Tokyo at Night: 25 Wild Things to Do After Dark (2024)

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After sunset, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Tokyo at night. From crazy experiences you can only have in Japan to relaxing ways to spend your evening, we’ve rounded up the best night time activities for all travel styles.

Shibuya Sky Tokyo Japan

Tokyo is one of the biggest cities in the world, and as such has an abundance of things to do by day; and some may argue, even more to do at night!

When the sun goes down, the neon signs light up and Tokyo transforms. There is a palpable buzz, an energy that will entice you to keep exploring (even though your feet are sore and your jet lag is kicking in!).

There are unique and exciting things to do in Tokyo at night for every type of traveler.

One of the things we love most about Tokyo is there are so many neighborhoods and pockets to this massive city that no matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it.

Top 5 things to do in Tokyo at night

If you have just a few nights in Tokyo, these are the things we’d personally prioritize.

  1. Get panoramic city views at Shibuya Sky Observatory
  2. Do a pub crawl in the tiny bars of Golden Gai or Piss Alley
  3. Take a dinner cruise on the Sumida River
  4. Dine with a local family through Nagomi Visit
  5. Go on a Japanese food tour

Hopefully this gives you just a little taste of how truly diverse this city is and that there is lots for you – yes, YOU! – to do once the neon lights up the sky (even if you’re not a night owl).

Shibuya Sky Observatory Tokyo Japan
Shibuya Sky Observatory Tokyo Japan

We’ve been to Tokyo three times, and we still find new attractions on each visit. Keep reading for our top recommendations of fun things to do in Tokyo at night

In this article, we’re sharing insider tips and everything you need to know to plan the perfect Tokyo-after-dark itinerary.

Tokyo at Night Guide

Other resources for planning your trip to Tokyo:

Tokyo at night FAQs

Jump down to read the answers to the following questions:

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Things to do in Tokyo at night

Now, let’s dive into the best things to do in Tokyo at night!

1. Get city views at the Shibuya Sky Observatory 

Shibuya Sky Tokyo Japan

Located on the 47th floor of the Shibuya Scramble Square Tower, the Shibuya Sky Observatory offers visitors sweeping panoramic views of Tokyo. 

From the observatory, you can see Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower, and on a clear day you can even see Mount Fuji in the distance!

It is widely known that the best time to visit Shibuya Sky is just before sunset. This way, you can see the golden sky turn to deep blue as the neon lights illuminate Tokyo at night. It is quite the experience!

Tickets cost ¥2,200 ($15 USD) per adult, and you must make advance reservations because this popular attraction sells out daily. 

With an entry fee and strict rules on timed entry, it begs the question: Is Shibuya Sky worth it?

We’ve answered that question honestly (spoiler alert: I sure think it is!), and we’ve also compiled tips for getting your tickets and things to know in our guide to visiting Shibuya Sky.

Want a view of the city for free? Jump down here to find two suggestions!

2. Do a pub crawl of the tiny bars in Piss Alley and Golden Gai


One of our very favorite things to do in Tokyo at night is explore the city’s mazes of narrow alleyway bars and restaurants (yokocho).

These streets are steeped in history, and while the eateries are small – often only seating 10 patrons at a time – they all have soul. Head to these tiny bars and izakayas to experience a less polished version of Tokyo

There are a handful of yokocho around Tokyo, but the two most famous are:

  • Omoide Yokocho (aka “Memory Lane” or “Piss Alley”)
  • Golden Gai

Omoide Yokocho

Omoide Yokocho Piss Alley Tokyo Japan
  • Hidden alleys with yakitori (barbeque) stands serving cheap drinks

Hidden in a maze amongst modern buildings, Omoide Yokocho is just a 5-minute walk from the West Exit of Shinjuku station

Standing in stark contrast to the modern train station, this narrow maze of izakayas dates back to the late 1940s, after World War II. Like today, you’d find these backstreets full of patrons dining on yakitori skewers and washing it down with cheap beer. However, back then it was kind of a sketchy area, and I don’t think I need to explain how it earned the nickname “piss alley”. 

Today, you’ll still find vegetable and chicken skewers being grilled over open flame in front of dated stands, and charcoal smoke filling the alleyway. But it is no longer a dangerous area. 

These days, many stands have English on their menu and Omoide Yokocho draws both hungry businessmen and international tourists each evening. While times have changed, the prices remain cheap and the atmosphere inviting.

