Tokyo is often described as a city that never sleeps. This metropolis is full of world famous tourist attractions as well as exciting night activities that welcome visitors with flashy neon lights at night. You can visit historic temples that are beautifully lit up in the dark, or enjoy stunning night views from skyscrapers. Many people also enjoy shopping and dining in vibrant districts packed with lively shops, restaurants and various Izakaya. Whether you live in Tokyo or just plan to visit for a vacation, it is always worth going out and exploring the megacity after the sun goes down. Let’s explore the best things to do in Tokyo at night!
1. Asakusa Sensoji
Asakusa Sensoji is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Asakusa area inTokyo. It is widely known as the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo with more than 1,300 years of history. Many people pay a visit to the historic temple during the daytime when the shops and stalls along Nakamise-dori Street are still open. It is a perfect spot to enjoy a wide variety of food options such as traditional Japanese snacks and tasty street food. If you visit during the evening or night, you will be able to enjoy the magnificent temple that will be beautifully lit up in silence. Main structures on the temple grounds, including Kaminari-mon, the main hall and the symbolic five-story pagoda are brightly illuminated after sunset until 11pm every night.
Asakusa is also famous for its long history of geisha. It is currently one of only two remaining geisha neighborhoods in the Tokyo area. There are still geisha houses and traditional Japanese restaurants in the neighborhood where you may be able to see geisha dining at. You can actually meet real geisha and even do things like watch their performances as well as have dinner with and make tea alongside them for a priceless experience.
Here are a few great geisha tours in Asakusa:
If you want to experience the real nightlife in Japan, head to the Kabukicho area! This area is home to countless Izakaya, dining spots, exciting tourist attractions and much more to explore at night. Kabukicho is conveniently located on the west side of JR Shinjuku station. It is about a 5-minute walk from Shinjuku station to reach the main street of Kabukicho known as “Kabukicho Ichiban-gai”. It might seem dangerous to walk around a red-light district at night, but in reality, it is not at all. Omoide Yokocho is a quaint alley which is packed with small stalls and bars loved and often visited by locals.
3. Golden Gai
Golden Gai is another active nightlife district nestled into the bustling Shinjuku area. It consists of narrow alleyways packed with more than 250 tiny bars and stalls. Walking through this area at night might lead you to discover lesser known bars and dining spots which still hold the nostalgic Showa period atmosphere. A lot of shops and restaurants are foreign friendly and have no cover charge.
4. Tokyo Station
Tokyo Station is the largest and most famous train terminal in Japan. This is where most international travelers start their adventure in Tokyo. It is also home to an expansive railway network connecting Tokyo to the rest of Japan. However, you won’t only find trains here, but also amazing shopping areas and dining spots which are enjoyable any time of day! Tokyo Gransta boasts about 150 shops and restaurants where you can try a wide range of foods and purchase freshly prepared Bento boxes as well as memorable gifts. First Avenue Tokyo Station is another popular shopping hub connected to Tokyo Station through Yaesuguchi Exit.
5. Batting Cages
The batting cages are somewhere you can go to practice your hitting without being bothered by the weather or time. It is basically an indoor baseball training center for those who love baseball. Each net surrounded cage is equipped with a pitching machine which pitches you balls at different speeds depending on the level you choose (generally from 80km -120km/h). It typically costs around ¥300 – 500 for a round of about 20 balls. A few of the popular batting cages in Tokyo are Spo-Dori at Tokyo Dome City and Meiji Jingu Gaien.
6. Tokyo City Views
Tokyo boasts a great number of spots where you can enjoy spectacular night views of the sprawling city. Head to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in the Shinjuku area which towers over the city with two observatories that you can go up for free. Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree are symbolic landmarks which fascinate people with panoramic views as well as great shopping areas that have a large selection of shops and restaurants. Shibuya Scramble Square is a shopping complex that recently opened and is right in the heart of Shibuya. They have a modern observation deck called “Shibuya Sky”, which overlooks the world’s busiest crossing from approximately 230 meters up!
7. Dining at Ninja Akasaka
Ninja Akasaka is a ninja-themed restaurant located in Chiyoda-ku. It attracts customers from all over the world with unique dining experiences and you are served by ninjas! As you walk into the restaurant you will be welcomed by the staff dressed as ninjas. They guide you through the dim corridors leading to your hidden room where you will be served delicious food prepared by professional chefs. While you are dining, ninja will occasionally come to your table and entertain you with card tricks and magic!
8. Shopping at Donki
Donki (officially known as Don Quijote) is one of the most famous discount chain stores that has more than 220 locations across Japan. They sell a wide variety of items ranging from food, cosmetics, toys, clothing, pet supplies to higher end and more expensive products. Once you enter a Donki, you will immediately be surrounded by endless arrays of products that are sold at affordable prices. Opening hours vary from shop to shop, but many are open from 9am until midnight or even later(some locations are conveniently open 24 hours!). If you don’t have anything in particular that you want to buy, just browsing the large selection of items can be fun, and you will be there for hours without even realizing!
【Best Donki locations in Tokyo】
・Don Quijote Akihabara (open 24 hours)
・Don Quijote Asakusa (open 24 hours)
9. Visit a Sento or Onsen
Did you know you can enjoy a refreshing onsen experience while in Tokyo? It may sound weird when you think about the fact that Tokyo is a metropolitan city full of skyscrapers. However there are some great onsen spots which are easily accessible from the heart of Tokyo. A sento is a public bathhouse that can be found in almost all parts of Japan, including most neighborhoods in Tokyo. You have to pay admission to get in, but it is generally reasonably priced at around ¥500 per person. Other modern bathing facilities are also popular. Some of the more well known ones are Tokyo Dome City Spa LaQua and Tokyo Ogikubo Onsen Nagominoyu. They are more spacious than traditional sento and offer a range of services such as massages and even dining depending on where you go.
10. Bar hopping tours
If you don’t know where to go to make the most of your time in Tokyo at night, it can always be fun to join one of our bar hopping tours! Our tours will take you to some of the best Izakaya/bars and Japanese restaurants in the Asakusa and Shinjuku areas. The Asakusa tour is also a perfect option if you want to take a memorable stroll at the previously mentioned beautifully lit up Asakusa Sensoji at night. The Shinjuku tour allows you to explore much of the Kabukicho area while trying tasty yakitori (skewered chicken) and refreshing beverages at friendly local Izakaya!
Here are a few of our fun bar topping tours!
Don’t forget to check out our private tours!
If you need some help organizing your trip to Japan, we highly recommend checking out our private tours with English speaking guides. We would be happy to help make your trip to Japan a safe, comfortable, and unforgettable one!
Visit the must see highlights of Tokyo with our friendly and knowledgeable guides! This tour is flexible and the destinations are customizable according to your requests.
Explore the world famous fish market in Tsukiji with us and enjoy a wide variety of different delicious local foods and drinks!
Exploring Tokyo at night will allow you to discover the hidden sides of the bustling city from a whole different perspective. Although Tokyo is a fairly safe city to walk around at night, be aware that there still are some places that you may want to avoid alone during the late hours. However if you are sure to be safe, Tokyo is one of the most fun places at night. We hope you learned about some new spots and have the chance to enjoy Tokyo at night!
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Miho Shimizu is a Japanese freelance writer settled in Shizuoka with her husband and two rabbits. Fascinated with traveling at the age of 18, she has spent most of her long holidays exploring incredible spots around Japan. Also love to listen to music, draw, and read novels over a cup of green tea.
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