Out & About: What To Do in Shinjuku at Night

By Olivia Tanaka | April 17th, 2024 

A street in Shinjuku illuminated by neon lights
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    Picture this: neon lights illuminating the night sky, rows of authentic Japanese street food, and nightclubs pulsating with energy. Nestled in the heart of Tokyo, Shinjuku is a bustling urban center renowned for its entertainment, shopping, city views, culinary experiences, and electric atmosphere. If you are looking to explore an area where the night comes alive in ways you have never imagined, Shinjuku promises an unforgettable experience. Here is an extensive guide on what to do in Shinjuku at night including entertainment, dining options, date spots, and safety tips.

    This article is a part of our extensive series on Learning about Japan through Online Japanese Lessons at Japan Switch.


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    Popular Areas In Shinjuku at Night

    Kabukicho: Shinjuku's Red Light District

    A street in Shinjuku illuminated by neon lights at night

    Welcome to Kabukicho, Shinjuku’s hotspot for nightlife and entertainment. The district is northeast of Shinjuku Station and is home to a myriad of restaurants, bars, and clubs. Kabukicho is known as Tokyo’s “red light district” due to its variety of provocative nightlife establishments: burlesque clubs, hidden bars, hostess bars, and love hotels. If you are looking for excitement and adventure on your night out, Kabukicho is the place in Shinjuku to explore. 

    Omoide Yokocho: Shinjuku's Culinary Time Capsule

    A narrow street in Shinjuku with small restaurants and Japanese lanterns at night

    Omoide Yokocho, translating to “memory lane,” is located by the west exit of Shinjuku Station. The narrow alleyway was created to accommodate street food stalls but has since evolved into a culinary hotspot. Omoide Yokocho is characterized by its narrow lanes and small eateries. It is now known for its stalls and small restaurants that serve yakitori, ramen, and traditional izakaya dishes. It is important to understand Japan's long-lasting customs, so here is our Ultimate Guide to Japanese Culture.

    Izakayas are very popular within the area. They are a form of Japanese pub where people indulge in drinks and food in a casual atmosphere. Izakayas serve a variety of small dishes that are typically shared among the group. The menu includes items such as grilled skewers (yakitori), tempura, fish, salads, and more. Izakayas also serve a range of beverages, including beer, sake, shochu, sours, and soft drinks. The majority of them offer tabehodai and nomihodai which translate to all you can eat and all you can drink. 

    Golden Gai: Every Alley Tells a Story

    Golden Gai is approximately a 10-minute walk from Shinjuku Station’s east exit. The area is known for its narrow and atmospheric alleyways that are home to a myriad of bars. Since there are around 200 bars located in just a few narrow lanes, these establishments usually seat a very small number of people at a time, creating an extremely intimate setting. If you are looking for a personal experience where you can closely interact with the bartenders, customers, and your friends, Golden Gai is the ideal place for you to explore Shinjuku at night. 


    Read this article to find out more about what Tokyo is like at night.

    Is Shibuya’s or Shinjuku’s Nightlife Better?

    Shinjuku’s nightlife scene is famous for its diversity and vibrance, which has something to offer for everyone. The abundance of entertainment alternatives, which range from elegant cocktail bars and cozy jazz salons to lively nightclubs and traditional izakayas, is one of its main appeals. Additionally, nightlife venues in Shinjuku typically operate very late, making it ideal for night owls. However, for those looking for a more laid-back or quiet evening out, Shinjuku's nightlife might be overwhelming with its bustling crowds and fast-paced atmosphere.

    On the other hand, Shibuya is a popular destination for both young visitors and locals due to its trendy and youthful nightlife. The area is home to a plethora of bars and clubs all within walking distance from each other. However, Shibuya's popularity comes with drawbacks, as the area tends to get crowded, particularly on weekends, making it difficult to secure entry to popular venues and navigate the bustling streets. If you would like to learn more about the area here are The Top 20 Things to Do in Shibuya.

    Personally speaking, while Shinjuku and Shibuya both offer exciting nightlife experiences for foreigners, Shinjuku is the ideal choice due to its wide variety of entertainment options and dynamic atmosphere. Shinjuku’s electric nightclubs that seem to never close, vibrant bars, and the spirited crowd that it attracts, never fails to disappoint if you are looking for a wild night out in the town. You are always guaranteed to find something cutting-edge and captivating to explore.