Golden Gai  

  • Maze of alleys with tiny, pocket-sized bars

Another collection of small bars, Golden Gai has a somewhat similar vibe to nearby Piss Alley, however, it is focused more on drinks than food.

Each pocket-sized bar has its own personality. During one night out, you can get around to a variety on your own little pub crawl. 

Just know that Golden Gai is more of a late-night experience, with most bars opening around 8 p.m. 

Insider Tip: We’d recommend just wandering and popping into a bar that strikes your fancy. But if you want one location to start with, Open Book looks super cozy and unique. 

Want to get more off the beaten path? Ebisu Yokocho is another popular maze of alleyway bars and restaurants that is less-known by foreign tourists.

Consider joining a bar-hopping tour 


You can explore these old-school alleyways on your own, but if you’d rather join a guided tour led by a local, here are our top recommendations:

3. Take a dinner cruise on the Sumida River 

Sumida River cruise Tokyo Japan

Recommended to us by a friend who lives in Tokyo, we had the best time on a Tokyo dinner cruise!

Climb on board a yakatabune, a type of Japanese boat that has traditional tatami mat floors and tables set up for dinner.

This 2.5-hour cruise departs from the heart of Asakusa and follows the Sumida River as it snakes through the center of Tokyo. From the boat, guests can enjoy views of some of the city’s most iconic landmarks: 

  • Tokyo Skytree
  • Odaiba and the Rainbow Bridge
  • skyline of Tokyo Bay illuminated at night
Sumida River dinner cruise Tokyo Japan

The best part, though, is the food and free-flowing (yep, you read that right) drinks!

The dinner is a fantastic assortment of roughly 14 classic Japanese foods, like tempura, udon, sashimi, and more. Pair your meal with all-you-can-drink alcoholic (and non) beverages such as sake, plum wine, highballs, and beer!

This dinner cruise is a great way to experience several classic Japanese dishes, see the iconic cityscape at night, and have a little fun with free-flowing beverages all at the same time.

Our advice: This fills up fast, so book your dinner in advance!

4. Have a meal in a local family’s home through Nagomi Visit

Nagomi Visit Tokyo Japan

Dining with a local family in their home will surely be a highlight of not only your time in Tokyo, but your whole trip to Japan.

Nagomi Visit is a really cool program that essentially pairs you with a local family with whom you can enjoy a homemade meal. In addition to great food, it’s also a unique opportunity to get a glimpse into authentic Japanese culture and daily life.

We met the sweetest couple who walked us through their neighborhood (an area of Tokyo we never would have discovered on our own, but loved!). They gave us a tour of their home and had us help with making dinner.

Together, we enjoyed a delicious meal of temaki (hand roll sushi) and had great conversations. It was such a special experience (especially with a toddler!) and we can’t wait to do it again the next time we’re in Japan!

How to have dinner with a local family

Nagomi Visit Tokyo Japan
Nagomi Visit Tokyo Japan
  • Create a profile on the Nagomi Visit website, including a photo and description of who will be visiting.
  • Create requests for each train station you would be available to meet at, as well as the dates you are free. You can choose either lunch or dinner.
  • Families in those neighborhoods will see your request and can then respond to your request with an invitation.
  • Read through your invitations and each family’s profile to find one that you think is a match.
  • When you accept an invitation, you will receive meal options to choose from, as well as instructions about where to meet. You can determine a time that works for both parties.
  • Make sure you communicate well with your host and arrive at the meeting place on time.

Good to know: You can also experience this in other large cities around Japan, like Kyoto and Osaka, as well as some rural areas.

5. Eat your way around the city on a food tour 

yakitori Japan

Our favorite way to fully experience another culture’s cuisine is by taking food tours. We’ve been on dozens (yep, really!) of food tours around the world and still never tire of them. In fact, in Japan alone we’ve taken 5 food tours!

Here are some evening food tours in Tokyo we recommend:

Ramen & Taverns with a local foodie

foods to eat in Japan | ramen

This food tour is based in the less touristy neighborhood of Ueno and is led by a local foodie. 

You’ll go to 4 izakayas frequented by locals rather than tourists and will try dishes like sashimi, grilled fish, skewered meat, and ramen. You’ll also be able to pair the dishes with drinks if you’d like. 

