Things to do Tokyo at night

The Ultimate Guide to 22 Incredible Things to do in Tokyo at night

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Looking for things to do in Tokyo at night? When the sun goes down in Tokyo, the city transforms into a neon wonderland buzzing with energy. From karaoke bars and robot cabarets to all-night shopping sprees and peaceful gardens lit by lanterns, Tokyo offers endless options for nighttime entertainment. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know to experience the mesmerizing after-dark in Tokyo.

The Ultimate Guide to 22 Incredible Things to do in Tokyo at night

No time to read it all? Here are some Tokyo nightlife highlights:

  • Sing karaoke at a themed private booth or bar in areas like Shibuya, Ginza, and Roppongi
  • Watch a sensory-overloading cabaret show with robots, dancers, and neon madness at Robot Restaurant in Kabukicho
  • Bar hop through tiny watering holes in atmospheric Golden Gai, Shinjuku’s maze of alleys
  • Shop for quirky souvenirs on bright neon streets in districts like Akihabara and Shibuya
  • Stroll under cherry blossom trees illuminated along Meguro River in springtime
  • Admire sweeping skyline views from sky-high observatories like Tokyo Skytree

Keep reading below for all the details!

What to do in tokyo at night time: Best Neighborhoods for Tokyo at Night

Vibrant Tokyo at Night Districts: Tokyo After Dark Hot Spots

Tokyo sprawls across endless neighborhoods, but some areas shine brighter than others after sundown. These vibrant epicenters of nightlife offer concentrated energy with boundless options for eating, drinking, partying, shopping, and simply soaking up the intoxicating ambiance.

Electric Town (Akihabara): Things to do tokyo at night

This neon lights bathed district crammed with Tokyo at night anime shops, maid cafes, and towering retro arcades pioneered Tokyo’s “otaku culture.” Lose track of time battling friends at UFO catchers (crane games) or the latest VR simulations.

Tips:

  • Try photobooth purikura machines popular with cosplayers
  • Don’t miss 7-story SEGA Building 3, the area’s top arcade

Red-Light District (Kabukicho) Nightlife in Tokyo Japan

Just outside the east Shinjuku Station exit, this small area overflows with host and hostess clubs, love hotels, vibrant nightclubs pumping music into the streets, and the former site of the surreal Robot Restaurant show (now permanently closed). It epitomizes Tokyo’s seedier side but remains safe, if eccentric.

Tips:

  • People watching is a spectator sport here – expect to see wild costumes and events spilling from clubs
  • Nearby Golden Gai alley and Omoide Yokocho street food stalls balance the chaos
Japan Kabukicho

Party Central (Roppongi) ; Tokyo city at night 

Roppongi is a hotspot at night Tokyo and attracts a mature, foreigner-friendly crowd with its concentration of western-style nightclubs blasting dance music into the early morning hours. Bars range from rowdy to classy, but it’s never boring bar-hopping in Roppongi.

Tips:

  • High-end hotels like Ritz-Carlton and Grand Hyatt have upscale bars with skyline views
  • Join a pub crawl to meet fellow travelers while sampling local nightlife

Related: What To Do in Shibuya Day and At night

Price Comparison of Popular Tokyo Nightclubs

NightclubCover ChargeStandard DrinksHours
1 Oak¥3,000-5,000¥1,500+Tues-Sat 11pm-5am
Ele Tokyo¥1,000-3,000¥1,000+Fri-Sat 10pm-5am
Ageha¥3,500-4,500¥500+Fri-Sun 11pm-5am

Cover charges listed are rough estimates; verify directly with the venue before visiting.

tokyo at night Best Things to do- things to do at night in tokyo

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/things-to-do-in-tokyo-at-night/

01. Tokyo at Night Pub Crawls

Joining organized bar-hopping pub crawls helps solo nightlife explorers meet fellow travelers while navigating less touristy local Tokyo watering holes they might otherwise miss. Expert guides lead groups through districts like Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Roppongi, often arranging discounts and events at each stop. Some crawls have themes, like craft beer tastings or LGBTQ travel.

Tips:

  • Look for pub crawls accepting small groups to maximize camaraderie
  • Confirm timing and routes to know what to expect
Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/things-to-do-in-tokyo-at-night/

02. Join a Tokyo  Food and Drink Night Food Crawl

Tokyo Japan at night coves alive with quirky Street food and food crawls. Join a fun and delicious food and drink food tour and experience the best things to do in Tokyo at night. Meet other like-minded friends and make it a fun night to remember. 