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    Nightlife in Shinjuku



    A nightclub with neon blue lights

    (Credit: @warp_shinjuku)

    Warp Shinjuku, located in Kabukicho, is a premier nightclub destination and is arguably the most popular in Shinjuku. The club is divided into various rooms that play music ranging from pop and house to EDM, trap, and hip-hop. With an energetic atmosphere, state-of-the-art sound system, lasers and LED screens, and an impressive lineup of DJs, The venue attracts many foreigners and locals alike.

    Address: Shinjuku Townhouse Building B2F, 1 Chome-2-12, Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, 160-0021, Japan
    Website: https://warp-shinjuku.jp/
    Pricing: Men’s entry prices range from ¥800 - ¥1500 and women’s entry prices range from ¥0 - ¥800. All prices include one free drink ticket.
    Open Hours: 9 pm - 4:30 am


    THE27CLUB, which has been dubbed a “playground for adults,” is not a mainstream club. Not only does it have a neon-lit interior and elegant lounge tables, but it also provides pole dance and burlesque shows every night. 

    Address: 3rd Floor, Shinjuku Acb Building, 2 Chome-36-3, Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, 160-0021, Japan
    Website: https://the27club.jp/
    Pricing: Free area standing - ¥2000 + 1 drink, Side seat - ¥3000 +1 drink, All you can drink (120 minutes) - ¥6000, Extend 60 minutes - ¥3000
    Open Hours: 8:30 pm - 11:30 pm (Tuesday - Thursday), 8:00 pm - 2 am (Fridays)

    Reggae Club Garam

    If you are interested in a place where you can enjoy Jamaican music and delicious drinks, then Reggae Club Garam is for you. They offer an authentic experience that celebrates the spirit of reggae music. The club is small and provides a cozy and intimate vibe. The staff are very friendly and help create a great atmosphere. 

    Address: 7th Floor, 6th Paul Star Building, 1 Chome-16-6, Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, 160-0021, Japan
    Website: https://www.facebook.com/people/Reggae-CLUB-Garam/100063905565901/?sk=reviews
    Pricing: Entry usually ranges from ¥1000 - ¥2000
    Open Hours: 9 pm - 5 am (Monday - Friday), 11 pm - 6 am (Saturdays)

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    Nightlife Beyond Kabukicho


    Uta-Hiroba is the perfect place for karaoke enthusiasts and music lovers. They provide private rooms to rent where guests can enjoy a personalized karaoke experience in a comfortable setting. They offer a variety of drinks and food delivered to your room to complement your session. Uta-Hiroba is the perfect place to take your friends and family for a fun night out in Shinjuku. While they have a location in Kabukicho, they can also be found in other areas in Shinjuku.

    Address: 5th Floor, Shinjuku 3-Chome Building, 3 Chome-13-5, Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, 160-0022, Japan
    Website: https://www.utahiro.com/store/storelist/storeinfo/tabid/64/pdid/0205/Default.aspx
    Pricing: General prices range from ¥200 - ¥3900. Prices for students range from ¥180 - ¥1980. 
    Open Hours: 11:00 am - 5:00 am (Sunday - Thursday) 11:00 am - 8:00 am (Friday - Saturday)

    Bar Albatross

    Bar Albatross is nestled in the narrow street of Omoide Yokocho. This hidden gem is a small three-story bar offering a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The interior design is very unique giving the place an interesting character. Countless eateries surround the bar, making it the perfect place to stop by before or after a meal. 

    Address: 1 Chome-2-11 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0023
    Website: https://www.alba-s.com/#/f1
    Pricing: ¥2000 - ¥3000
    Open Hours: 7:00 pm - 5:00 am every day 

    Jazz Bar Samurai

    Jazz Bar Samurai is another hidden gem to look out for. It is an intimate jazz bar offering an array of food and beverages. It is a difficult place to discover on your own, but the intimacy of the bar contributes to its warm atmosphere. The interior is decorated with unique knick-knacks and cat figurines. This is the perfect place in Shinjuku to unwind and listen to some music at night. 

    Address: 5th Floor, Moribuilding, 3 Chome-35-5, Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, 160-0022, Japan
    Website: https://samurai.favy.jp/
    Pricing: ¥2000 - ¥3000
    Open Hours: 6:00 pm - 1:00 am every day

    10 Late Night Dining Options

    Japanese men eating at a small Izakaya restaurant in Shinjuku at night

    1. Shinjuku Kakekomi Gyoza Kabukicho

    If you are looking for a restaurant to eat in Shinjuku at night that serves delicious Japanese food, then check out Kakekomi Gyoza. It specializes in gyoza, which is a pan-fried dumpling and a staple of Japanese cuisine. In addition to traditional gyoza, they offer gyoza cutlets, boiled gyoza, and steamed gyoza. They also provide appetizers and main courses like edamame, takoyaki, ramen, and yakisoba for even more variety. English menus are available on the iPad when you order and the restaurant even has vegan and vegetarian options.