Arigato AllStar Food Tour

Foods to Eat in Japan | Two Wandering Soles

This 3-hour tour will bring you around Ginza to izakayas that are beloved by locals. Learn about Japanese culture and cuisine on this tour that brings you to 4 restaurants. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated as long as you let them know in advance.

Want to know more about Japanese food? We’ve got an entire guide that goes over what to eat in Japan (including a checklist you can download for free!).

6. Wander Senso-ji at night

Senso-ji Tokyo Japan

Senso-ji Temple is one of the top attractions in Tokyo, and therefore a must-see for anyone’s first trip to Japan.

While most people visit Senso-ji during the day, we’d say that it is worth coming back again at night to see it again. 

By day it is bustling with tourists vying for a view of the iconic red lantern. Souvenir shops display their wares, while food stands dole out street food on sticks. It’s busy. It’s touristy. But it’s iconic.

Senso-ji becomes an entirely different place once the sun goes down and the souvenir stores close up shop. 

Senso-ji Asakusa Tokyo Japan
Senso-ji Tokyo Japan

The lights still illuminate the structures, but where there were once rivers of people like ants marching in a line, there are only handfuls of people milling about.

This otherwise chaotic place becomes… peaceful. 

Walking through Senso-ji at night will give you and entirely different perspective of this iconic Japanese landmark.

Getting hungry? As long as you don’t mind waiting in line, this nearby restaurant is said to serve up some of the tastiest-ever tonkatsu. 

Want a drink? Not Suspicious Bar is one of our very favorites in all of Tokyo! This pocket-sized bar is absolutely plastered in notes written by former patrons. When we visited in 2019 it was located in Golden Gai, but it appears to have moved to Asakusa. During our time here we made friends with everyone at the bar, including some friendly Japanese men who still keep in touch with us today. 

7. Cheers with drinks at a rooftop Bar 

Shibuya Tokyo Japan rooftop bar

One of our favorite things to do at night in a new city – regardless of where we are in the world – is to go to a rooftop bar.

Great views. Delicious beverages. What more could you ask for?

Tokyo has an incredible amount of rooftop bars to choose from.

From the legendary New York Bar (featured in Lost in Translation) on the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt hotel, to trendy open-air rooftop bars like The Top and Ce La Vi, there’s a vibe for anyone looking for a drink with a view.

8. Walk across Shibuya Crossing at night

Shibuya Crossing Tokyo Japan

Known as the busiest intersection in the world, Shibuya Crossing is arguably one of the most famous landmarks in Tokyo. 

Even if you’ve been during the day, we’d urge you to come again once the sun has set because it is a completely different scene at night. For one thing, many of the Japanese people crossing this busy intersection by day are on their way to work or to meetings. Whereas after dark, it is a noticeably younger, more lively crowd

Plus, the colorful neon lights surrounding the intersection give totally different vibes than during the somewhat monochromatic daylight hours.

There is a lot to do in Shibuya at night (like visiting the Shibuya Sky Observatory!), so there’s a good chance you’ll be in this neighborhood at some point anyway. Cross once for the sheer experience of feeling like part of a school of fish. Then cross again to document the craziness!

9. Relax in an overnight bathhouse

Onsen in Japan

Japan is famous around the world for its numerous onsen, or hot springs. If you’re craving a hot soak but you’re in a city, try looking for a sento or bathhouse instead. 

Like an onsen, sento have pools of hot water for soaking; however, instead of naturally-occurring hot springs, these bathhouses are typically heated artificially. For this reason, they are very common in urban areas, and Tokyo alone is home to just shy of 500 bathhouses.

Some bathhouses are open overnight, making them a good option if you want to spend your time relaxing amongst locals after the sun goes down.

Good to know: You will be bathing nude amongst strangers, so be sure this is something you are comfortable with before getting there. 

There are plenty of sento and onsen in the city, but here are a few of the most conveniently-located ones that are open over the nighttime hours:


Location: Shinjuku

Less than a 10-minute walk from Shinjuku Station, Thermae-Yu is one of the most convenient bathhouses in the city for most foreigners. Famous for having the largest carbon dioxide bath in Tokyo, Thermae-Yu also offers massage treatments, female-only soaking areas, a cafe, and a bar.

