Many major cities in Japan remain vibrant and alive late at night and even up until the early morning, as young people and professionals looking for some fun and enjoyment after a long day go to bars and clubs to unwind.

Nightlife Options

  • Clubs – These places are usually packed with locals and foreigners, dancing to the beat of the latest hot tunes booming from the large sound systems as flashing strobe lights fill the vast dance floor. Among the many clubs found in Japan, Womb is probably the most recognised name, known for its electric atmosphere and for being featured in the 2006 film Babel.
  • Bars – These places offer a wide selection of drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and food, and often have a live band playing on stage. They usually have a gaming area where customers can play pool and other games, and have many couches, stools, and seats and tables available.
  • Karaoke – Japanese karaoke establishments are composed of several private rooms equipped with microphones and karaoke players, which contain a long list of Japanese, English, and other songs. They also serve food and drinks and typically rent out their rooms by the hour.
  • Izakaya – If you’re after just a casual night with close friends, Japan has many Izakayas where you can experience a Japanese style of bar, drinking while sitting on tatami mats and dining from low tables, or there are western styles with chairs and tables.


Tokyo Bridge at night – ©JNTO

Top Japanese Nightlife Districts

Roppongi – Home to a multitude of dance clubs, bars, strip clubs and restaurants, Roppongi is a popular nightlife destination for foreigners in Tokyo. During the day, it looks like any ordinary Japanese neighbourhood, but it comes alive once night falls.

Shinjuku – With many restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs, Shinjuku is also a top nightlife option in Tokyo. It is known for its LGBT-friendly atmosphere, with numerous establishments that cater to the group.

Shibuya – Whether it is day or night, Shibuya is one of the busiest districts in Tokyo. It has many nightlife opportunities that appeal to the young crowd.

Dotombori – A street located in Osaka, Dotombori is famous for its diverse selection of places to spend the late hours of the night. Hundreds of Japanese and foreigners flock to this area of Osaka to enjoy drinks, music, food and other activities.

Gion – Unlike the typical nightlife districts of Tokyo and other cities, Kyoto has a unique experience to offer — cultural shows. In its Gion district, the evenings come alive with many maiko and geisha performances, kabuki, puppet shows, tea ceremonies, storytelling activities, comedy routines, bunraku, noh, and other culturally-related spectacles.

Tokyo at night – ©JNTO

Shibuya – ©JNTO