Whether you’re a businessman, digital nomad, solo backpacker, or traveling for fun with friends in Japan, the nightlife is a must-experience. Once the sun sets, the city and neon lights start flickering on, and Japan’s alter ego appears for an unforgettable night.
After exploring Japan’s beautiful mountains, delicious restaurants, historical sites, and amazing attractions, don’t forget to experience what the country is like after dark. What’s amazing about Japan’s nightlife isn’t just about the neon lights and hedonistic drinks. Travelers will be able to embrace the country’s culture after dark, too!
While one might assume Japan is an ever-busy country filled with residents working 24/7, you’ll be surprised by how the evening brings out everyone’s true selves. You, among everyone else around you, enter a fantastic state of social connectivity and lowered inhibitions as you dance the night away.
Let’s take a deeper look at Japan’s nightlife and where you should be for the best memories.
About Nightlife in Japan
Japan’s nightlife is like no other, with almost an infinite number of entertainment possibilities in every city. From high-end whiskey bars to cool craft beer hangouts, along with various novelty bars and clubs, you’ll never be bored.
Late-night entertainment is a major part of the country’s culture, which is why you can find a diverse and vibrant nightlife scene. You’ll notice that drinking and dining would go hand in hand like when you’re in a traditional Izakaya, the food is as important as the alcohol, and it’s common to have a light meal or snack to share while enjoying your drink.
Moreover, alcohol is a central role when socializing in Japan, with drinking being a significant part of both working and social lives. Besides Japanese rice wine (sake), high-quality spirits like gin and whiskey are hard staples. Nowadays, you can even find craft beer becoming more and more popular.
Besides what to eat and drink, everyone will enjoy the activities you can do in different bars and clubs. For an instant, bowling and karaoke are popular activities to enjoy with friends. You can even head to novelty bars that have gaming arcades or even manga-themed activities.
But it isn’t just about drinking. Japan’s nightlife also offers a lot of opportunities for non-drinkers and families with children. For instance, many museums, aquariums, and theme parks are open until late, along with sports entertainment centers with tons of fun activities like bowling and arcades.
You can also enjoy shopping, with many department stores and shopping malls open until late. There are even tourist attractions you can enjoy at night, like night cruises and the Tokyo Skytree!
The Best Cities for Nightlife in Japan
Indeed, there are no limits to what Japan’s nightlife can bring you, your family, your friends, and the like. But the question is: WHERE? Japan is a big country, so it’s easy to get lost with the many places to go to.
Here are some of the best cities to experience the ultimate night in Japan!
When talking about nightlife in Japan, no one can’t NOT mention Tokyo, as it’s the country’s capital city and the most populated one at that, with nightclubs open ‘til early morning!
This is a fun and friendly city, especially for foreign travelers! It’s also perfect for the foodies who want to try a bit of everything Japanese food. From party houses to pubs, there’s a lot to do for a group of friends.
This is known as Japan’s cultural capital and one of the top tourist cities in the country. The locals are party crawlers who love to have fun, where you can find them in clubs, particularly in Kyoto World with live performances from local and international artists!
Did you know that Hiroshima is Japan’s new party capital? Their aesthetic bars and clubs are what make this city famous among partygoers!
Sapporo’s nightlife culture revolves around sake, beer, and mouthwatering food, making it a boozy, gastronomic experience. This is because Sapporo is known for its home-brewed beer and seafood!
The nightlife in this city is a bit more unique compared to other cities, with lots of foreign-friendly bars and restaurants. You’ll want to check out their Chinatown, too!
Kobe is filled with tons of bright, neon colors come night, which exudes even more excitement in locals and tourists. We recommend heading to the Sannomiya District where you can try Kobe beef over a good bottle of beer.
This is Japan’s fourth largest city but surprisingly not one of the most popular ones to visit. However, its chill vibe is what makes it a must-visit, where you can enjoy a more relaxed nightlife. It’s also where you can scotch a hangover with their delectable food!
Tokyo’s Amazing Nightlife Districts
Tokyo is dubbed as the city that never sleeps, so you can expect to find a ton of hot nightlife spots here! The busy streets are decorated with bright lights and neon sign boards come midnight, along with the hustle and bustle of people searching for their next place to hang out and drink in.
The only bad part about the nightlife in Tokyo is how big the city is, so it gets tough narrowing down your options and knowing where to go! Let’s take a look at some of the fantastic nightlife districts to plan your nights in Tokyo.
Shibuya is known to be brightly lit and densely packed, so it comes as no surprise everyone’s up late in Shibuya. There are countless boutiques, bars, clubs, karaoke bars, and arcades open until the wee hours of the morning!
This Tokyo district never sleeps, and if you’re looking for wild nights, this is the place to be! Expect rowdy beer bars and izakayas, red-light entertainment, and even Tokyo’s lively gay district here!
Roppongi is another terrific destination loaded with bars and clubs, and its history speaks for its nightlife. After the way, Roppongi was the hangout place for the Allied forces, making it very popular among international tourists, ex-pats, and even Japanese salarymen.
This is an upscale business district but doesn’t be fooled, because once night comes, it becomes one of the city’s premium entertainment districts with bars, nightclubs, and fine-dining restaurants open to serve you!
This is a quaint, bohemian neighborhood that not many travelers know about. They offer a ton of hidden gems that will impress and entertain hipsters and alternative crowds!
Ebisu is a trendy and lively district filled with bars and restaurants catering to those in their 30s to 40s, known for amazing izakaya experiences.
Use LetsGoOut and Explore Japan!
Information overload, am I right? Understandably, it’s tough trying to keep up with all the things you should do and places to go to when exploring the nightlife in Japan. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about any of that because there’s one platform that can help you find the best place to head out to after dark!
LetsGoOut is the ultimate Japan nightlife directory, where locals and tourists can find the top bars or nightlife hideouts based on where they are and what they want to do.
Remember, you aren’t only limited to pub crawls and loud clubs! There are categories to choose from such as:
- Adult & LGBT-Friendly Spots
- Chill Hangouts and Onsens
- Cool Bars
- Dance Clubs
- Japanese Izakaya
- Live music clubs
- Night tours
- Other unique hideouts you can only find in Japan!
Are you looking for a fun gay club? You can find one from LetsGoOut’s vast directory! Want to explore the entire city’s nightlife? There are night tours to visit as many spots as possible for a memorable experience. Feeling hungry after all the bar hopping? Check out Izakayas and be comfortable with drinks and good food.
Navigating the platform is simple. Use the search bar to find the particular activity you want to do (live music, dancing, etc). Then, type the city you’re currently staying at or will go to in Japan.
You’ll then be led to a list of all the related spots within the area. Each listing is informative, where you can find the exact location, a description of what to expect, and even reviews from previous partygoers! You can even filter your search further based on price, what’s open now, and the highest-rated ones.
Never get lost or not know where to go after sunset in Japan again!
Wrapping It Up
When it comes to Japan’s nightlife, you won’t run out of things to do and bars to head to. There are crazy party crawlers all around if you know where to go!
In Tokyo, there are dozens to hundreds of nightclubs you can head to, or you can try Osaka, a friendly city to foreigners with lots of pub crawls. There’s something for you no matter where you go, so make sure you plan, with LetsGoOut leading the way for you.
Don’t wait any longer and explore the fantastic Japanese nightlife in one click with LetsGoOut!