  • Hours: open 24 hours 
  • Price: standard fees are ¥2,405 ($16 USD) for a 12-hour stay on weekdays (additional ¥880 on weekends)
  • Tattoo friendly
  • Closest train station: Shinjuku Station
  • Google Maps location

Spa LaQua

Location: Tokyo Dome City

Located on the 6th floor of Tokyo Dome City, Spa LaQua is one of the most luxurious onsens in Tokyo. This resort-like spa boasts natural hot springs, an open-air bath, a sauna, and a convenient central location. This spa is closed from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for cleaning, meaning it is open 22 hours a day (including overnight).

Tip: This could be a relaxing end to your night after catching a baseball game at the Tokyo Dome.

  • Hours: Open from 11 a.m. to 9 a.m. the next day
  • Price: ¥2,900 ($20 USD)
  • No tattoos allowed
  • Closest train station: Korakuen Station
  • Google Maps location


Location: Ryogoku 

Opened in 2019, this new spa is sleek and beautifully designed. With a variety of baths and saunas as well as co-working spaces, this makes a great choice if you are on the eastern side of Tokyo.

  • Hours: Open from 11 a.m. to 9 a.m. the next day
  • Price: ¥2,750 ($19 USD)
  • No information on if tattoos are allowed
  • Closest train station: Ryogoku Station
  • Google Maps location

10. Sing your heart out at a karaoke bar 


Whether you’re in the mood to belt a ballad or simply want to have a unique Japanese experience, going to a karaoke room will be a night to remember!

You’ll be escorted to your own private room, which typically has a couch and a television screen from which you can select all your favorite songs… Spice Girls, anyone?! (“Wannabe” is Ben’s go-to karaoke song.) And the best part is nobody will complain if you’re off-tune!

Most karaoke rooms charge by the half-hour and serve snacks and drinks if you’d like to indulge.

Alternative: If you want to experience karaoke but in a bar setting (aka no private room rental), we’ve heard good things about Diamond Bar in Golden Gai.

11. Get a FREE view of the skyline at night

Shibuya Tokyo Japan

If you want a great view of Tokyo at night, but you don’t love the idea of paying for a view (I can understand that) or you didn’t make reservations for Shibuya Sky in time (dang!), don’t worry because I’ve got a tip just for you…

There are plenty of free views around Tokyo, but here are two recommendations:

Shibuya PARCO rooftop

Shibuya Tokyo Japan

For a free open air view over Tokyo, we love this rooftop. There are green spaces, seating areas, a small cocktail bar called Commune, and a taco stand. It is a family-friendly place to grab a cocktail with a view or it is totally free for anyone to wander about.

When we visited just before sunset, it was super peaceful and there weren’t many others taking advantage of this incredible (free) view!

  • Hours: Shopping center is open 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. / Commune bar is open 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Google Maps location

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

This is one of the most popular free viewpoints in all of Tokyo. From this observation deck, you can get sweeping views of the cityscape at night (or during the day if you prefer). While it’s free to enter, you may be subject to a bag search for security measures. 

12. Capture the moment on an evening photo shoot

Tokyo Japan night photo shoot (Akira Harigae via AirBnb)
Photo by Akira Harigae

Okay, you’re probably wondering why we’d recommend a photoshoot at night… 

Well, in most places you’d want to catch that golden hour glow. However, a photoshoot amongst Tokyo’s neon-lit neighborhoods once the sun goes down is unreal!

Check out this photographer’s work! We’re seriously impressed with the way he is able to capture vibrant colors after dark. (It’s no wonder he earns consistent rave reviews!)

This is definitely high on our list for the next time we’re in Tokyo. What a perfect souvenir to bring home from your trip to Japan!

13. Get weird at a theme restaurant

This photo is from the Robot Restaurant, which has unfortunately closed, but there are still tons of theme restaurants in Tokyo to choose from.

There are some things that just scream Tokyo. Things that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

One of those only-in-Tokyo experiences is dining at a theme restaurant.

While arguably the most well-known one – the infamously crazy Robot Restaurant – closed during the Covid pandemic, there are plenty more to put on your Tokyo itinerary.

