recognised as one of the top clubs in Tokyo. Famous for combining world-class talent, a high-end sound system, and top-notch production, Womb is a premier spot to enjoy electronic music in the city.

Moreover, party animals will love exploring the three-level nightclub’s hypnotic dance floors, extensive bars, and VIP rooms. This lively bar was even featured in the film Babel! 

Address: 6F Intex Ebisu Building, Shibuya

3. Vent

Audiophiles, this one’s for you. Boasting an incredible sound system and a rotation of well-known international and local DJs spinning techno beats, Vent is a favourite of music-savvy club kids.

You’d have to duck into a basement of an Omotesando building to get to this popular Tokyo nightclub. But if you ask us, Vent’s tucked-away location only adds to the chic club’s mystique. Inside, there’s a bar lounge separate from the main performance space.

Address: Festae Omotesando Building, Minato

4. V2 Tokyo

Formerly called the Vanity Club, V2 Tokyo is one of the best clubs in Tokyo for travellers exploring the Roppongi area. The party never ends at this hotspot, with hit tracks spun by DJs from all around the world and an entertainment space that can host up to 1,000 revellers. Moreover, V2 Tokyo looks good, with elegant interiors and sweeping views of the glittering Tokyo skyline.

Lose yourself in the sights, the lights, and the sounds. And when you need a break, pizza’s available. Indeed, V2 thought of everything you need for a great night out!

Address: Tower of Vabel, Roppongi, Minato

5. Body & Soul Club

For a nightclub with a more relaxed atmosphere, pop in Body & Soul Club in Shibuya. One of the first jazz clubs in Japan, it’s a vibey live music venue where music lovers can enjoy jazz performances along with their favourite drinks. Body & Soul is a little more sophisticated than your typical nightclub, but it’s not any less exciting! Here, you’ll get a taste of the more “grown-up” side of Tokyo nightlife.

Address: Shibuya Homes, Shibuya

Best Tokyo bars that you have to check out

6. Bar Gen Yamamoto

Gen Yamamoto cocktail

Image credit: City Foodsters

It comes as no surprise that Japan takes its drinks as seriously as it does food. Showcasing this dedication are the best bars in Tokyo, like the eponymous Gen Yamamoto. In this minimalist bar, the experience is as intimate as it gets, with one table, eight seats, and thoughtfully curated drinks.

Instead of chugging booze, guests of Bar Gen Yamamoto will be treated to four-, six-, or seven-course tasting menus, an inventive cocktail twist on omakase! Each one is expertly concocted, inspired by the changing Japanese seasons. 

Address: Anniversary Building, Minato

7. The Grey Room

Embrace the glamour of cocktails in The Grey Room, a beautifully designed bar lounge headlined by leading female bartender Yukiyo Kurihara. This luxurious cocktail bar is a place to indulge, whether it’s for afternoon tea or late-night drinks. 

The drink selection at The Grey Room focuses on classic Japanese drinks infused with Indian-inspired flavours. Sip the best-selling Mumbai Tonic or the Kurofune made with Darjeeling rum. Food-wise, the bar chow is as good as the drinks, thanks to Spice Lab Tokyo on the upper floor.  

Address: 11F Gicros Ginza Gems, Ginza

8. Grandfather’s

Grandfather's Tokyo

Image credit: Tokyofoodgram

Music takes centre stage at Grandfather’s, a listening bar in Shibuya that’s been around for four decades. Despite its age, this low-key hideout feels timeless. Richly coloured woods, vinyl records, and low lights create an atmosphere that appeals to both youngsters and the more experienced.

Grab a stool at the long bar, with a glass of whisky in hand and decades-old music softly wafting from the vinyl player. One song in and you’ll find that this vintage bar is just as intoxicating as other Tokyo pubs.

Address: B1F Flat Building, Shibuya

9. Ahiru Store

Ahiru Store wine bar in Tokyo

Image credit (L-R): Anton Javier; Danny Huang

Also in Shibuya is Ahiru Store, a cosy little wine bar that’s so famous that there’s frequently a line of hungry (and thirsty) patrons winding outside the doorstep. We don’t blame them. After all, this is the place in Tokyo to score lesser-known natural wine labels, especially bottles from France. Food is rustic yet tasty, with freshly baked bread and charcuterie picks.

Address: 1-19-4 Tomigaya, Shibuya

10. Zoetrope

Among the many, many Tokyo bars, Zoetrope is the single must-visit spot for whisky lovers. The 300-strong whisky collection of owner Atsushi Horigami is truly unparalleled, especially when it comes to bottles from Japanese distilleries. From obscure whiskies to big names like Suntory, locally produced spirits are well-represented in this secluded pub.

Film buffs will also fall in love with Zoetrope, a space that pays homage to the American movies that Horigami enjoys so much. Sometimes, you’ll step inside the dimly lit bar and a silent film is playing in the background.

Address: Gaia Building, Shinjuku

Also read: 10 Best Samurai Movies of All Time & Their Notable Filming Locations

11. The Open Book

Any book lovers in here? Trust us when we say The Open Book is your next favourite hangout. Nestled in the famous Golden Gai, it’s owned by the grandson of award-winning novelist Komimasa Tanaka. And if other Tokyo nightlife spots are famous for their music or rare spirits, The Open Book is known for literary gems stacked on a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf at the back. Plus, this bar serves what’s arguably the most delicious lemon sour in the city. 

Address: Golden Gai 5-Ban Gai, 1-1-6 Kabukicho, Shinjuku

Also read: 6 Instagrammable Tokyo Bookstores and Where to Visit Them

12. The Peak Lounge

If views are what you’re after, then The Peak Lounge in Shinjuku is definitely one of the best bars in Tokyo for a nightcap. This glass atrium on the 41st floor of Park Hyatt Tokyo will make your jaw drop with its spectacular panorama of the cityscape, whether you’re there for afternoon tea or cocktail hours. Now and then, international DJs will visit this rooftop bar in Tokyo to get the party started.   

Address: 3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku

Also read: 12 Best Tokyo Districts and Neighbourhoods to Visit on Your Holiday

Ready for a boozy night out in the city? Thanks to these bars, clubs, and other nighttime hangouts, there’s never any shortage of Tokyo nightlife for foreigners and locals to explore.

Featured image credit: Park Hyatt Tokyo | Official Facebook Page

Facebook image credit (left):  THE GREY ROOM | Official Facebook Page

About Author

Celia Grace Nachura
Celia Grace Nachura

There are very few things Celia won’t do for a good story, but her favourite ones always involve the beach, animals, or any type of outdoor activity. She’s been writing for as long as she can remember, and can usually be found typing away at home with her cute dogs at her feet. Away from work, she spends most of her time trying out every hobby she can get her hands on, from running to crocheting to baking (she’s pretty okay at most things that don't involve cooking).