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Updated: July 30, 2019

Alyssa Ramos

Country/Region: USA

Interests: Solo Female Travel, Adventure Travel

Number of Visits to Japan: 4

What Do You Think of Tokyo?: One of my favorite cities!

These locations provide travelers with a fun and culturally rich insight into the lives of local Japanese people during the evening. You'll experience everything from authentic izakaya restaurants in traditional Japanese homes to vibrant nightclubs that stay open well into the night. Best of all, you'll get a glimpse into the different areas of Tokyo, which you can easily and affordably access by train!

Map Legend

  • Walking
  • Taxi
  • Bus
  • Train
  • Water Bus

1

Eat like a local at a photogenic old-school alley

Akabane Ichibangai and OK Yokocho

OK Yokocho was very picturesque and it was interesting to see and try the local izakaya restaurants. I would definitely recommend Akabane Tuna Restaurant for a truly local cultural experience. As you walk down the road, you'll see many open-front restaurants, most with tables outside with yellow crates for chairs. Many of the restaurants also have a barbecue-like grill out front where a chef prepares grilled meats or fish.

At the Akabane Tuna Restaurant, you can order a variety of traditional Japanese food, from sashimi to grilled squid! If you'd like to try the grilled foods, a server will place a small grill on your table, and will bring the foods you order out raw in order to be grilled right at your table! The squid, oysters, and scallops were all delicious, as was the tuna, salmon, and white fish sashimi. You can also try some local sake, whiskey, or plum wine here as well!

I'd definitely recommend going to a restaurant on OK Yokocho with a guide so that you don't have any problems reading the menu or ordering food, since the menu was in Japanese only! Or you can try using a Google translator app that allows you to take photos of the language, and then translates it for you!

Train30 mins
Detail

From Akabane Station, take the JR Saikyo Line to Shibuya Station.

2

The district that never sleeps

Shibuya

Walking through Shibuya Crossing is a must, as is exploring the entire Shibuya area in general. Shibuya is where many young people live and hang out, and there are many options for food, drinks, shopping, and fun things to do. Shibuya Crossing is famous because of its hectic all-way pedestrian crossings. People fill the entire road when it's time to walk! Getting a photo in the middle of the road is a must, or you can watch others do it from above at the Starbucks or one of the many restaurants!

I would also recommend trying some of the sushi chains there like Genki or Sushi Zanmai! At Genki, you can order sushi from a touch screen, and it gets delivered to where you're sitting on a conveyor belt! Sushi Zanmai is a famous chain restaurant, and the sushi was some of the best I've ever had in Tokyo! It literally melts in your mouth because of how fresh and high grade it is!

The shrine was a little bit hard to photograph at night, and a little hard to find, so I might recommend it during the day unless you're trying to find a quiet place at night. It's not far from the main Shibuya area, and is lit up by dim lights that cast a romantic effect.

HotelHotel Check-in

3

A laid-back lounge with a distinctive facade

Shibuya Oiran

Shibuya Oiran was more of a lounge than a club, with a small area downstairs that fit only about 20 people max, and a small lounge upstairs with some food. There are many small lounges like this that I believe are a more intimate gathering place to go with friends or your partner rather than a place to meet new people. Upstairs there is also a live DJ playing trendy music, and a more relaxed atmosphere.

If you want to experience the type of nightlife that locals typically enjoy, this would be a good representation, however it is drastically different than the actual nightclubs in Tokyo. They weren't part of the tour, but I did end up going to some of the most famous clubs like A Life, 1Oak, and Womb, which all were very similar to nightclubs in the U.S. so not as much as a cultural experience aside from going there with local people!

If you'd like to stay in the area that Shibuya Oiran is in, you can also try doing karaoke nearby, or grab some sushi at the 24 hour Sushi Zanmai! It would definitely be a good place to meet with friends or business colleagues as it's a more relaxed atmosphere, or even to go on a date!

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Visit Tokyo > Walks & Tours > Local Nighttime Experiences in Akabane and Shibuya