Here are just a handful of theme restaurants to choose from:

  • Ninja: This ninja-themed restaurant has great attention to detail. Enter this “ninja hideout” via trapdoor and a series of secret passageways, then be immersed in a show where black-clad ninjas perform magic and sword tricks. The food is a selection of Japanese fare and it is surprisingly good.  
  • Vampire Cafe: With red velvet booths, Gothic chandeliers, and candlelight, they got the atmosphere down. The menu is also creative and features items like “Dark Monster That Eats Sacrifices” (aka lobster and tomato cream pasta). 
  • Pokémon Café: Open for both lunch and dinner, this is one of the most popular theme cafes in Tokyo. If you’re traveling with kids (or you’re a kid at heart) and looking for something cute and ubiquitously Japanese, this fits the bill. Be warned that you come here for the experience more than the food itself.  
  • NEOShinkjuku Atsushi: With an atmosphere that can only be described as a cyberpunk aesthetic, this small bar/restaurant will make you feel as if you’ve been transported into a dystopian movie set. The menu is eclectic and a bit bizarre, featuring things like vacuum-packed hamburgers (which guests rave about) and unique cocktails.

Good to know: Most of these require advance reservations, so be sure to make your booking before your trip.

14. Sip on handcrafted cocktails in a speakeasy

Osaka speakeasy Japan

I’m well past my days of clubbing (if that’s your scene, check out #20 on this list!). 

These days, sipping a handcrafted cocktail in a cozy, intimate candlelit space is typically my top pick when spending a night out on the town. It’s way more my jam than sticky dance floors and watery vodka sodas. 

If you agree, put one (or a couple!) of these speakeasies on your Tokyo itinerary:


Rated as one of the best bars in the world (yep, the WORLD), the concept of Benfiddich is “farm-to-bar”, with many of the ingredients and herbs being grown on the owner-bartender’s farm on the outskirts of Tokyo. There is no menu. Instead, tell the bartender what you like. Based on your preferences and ingredients that are in season, you will have a cocktail crafted just for you before your eyes. 

This is said to be a phenomenal experience, but it can be difficult to get a seat in this award-winning 17-seater bar. You must call to make reservations one day in advance. Check the bar’s calendar on Instagram, and make sure you call immediately at 3 p.m. the day before you want to go for the best chance at snagging seats. Tip: If you don’t have a Japanese SIM, you can ask your hotel to call for you.

Google Maps location

SG Club

Located in the heart of Shibuya, SG Club is a longstanding Tokyo favorite. Ranked highly on Asia’s 50 Best Bars, SG Club is known for its creative and bold cocktails. They also have a large selection of zero-proof mocktails for those who do not drink alcohol.

Google Maps location

Tir na nog 

Iron Fairies speakeasy Tokyo Japan

Perhaps one of the most beautifully-ornate speakeasies in Tokyo, this is an over-the-top fairy-themed bar. Once you find the entrance, you’ll see gargoyles, butterflies, and jars of “fairy dust”. Drinks are fantastical as well – some even coming topped with cotton candy – and you will feel transported to another world. They have cafe hours (11 a.m. – 7 p.m.) and bar hours (7 p.m. to 4 a.m.).

Google Maps location

Memento Mori

With a vibe that can be described as elegant yet unpretentious, this cocktail bar has made the list of Asia’s 50 Best Bars for good reason. With a focus on cacao, the mixologists here create not just drinks, but an experience in this plant-filled bar. Note that there is a per-person cover charge.

Google Maps location

Bar Trench  

Located down a quiet alleyway in a neighborhood south of Shibuya, entering Bar Trench will feel as if you’ve found a hidden gem. The intimate setting and thoughtfully-chosen decor are stunning and create the perfect backdrop for sipping cocktails and indulging in light bites, like a katsu sando.

Google Maps location

Mixology Salon

While we wouldn’t exactly call this a speakeasy, this boujee cocktail bar is an interesting experience. Located in Ginza, you can try cocktails that focus on Japanese tea for a unique blend of flavors.

Google Maps location

Low No Bar

If you like the idea of a speakeasy but don’t drink alcohol, this is an excellent option. Reportedly Japan’s first low- and no-alcohol bar, they specialize in just what it sounds like – low alcohol cocktails and alcohol-free mocktails. The atmosphere is intimate and beautiful, and the drinks are thoughtfully prepared. A passerby would have no way of knowing they are not alcoholic (other than getting the hint from the name).

Google Maps location

15. Wander alleyways to find a peaceful Shinto shrine 

Osaka shrine at night Japan
We stumbled upon this shrine one night in Osaka and it was a completely different vibe.

One of the best ways to find peace and quiet in the midst of Tokyo’s notorious craziness is to get lost in the neighborhood’s narrow alleyways in search of shrines.