This is the tour I loved and highly recommend: 

03. Eat Yakitori and Drink Sake at Izakaya at Piss Alley

Also known as Omoide Yokocho (“Memory Lane”), this atmospheric alleyway is lined with tiny restaurants and bars specializing in yakitori (chicken skewers) and sake. Soak up the lively ambiance while chatting with locals over kushiyaki grilled meats and cold beer.

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/things-to-do-in-tokyo-at-night/

Tips:

  • Cash only at most vendors
  • Yakitori prices around ¥100-300 per skewer

For the ultimate Piss Alley culinary experience, I recommend joining a street food and sake tasting tour. Expert local guides will lead you to the best hidden venues and stalls, explaining proper sake etiquette. You’ll learn about specialty regional brews while filling up on skewered meats and veggies. It’s the tastiest way to dive into iconic Tokyo local nightlife!

Some top-rated food tour operators in Omoide Yokocho include:

  • Tokyo Night Foodie Tour
  • Arigato Japan Food Adventures
  • Inside Japan Tours

Tours generally run 2-3 hours for ¥7,000-15,000 per person. They’re a delicious way to enjoy Piss Alley nicknamesake establishments!

04. Bar Hop in Golden Gai

For an authentic tokyo night scene and atmospheric night out, head to Golden Gai in Shinjuku – a warren of tiny bars crammed into tiny buildings. Each watering hole has its own character with quirky themes. The intimate size – some bars have just a handful of seats – facilitates meeting locals and fellow travelers while you hop between the diverse venues.

Coco Tran — Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/things-to-do-in-tokyo-at-night/

Though Golden Gai has over 200 microbars clustered together, finding the perfect spots takes insider savvy since many establishments have strict regulars-only policies. Joining organized bar crawls solves the guesswork. Knowledgeable guides usher tourists to otherwise inaccessible Gai gems for discounted drinks and lively fun meeting new friends under flickering neon.

Recommended operators for guided Golden Gai bar hopping tours include:

  • Project FIELD Trip
  • Tokyo Night Owl Pub Crawl
  • With Locals Tokyo

Tours typically run 3-4 hours for ¥6,000-10,000 covering 5-8 bars with 1-2 drinks each. Check individual sites for meeting points, exact pricing, and schedules. It’s the insider ticket to buzzing through Golden Gai’s magical, maze-like nightlife!

Hidden Gems in Tokyo at Night

05. Tokyo Secret Bars & Tokyo Speakeasies Bars

Leave the crowded neon-dappled nightlife streets for Tokyo’s obscure hidden bar scene tucked away in basements, behind inconspicuous doors with no signage, or accessible only via secret passages.

These elusive watering holes usually have a password, special knock, or procedure to get in for an intimate experience at these modern incarnations of American Prohibition-era speakeasies. Some change access clues seasonally or have none, relying on word-of-mouth buzz among local devotees and plugged-in travelers.

Examples to seek out include:

  • 8container in Ginza – Low brick tunnels lead to a cozy lounge playing jazz standards
  • Petite Louise in Harajuku – Ring the doorbell for custom cocktails behind a candy store façade
  • Bar Benfiddich in Shinjuku – Look for a stack of cardboard boxes in a parking garage marking the clandestine entryway
  • The Back Room across from Shinjuku Station – No website or contact info available; ask hotel staff

Part of the adventure lies in discovering the unmarked locations through cryptic clues that speak to Japan’s intrigue with hidden worlds. Scoring entry into the secret sanctums offers bragging rights for outwitting public nightlife in favor of Tokyo’s exclusive backstage speakeasies.

06. Haunted Tokyo Tours

From ghost stories at centuries-old shrines to real-life cursed murder sites, various nighttime walking tours, like those from Mystery Circus mentioned above, retrace Tokyo’s spooky supernatural tales and infamous crimes mostly unseen amid the usual city bustle. Let theatrical guides impart chilling history behind the neon as you explore shadows.

I hope this provides an engaging variety of additional one-of-a-kind nocturnal-exclusive things to experience across Tokyo after the sun sets!

Reserve a Night Pub Crawl Tour

07. Karaoke Madness: Belt out Tunes in Soundproof Booths

In Tokyo, karaoke is not just a late-night diversion, it’s an essential pillar of entertainment culture enjoyed solo or in groups for blowing off steam, bonding with friends, or declaring undying love through Celine Dion ballads. Themed rooms range from Hello Kitty to Star Wars; most provide songbooks with English tracks. Belt out tunes until the wee hours since many venues stay open 24/7.