    Address: 58 Tokyo Building, 1 Chome-12-2, Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, 160-0021, Japan.
    Website: https://www.kakekomi-gyoza.com/menu?utm_source=mybusiness&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=shinjuku 
    Hours: Open 24 hours
    Price Per Person: ¥1000 - ¥2000

    2. Ichiran

    A bowl of delicious ramen from Ichiran Shinjuku

    (Credit: @ichiran_jp)

    Ichiran is a renowned ramen restaurant chain originating from Fukuoka, Japan. It is popular for its unique dining concept where all customers eat in individual booths. Ichiran is known for its tonkotsu ramen which can be customized to fit your preferences. They allow you to choose different factors such as noodle texture, richness of broth, spice level, and additional toppings. 

    Address: Basement 1st Floor, CR.B&V Building, 1 Chome-17-10, Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, 160-0021, Japan.
    Website: https://en.ichiran.com/shop/tokyo/kabukicho/ 
    Hours: Open 24 hours
    Price Per Person: ¥1000 - ¥2000

    3. Tacchan

    Tacchan is a small izakaya located in Omoide Yokocho. They serve a variety of yakitori and specialize in seafood. Their signature dish is tsukune, which is chicken meatballs on a skewer in a sweet and savory sauce. They charge a ¥300 table fee that comes with a complimentary appetizer. 

    Address: 1 Chome-2-7 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0023
    Website: https://shinjuku-omoide.com/shop/tacchan 
    Hours: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am (Monday - Saturday)
    Price Per Person: ¥1000 - ¥3000


    4. Sushitatsu

    Sushitatsu is a quaint traditional sushi restaurant also located in Omoide Yokocho. They do not have traditional menus, just a list of the available fish for the day and omakase options behind the counter. Typical options include fresh sashimi, nigiri, and rolls that will leave you wanting more. If you need some guidance on what to order, here is our Ultimate Guide to Japanese Sushi: How Much Do You Know? They also serve a variety of appetizers such as edamame and miso soup, and an impressive lineup of sake to choose from. You often find regular customers who know the owner and sushi master personally. If you are looking for an authentic sushi experience, Sushitatsu is just the place. Keep in mind that Sushitatsu is a cash-only establishment, so bring around ¥3000! 

    Address: 3 Chome-18-3 Shimoochiai, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 161-0033
    Website: https://en.shinjuku-omoide.com/shop/sushitatsu 
    Hours: 5:00 pm - 11:45 pm (Closed Sundays)
    Price Per Person: ¥1000 - ¥4000

    5. Torikizoku

    An assortment of delicious yakitori skewers from Torikizoku Shinjuku

    (Credit: @torikizoku.official)

    Torikizoku is a chain of izakaya restaurants known for its affordable yakitori and various izakaya-style dishes. They also offer a selection of drinks such as beer, lemon sours, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages. English menus are available.

    Address: 3F, 3 Chome-6-7 Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0022 (has multiple locations)
    Website: https://map.torikizoku.co.jp/store/288?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=maps&utm_campaign=gmb
    Hours: 5:00 pm - 5:00 am 
    Price Per Person: ¥1000 - ¥3000

    6. Matsunoya

    Matsunoya is a chain restaurant specializing in tonkatsu, which are deep-fried breaded pork cutlets. Their sets are their most popular item and come with white rice, cabbage, and miso soup. If you are in search of a cheap and casual tonkatsu restaurant available late at night, check out Matsunoya. English menus are available.

    Address: 〒160-0023 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Nishishinjuku, 7 Chome−1−7 1F
    Website: https://pkg.navitime.co.jp/matsuyafoods/spot/detail?code=0000001202 
    Hours: 5:00 am - 2:00 am 
    Price Per Person: ¥500 - ¥1500

    7. Pontocho, Shinjuku Honten

    Ponchoto is a Kyoto-style izakaya located in Shinjuku. It serves a myriad of high-quality traditional Japanese dishes. The sashimi is a popular dish among customers. The restaurant has an authentic feel and the friendly chefs contribute to the overall atmosphere. 