While you’ll surely visit Meiji Shrine while in Tokyo (it’s beautiful), there are also much smaller neighborhood shrines that are neat to see.

Just about every neighborhood has one, and it just takes a little bit of patience (and often truly getting lost) in order to find them. Sure, you could also search Google Maps for them, but simply stumbling upon a tranquil shrine is part of the fun.

Shrines are typically lit up at night, and they take on a completely different persona than during the day. Often they are empty, and are a good place to take in your surroundings. 

16. Sample the city’s craft beer scene

beer Spring Valley Brewery Tokyo Japan

While Japan’s beer of choice are lagers like Asahi and Sapporo, we can assure you that the craft beer scene in the country is evolving to include some really impressive brews. 

Here are some notable craft breweries in Tokyo:

  • Spring Valley Brewery: This brewpub located in the (very cute!) Daikanyamacho neighborhood south of Shibuya, is a great place for dinner and a flight of beer. 
  • Pigalle: Tiny craft beer bar with quirky decor and lovely owners who speak English.
  • Mikkeller: Located in Shibuya, this craft beer bar oozes fun vibes, and with roughly 20 beers on tap, you’ll surely find one you love. They also have a pub grub menu.
  • Inkhorn Brewing, Two Fingers, and Tokyo Aleworks have some of the best beer in the city, but they are all located in and around Toshima City which is a bit of a trek from the center of Tokyo.
  • Yanaka Beer Hall: Tucked away on a quiet street, this small beer hall is a gem. 

17. Catch a baseball game at the Tokyo Dome

Tokyo Dome baseball Japan

Some people may be surprised to know that America’s “favorite pastime” (aka baseball) is also very popular in Japan

Maybe you’re one of those people who is not surprised at all – I mean, Japanese-born Shohei Ohtani recently made history by signing a $700 million contract with the LA Dodgers, making him the highest paid baseball player of all time. 

If you have a free night in Tokyo, head to the Tokyo Dome (where Ohtani actually hit a ball through the dome!) for a baseball game.

Baseball games in Japan are a little different than in the United States. For starters, you can buy a “general admission ticket” where you won’t have a seat, but you can roam and take part in the cheering. Japanese fans are loud and love supporting their team, so take part in the fun!

Good to know: The professional baseball season runs from late March to October each year.

18. Swing a bat at the late-night Shinjuku Batting Center

Speaking of baseball, if you’d rather be swinging the bat than watching other people do it, head to the heart of Shinjuku’s dodgy entertainment district, Kabukichō, for some wholesome late-night fun. (Yes, really!)

Shinjuku Batting Center is open daily until 4 a.m. and is a good alternative to hanging out in a typical bar. 

At this old school outdoor batting cage, you can put your skills to the test without breaking the bank. One round of 25 balls costs just ¥300 ($2 USD), and you can choose from a variety of pitching speeds. One of the best things is you can just show up – no booking required.

Alternative: If you like this idea but are more of a golf fan, head to this indoor golf simulator in Roppongi.

19. Wander a Don Quijote 

Don Quijote Tokyo Japan

Don Quijote is a famous Japanese discount store that has more than 160 locations around the country, and even more elsewhere around the globe.

Affectionately called “donki”, you can find these in many popular shopping areas in Tokyo (the largest one being this location in Shibuya).

Most Don Quijote locations in Tokyo are open 24 hours a day, and those that aren’t are still open until the wee hours of the morning (like 3 or 4 a.m.), making it a good place to get your late-night shopping fix.

In any “Donki”, you’ll find everything from daily essentials, like toothpaste or stationary, to Japanese souvenirs to take home with you, like magnets, cosmetics, or local snacks.

Insider Tip: Don Quijote offers tax-free shopping for foreigners. Be sure to have your passport with you!

20. Experience Tokyo’s nightlife scene

While “nightlife” in Tokyo can encompass a lot of things – including tiny izakayas in Piss Alley, casual breweries, high-end sake bars, or hidden speakeasies – there’s also a proper clubbing scene for those who want a bit more, shall we say, oomph from their night out.

The Roppongi neighborhood is widely-known for having the best nightclubs in Tokyo. If that’s what you’re looking for, this is the area to head to. 

That said, we’d recommend reading reviews before choosing a club so you know what to expect when it comes to cover charges and the clientele (aka Is it on the sketchy side? Is it high-end? Is this a touristy club or a more local one?).