Top karaoke in tokyo area hot spots include:

  • Shinjuku: Karaoke Kan, Big Echo, Pasela Resorts
  • Shibuya: Shidax, Karaoke-kan, Mitsuwa
  • Ginza: Shidax, Big Echo, Pasela Resorts

Tips:

  • Order food, snacks & drinks (alcoholic options available)
  • Book “free-time” for unlimited singing over a set time period instead of paying per song

I’ve tried Pasela Resorts in Shinjuku which offers stylish rooms plus fun features like studio-quality music recordings. Big Echo Ginza is also recommended for all-night specials allowing unlimited songs with drinks included.

08. See Tokyo Skyline Spectacular City Night Views at Observation Decks

Take the pulse of Tokyo at night by ascending hundreds of feet to sweeping observation decks revealing the full scale of the world’s largest metropolis spanning to the horizon in every direction. Most stunning is the panorama after dark when Tokyo transforms into a neon sea below twinkling against the black sky.

Free: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Tips:

  • 45th floor north tower view stays open until 11pm
  • South tower closes at 5:30pm
  • Access: Short walk from Tocho-mae Station or Shinjuku Station west exit

I visited the free observation deck here last month. The 360 city views are just as stunning at night when colorful lights glitter in every direction. It gets busy at sunset so arrive a bit early to secure a spot at the window.

09. Paid: Tokyo Skytree Tower or Shibuya Sky

At over 2,000 feet tall, this soaring structure offers panoramic vistas from glass walls and a lofty outdoor deck.

Tips:

  • Tembo Galleria observation deck stays open until 10:30pm
  • Ticket prices start around ¥2,060 for adults
  • Access: Short walk from Tokyo Skytree Station
  • Shibuya Sky has the SKY bar at the rooftop and offers a VIP views of the shibuya skyline and nightlife

While the views come at a price, I can confirm they are well worth the admission cost. On clear nights, views stretch all the way to Mt. Fuji! For the full experience, consider reserving a fast pass ticket to skip any long lines.

10. Tokyo Springtime Cherry Blossoms Viewing at Night

When the Yoshino cherry trees erupt in billowy pink and white blooms for one or two fleeting weeks in March/April, locals flood to the best viewing spots to celebrate with feasts under the ephemeral canopy.

RELATED: Best Mario Kart Racing in Tokyo & Things To Do In Shibuya

Top Cherry blossom in Tokyo at Night Viewing Spots

Meguro River: Over 800 trees light up at night along the canal
Shinjuku Gyoen: Illuminated trees circle traditional gardens (entry fee applies)
Ueno Park: Lantern-lit trees frame Daibutsu gold Buddha statue

Tips:

  • Most beautiful views are at night when trees glow under spotlights
  • Book hotels, restaurants, trains well in advance to view sakura season
  • Bring picnic supplies to relax under canopy of petals

Last spring, I walked for hours along Meguro River as fluffy pink petals floated down literally like snow. The canal path felt magical when illuminated trees reflected shimmering on the water at night. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime Tokyo experience!

Things to do in Tokyo Japan at night:

11. Check out Quirky Themed Restaurants & Cafes

Themed dining experiences ranging from ninja-themed restaurants with disappearing waiters to Alice in Wonderland-style cafes offer elaborate entertainment that engages all your senses. With devoted attention to transportive environments, character dining, and Instagrammable dishes almost too cute to eat, these themed eateries offer memorable meals paired with performances worth the night out.

Most Popular Themes:

  • Maid & Robot Restaurants in Tokyo: Doted on by waitresses in frilly costumes
  • Vampire Cafe: Gothic decor plus dance performances
  • Ninja Restaurant Akasaka: Ninja-garbed staff perform magic tricks & acrobatics while serving elaborate multi-course meals
  • Kawaii Monster Cafe: Psychedelic decor and sensory-overloading song/dance shows (now permanently closed)

Tips:

  • Make reservations well in advance since spots fill quickly
  • Some cafes have cover charges
  • Many are open late into the night or 24/7

I’ve dined at Ninja Akasaka Shinjuku, which perfectly encapsulates the unique blend of innovation and tradition in themed Japanese restaurants. Beyond outstanding food and charming magic shows, the venue immerses you in secret rooms and hidden chambers, making the entire experience unforgettable.

