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A restaurant owner from the Golden Gai shines a light on Shinjuk

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Updated: December 7, 2023

Kenzo Takamune

Kenzo's Bar Owner

Back in his acting days, Kenzo enjoyed drinking at various spots around Shinjuku and quickly took a liking to the unique ambiance of the Golden Gai. This led him to set up shop at Kenzo's bar in the same area. Climb the stairs to the second floor where a smile and friendly atmosphere await you at the bar. The barkeep's ability to converse in English has added to his popularity with foreign visitors.

With all its quirks, Shinjuku is my favorite place in Tokyo. Recently, the Golden Gai has become more accessible to casual visitors in search of something different, and in the various nooks and crannies of Kabukicho, you'll find traces of an older, grittier Shinjuku as you explore hole in the wall bars with real character.


  1. For a glimpse at a classic Tokyo night club, visit New Sazae and drink in the atmosphere along with the music and cocktails
  2. For something to fill your belly between bar visits, grab some industrial strength garlic gyoza at Gifu-ya or a hearty bowl of ramen at Ramen Jiro Kabukicho

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