Good to know: Most of Tokyo’s trains stop running around midnight. This means if you plan on going clubbing, you’ll need to have a plan for getting back to your hotel, or you’ll have to wait until the trains start running again around 5 a.m.

21. Tickle your funny bone at an English comedy show

Meshida comedy Tokyo Japan
Photo courtesy of Meshida

For a unique and non-traditional perspective on Japanese culture, consider booking tickets to a comedy show!

This show is in English and features Japanese comedian, Meshida, who is known for addressing taboo topics and explaining the dynamics of history, religion, culture, and gender roles to foreigners in a way that is both easy to understand and funny! 

Not only will it be a fun night out in Tokyo, but I have a feeling you’ll come away with a newfound appreciation and understanding of Japanese culture.

Want to see if this style of comedy is your vibe? Check out Meshida on Youtube.

Shows are on Tuesdays (6-8 p.m.), Fridays (8-10 p.m.), Sundays (6-8 p.m.), and an occasional Saturday. Check out the comedy show schedule to see if it works with your travel dates.

22. Indulge in fine dining 

Wilderness Serendipity Restaurant

Tokyo boasts an incredible food scene, and is home to some of the world’s finest restaurants. In fact, Tokyo has more Michelin star restaurants than any other city in the world!

You’ll find everything from traditional Japanese fare to classic French to seriously good (Michelin rated) pizza and everything in between.

Browse the Michelin guide for top tier restaurants in Tokyo (or Bib Gourmand for more casual options). Be sure you make reservations! 

23. Entertain your inner child at an arcade

Japan arcade

If you’re a kid at heart (or just looking for a uniquely Japanese experience!), head to an arcade for a wild time.

Now, this isn’t a typical arcade you’d find in other countries with a handful of games nestled inside a space in a mall amongst other shops.

Japanese people take arcades seriously, and there are often entire multi-level buildings dedicated to gaming.

Once you enter, take a look at the directory because you’ll find games are split up by floor. Virtual reality games on one level, retro video games on another, crane games on yet another floor.

You’ll find arcades throughout the city, but the Akihabara neighborhood has the most and will be your best bet for finding a large selection. Start with this one and continue exploring from there.

24. Get silly at a purikura (Japanese photo booth)

Japanese photobooth purikura

Hopping inside a Japanese photo booth, or purikura, is a quick, yet memorable experience.

You can find photo booths in many arcades, and sometimes simply typing “purikura” into Google Maps will show you any nearby. The best part is this experience takes less than 10 minutes and costs around 400 yen, meaning any traveler can squeeze it into their Japan itinerary, even on a tight schedule (or a tight budget!).

And at the end, you’re left with an inexpensive and ridiculously “Japanese” souvenir that’ll make you smile (or cry laughing!) each time you see it.

25. Catch some Zs at a capsule hotel

Hotel Cargo Osaka Japan
This photo is from a capsule hotel we stayed at in Osaka.

If you’re truly not a night owl and just reading this list is making you yawn and wonder how anyone else stays out after dinner time, I’ve got one last suggestion just for you…

Do something that is still uniquely Japanese without staying out past your “witching hour” by sleeping in a capsule hotel!

While similar in some ways to hostels, capsule hotels offer more privacy. They often cater to businessmen as well as budget travelers not interested in partying.

Not all capsule hotels are created the same, but most of them provide you with toiletry kits, have a common area to hang out in, offer snacks for purchase, and have showers or even onsen areas. When you’re ready for some shut eye, you just climb into your capsule, shut the door (or curtain), and you’ve got your own little sleeping pod

Since most reasonably-priced hotel rooms in Tokyo are absolutely tiny (except this one!), a capsule hotel isn’t just a cool experience, but it can also make financial sense.

Best capsule hotels in Tokyo

Here are some capsule hotels in Tokyo that earn rave reviews:

Book Tea Bed SHIBUYA Tokyo Japan (Booking)
Image source: Booking

Book Tea Bed Shibuya: With an excellent location in Shibuya, this is perhaps one of the cheapest beds you’ll find in the area! There is a mixed gender floor as well as a female-only floor. The facilities are pretty basic, but you really can’t beat the price for this location.