From below of glowing luminous high metal tower with colorful lights at night

12. Wagyu Yakiniku Dinner

Indulge in world-famous Japanese wagyu beef and the social tradition of yakiniku (BBQ) by reserving a table at an upscale steakhouse. The top establishments in Tokyo import premium cuts like decadently marbled A5 Kobe beef and equally tender wagyu from pristine local and Australian ranches.

At your tabletop grill, simply cook paper-thin slices to desired doneness and enjoy the supremely tender, richly flavored beef accented by salt or house special tare dipping sauces. Top cuts literally melt in your mouth with unparalleled succulence thanks to the intricate fat marbling that gives wagyu its esteemed reputation.

Some top-rated wagyu yakiniku restaurants in Tokyo include:

  • Wakuden in Ginza – Elegant fine dining with A5 Miyazaki wagyu
  • Ichiyama in Shibuya – Specializes in rare Japanese Red cattle beef
  • Niku Yokocho in Kabukicho – Casual street-food stall vibe but excellent wagyu

Prices per 100g generally range ¥5,000-15,000 depending on rarity. Splurging on a multi-course wagyu dinner promises some of the best beef experiences anywhere on the planet, literallycooked right in front of you. It’s an extraordinary culinary adventure for special occasions!

13. Relaxing Hot Springs & Bathhouses

After pounding the pavement exploring Tokyo’s nonstop energy, enjoy relaxing local-style at traditional bathhouses called sento or hot spring spas known as onsen. Both involve ritual bathing nude in soothing geothermal mineral water (gender-separated facilities). They range from no-frills public baths to luxurious resorts.

Tips:

  • Sento offer glimpses of everyday local culture in urban areas for around ¥500
  • Onsen use natural hot spring water, often in beautiful natural settings outside the city
  • Tattoos still carry social stigma; those with body art may be denied entry
  • I stayed at a Ryokan with a Rooftop Onsen with amazing rooftop views of Tokyo. Highly recommend Yuen Ryokan

I occasionally unwind at my neighborhood no-frills sento after work for under ¥1,000. Though basic compared to picturesque resorts, it rejuvenates me mentally and physically – especially in colder months when I love soaking in the hot baths.

13. Shopping at night in tokyo at Quirky Megastores

Tokyo sets global fashion and pop culture trends conceived in its design houses and avant-garde shops. Its mind-bogglingly diverse retail scene stretches from luxury malls to anime superstores open 24/7. Other areas offer atmospheric covered arcades with tiny one-of-a-kind boutiques that epitomize the city’s boundless creativity and obsession with innovation.

Top After-Dark Shopping Hubs

Shibuya: Youth culture epicenter home to 9-story Shibuya 109 mall and iconic “Scramble” crossing
Shinjuku: Vast district with luxury stores, anime outlets, red-light Kabukicho area, and famously bizarre DONKI megastore open 24/7
Ginza: Glitzy high-fashion boulevard home to global marquees like Chanel and Cartier

Tips:

  • Tax-free shopping available on purchases over ¥5,000 when showing passport
  • Look down side streets for one-of-a-kind boutiques
  • Many stores stay open until 10pm, with larger hubs operating 24/7

I never get bored browsing massive variety stores like DONKI with endless floors selling everything imaginable, from fresh sushi or hot snacks to wacky costumes and anime figures. The lively ambiance plus ultra-late hours also make it one of my favorite nightlife experiences.

Whether you seek tranquility, entertainment, or inspiration after dark, Tokyo delivers endless possibilities into the wee hours. Follow this guide to discover the many mesmerizing faces the city reveals when the sun goes down. The nonstop energy buzzing well past midnight promises unforgettable nights embracing Japanese culture.

Things to do Tokyo at night

More Epic Tokyo Nightlife Adventures: Unique Activities After Dark

Beyond the nightlife hotspots and entertainment hubs covered already, Tokyo overflows with one-of-a-kind attractions emerging when the sun disappears that offer visitors uniquely Japanese experiences. Here are some additional activities to consider weaving into your after-dark itinerary:

14. Nightlife at the Museums

Many of Tokyo’s world-class museums extend hours or host special evening events, offering unique ways to experience their collections after dark without typical daytime crowds. Often cafes or bars also remain open late.

Some top museums to check out include:

  • Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills – Rotating contemporary exhibits stay open until 10PM certain days
  • National Art Center Tokyo in Roppongi – Open until 8PM Fridays & Saturdays
  • Miraikan National Museum of Emerging Science – Futuristic architecture glows at night; events until 9PM
  • Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Park – Hosts seasonal nighttime light-up events

Additionally, teamLab art collective will reopen their mind-blowing digital Borderless museum in 2023 featuring cutting-edge immersive installations and projections shaped by motion-triggered interactions after sunset. And annual Museum Night sees institutions across Tokyo open doors for special programming 6-9PM.

Taking in world-famous repositories of art, history, and science under atmospheric moody lighting or glowing interactive sculptures makes for inspiring Tokyo nights suited for date nights or as solo travel adventures. Sip coffee in a tranquil gallery or gaze at Roppongi Hills gleaming through floor-to-ceiling windows in the Mori Museum while contemplating creative masterpieces.

tokyo at night

15. Tea Ceremony in Hamarikyu Garden

In a tranquil Tokyo oasis, participate in the meditative Japanese tea ceremony, a graceful ritual centered on preparing and presenting matcha green tea according to precise aesthetics and gestures honed over centuries. The serene scene lit by lanterns takes place in a historic teahouse overlooking the gardens’ ponds and immaculately manicured landscape. Sessions typically run 40 minutes for around ¥500-800 per person.

Tips:

  • Observances follow strict protocols; inquire when reserving a ceremony overview
  • Kimonos sometimes provided for added cultural immersion

16. Ghost Stories at Tokyo Mystery Circus Escape Games

Test your puzzle-solving skills and nerves by participating in elaborate haunted house-style escape games held year-round at this indoor theme park dedicated to all things supernatural. The 90-minute survival horror adventures pit teams against creepy challenges as they race to beat the clock and “escape” scary scenarios alive. Reserve ahead since slots fill quickly for the hands-on action under spooky lighting.

17. Winter Light Shows

As winter nights grow longer, Tokyo glows even brighter. See trees and buildings draped in hundreds of thousands of LED lights synchronized to festive music during lavish light shows at hit attractions like teamLab Borderless digital art museum, Tokyo Midtown shopping complex in Roppongi, and Yomiuri Land theme park. Events run November through February.

Tips:

  • Most are free to view with standard admission tickets
  • Dress warmly and avoid visiting on the chilliest nights

18. Fireworks Festivals

From June through September, fireworks festivals blaze across Tokyo with breath-taking pyrotechnic displays booming over riversides, parks, and bays, many professionally choreographed to music. Locals picnic under the crackling lights. Top venues include Sumida River near Asakusa’s Sensoji Temple in July and Tokyo Bay honoring fallen soldiers in August on the 15th anniversary of Japan’s WWII surrender.

Tips:

  • Secure public transit and viewing spots hours in advance
  • Leave before crowds bottleneck stations post-show

19. Pachinko Parlors

Pachinko is a vertical pinball-style national obsession in flashy parlors filled with endless rows of loud, bright gambling machines. Droves of players spend hours amid the chaotic ambiance of flashing lights, ricocheting silver balls, and chiming music. Even just witnessing the sensory-overloading scene offers quintessential Japanese culture that makes pachinko iconic.

20. Capsule Hotels

Rest your head in a space-efficient capsule hotel for a uniquely Japanese night’s stay. The coffin-like pods (barely longer than your body) offer basic amenities like TVs and wifi in tiny rooms for cheap rates. While cramped, they’re convenient for catching some z’s overnight in the middle of all-night exploration. Look for rooms with showers; larger “first class” capsules available.

21. Conveyor Belt Sushi

Skip lines for a classic Japanese meal anytime day or night at a kaiten (conveyor belt) sushi bar. Just grab whatever plates of sushi whizzing past that look appetizing as they circle the counter on moving tracks. Plates get color-coded for pricing. It’s not the highest quality sushi, but it’s quick, affordable, and fun in a casual ambiance.

22. Girlie Bars

Less seedy and more silly, “girlie bars” concentrate around Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district. Scantily but colorfully clad “hostesses” beckon passersby into the narrow spaces to chat over drinks. You’ll pay inflated drink prices for the attention along with small talking fees added per 15 minutes spent listening to overly friendly flirtation meant less for romantic connections than lighthearted entertainment. It’s extremely kitschy but a novel only-in-Japan experience.

Hopefully these unexpected and uniquely Japanese nightlife options inspire some wonderfully weird after-dark adventures on your Tokyo trip! The city has endless possibilities waiting as the moon rises.

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