Resol Poshtel Asakusa Tokyo Japan (Booking)
Image source: Booking

Resol Poshtel Asakusa: Located not far from Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa, the capsules at this hotel are design-forward, with murals covering their walls. Curtains are the dividers between pods, creating a social atmosphere more like a hostel (but with more privacy than a dorm) than a true capsule hotel. This one earns rave reviews from guests and is one of the top-rated capsule-style hotels in Tokyo.

MyCUBE Asakusa Tokyo Japan (Booking)
Image source: Booking

MyCUBE Asakusa Kuramae: With beautiful common spaces, clean shared bathrooms, and cozy pods for sleeping, there’s not much to complain about at this capsule hotel located just south of Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa.

First Cabin Ichigaya Tokyo Japan (Booking)
Image source: Booking

First Cabin Ichigaya: With a couple of different levels of pods to choose from (economy class, business class, and first class), you can determine the size, comfort level, and budget of your sleeping arrangement. Common spaces are beautifully-designed, and while the location is a bit outside the busy parts of Tokyo, it’s not far by train.

Budget Tip: If you are traveling as a couple just be sure to compare the price of two pods to the price of one comparable hotel room to know if you are really saving money. Even if it ends up being a bit more expensive to stay in a pod, it is a very Japanese experience you can’t get many other places in the world.

Tokyo at night FAQs

Shibuya Sky Observatory Tokyo Japan

Have any lingering questions about what it’s like in Tokyo at night? We’ve got answers to a few of the most common questions.

When is the last train in Tokyo?

Before we jump into all the things to do in Tokyo at night, you need to know that the trains in Tokyo stop running around midnight and start running again around 5 a.m

Keep this in mind if you are going to be out drinking or on a tour that ends late. 

What happens if you miss the last train?

Taxi Shibuya Crossing Tokyo Japan

It can happen to the best of us! Or, maybe you’re planning to go clubbing, in which case you’ll definitely miss the trains. 

You can either catch a (pricey!) taxi back to your hotel, or you can stay out until 5 a.m. when most of the trains start running again. Head to a karaoke room, a bar, a 24-hour bathhouse, or book a last-minute capsule hotel for a bit of shut eye.

Is Tokyo safe at night?

Shibuya Sky Observatory Tokyo Japan

Tokyo is known as one of the safest big cities in the world. Compared to other metropolises, like NYC, Bangkok, and Rome, you’ll likely feel very safe in Tokyo. 

We’ve traveled here three times and have always felt very safe, and we know plenty of solo female travelers who love Tokyo in part because of how safe it is.

That said, it doesn’t mean there aren’t sketchy areas or that bad things can’t happen. If you are drinking, stay in control, keep an eye on your drink in crowded places, and trust your gut.

Are there any areas I should avoid?

Sumida River Tokyo Japan

We’d recommend avoiding Shinjuku’s Kabukicho neighborhood at night, which is sometimes recommended as a nightlife spot. It is also known as the red light district, and while not necessarily “dangerous”, this is where you’ll find the more sketchy bars and happenings in Tokyo.  

We’d also recommend being extra vigilant in nightclubs (as you would anywhere in the world). 

Round up of things to do in Tokyo at night

Here’s a recap of all the best things to do in Tokyo at night so you can see it all in one place.

  1. Shibuya Sky Observatory
  2. Golden Gai and Piss Alley
  3. Sumida River dinner cruise
  4. Nagomi Visit
  5. Food tour
  6. Senso-ji
  7. Rooftop bar
  8. Shibuya Crossing
  9. Overnight bathhouse
  10. Karaoke
  11. Free skyline views
  12. Photo shoot
  13. Theme restaurant
  14. Speakeasy
  15. Shinto shrines
  16. Craft beer
  17. Baseball game
  18. Batting cage
  19. Don Quijote
  20. Nightlife
  21. Comedy show
  22. Fine dining
  23. Arcade
  24. Japanese photo booth (purikura)
  25. Capsule hotel

Other resources for planning your Japan trip

We have TONS of resources on travel in Japan and destinations throughout the country. Check out our Ultimate Japan Travel Guide for all the answers to your most burning questions, or read some of our favorite articles below.

Be sure to download our complete packing list for Japan! It’s packed with good suggestions and insider tips to help plan your Japan trip. And it’s completely FREE, so why not!?

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We want to hear from you!

Which of these things to do in Tokyo at night is calling your name? Or are you really not a night owl and prefer to turn in early? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best to get back to you!

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