    Address: 2-9-18 Lions Plaza Shinjuku 1F, Kabukicho, Shinjuku 160-0021 Tokyo 
    Website: https://www.facebook.com/pontocho.shinjuku/
    Hours: 6:00 pm - 3:00 am (Monday-Thursday), 5:00 pm - 6:00 am (Friday-Sunday)
    Price Per Person: ¥1000 - ¥3000

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    8. Harbs Lumine Est Shinjuku

    If you are looking for a place to get dessert at night in Shinjuku, Harbs is a must-try. They are known for their wide selection of cakes, pastries, and coffee. Some popular options are the strawberry and fruit crepe cake which melt in your mouth. The line tends to be quite long throughout the day so visiting at night may be the ideal time. 

    Address: 2nd Basement Floor, Lumine Est Shinjuku, 3 Chome-38-1, Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, 160-0022, Japan.
    Website: https://www.harbs.co.jp/en/story/ 
    Hours: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
    Price Per Person: ¥1000 - ¥2000

    9. Mr. Waffle

    Mr. Waffle is a shop that anyone with a sweet tooth must try when in Shinjuku. They are renowned for their Belgian waffles and ice creams that come in a variety of flavors such as earl grey, apple, sakura, and maple syrup. This store is also located in Lumine and tends to have long lines during the day. Do not miss out on these highly acclaimed delights. 

    Address: 1st Floor, Lumine Shinjuku 2, 3 Chome-38-2, Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, 160-0022, Japan
    Website: Mr. Waffle
    Hours: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Price Per Person: ¥100 - ¥700

    10. Maidreamin

    A picture of a maid from Maidreamin Shinjuku

    (Credit: @maidreamin)

    iMaidreamin Shinjuku is a branch of the maid cafes that are popular in Tokyo. It is a themed cafe where waitresses dress in maid costumes and serve customers, creating an entertaining experience. They offer live performances, with many of the maids interacting with you by singing and dancing. The menu is quite diverse, offering a wide variety of food and beverages. Do not worry if you do not speak Japanese, the servers will do their best to accommodate your English. Maidreamin is an exciting experience. For more information about maid cafes, read this Ulitmate Guide to Visiting a Maid Cafe in Tokyo.

    Address: 3 Chome-22-10 Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0022
    Website: https://maidreamin.com/shop/detail.html?id=9 
    Hours: 11:30 am - 11:00 pm
    Price Per Person: ¥2000 - ¥4000


    3 Captivating Date Night Destinations in Shinjuku

    1. New York Bar

    Located on the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo, the New York Bar is the perfect place for a date night. Famous for being a filming location in the movie “Lost in Translation,” the breathtaking skyline views, elegant surroundings, and romantic ambiance are incomparable. For drinks, you can choose from a wide selection of premium whiskeys, classic cocktails, and wines. The New York Bar features live jazz performances every night to elevate your experience. There is a dress code; shorts, sandals, sportswear, and tank tops, are prohibited and will deny you entry. If you are searching for an elegant date night spot in Shinjuku, the New York Bar is just the place. Do not forget to also check out our Ultimate Guide to Valentine's Day in Japan.

    Address: Park Hyatt Tokyo, 52nd Floor, 3-7-1-2 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 163-1055
    Website: https://restaurants.tokyo.park.hyatt.co.jp/nyb.html 
    Hours: 6:30 pm - 11:45 pm
    Price Per Person: ¥5000 - ¥10000+

    2. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

    A tall skyscraper with a sun and sky illustration projected on it in Shinjuku at night

    (Credit: @timeouttokyo_)

    The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is another date night spot that is ideal for those hoping to see Tokyo’s beautiful skyline. The building’s observation deck offers panoramic views and is especially breathtaking during sunset and at night when the city is illuminated. Both the North and South observatories are free, making it a budget-friendly spot. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building also serves as a backdrop for an extravagant projection mapping show which runs every night from 7 pm to 9 pm until late April. 

    Address: 45th Floor, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building No. 1, 2 Chome-8-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 163-8001, Japan
    Website: https://www.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/english/offices/observat.html 
    Hours: 9:30 am - 10:00 pm
    Price Per Person: Free

    3. Gao Gake Plaza Kabukicho

    If you are looking for a more playful and unique option for your date night Gao Game Plaza might be a place you want to try. If you and your date share a competitive spirit and a love for games, you will have a blast. This arcade offers a variety of classic and newer games and claw machines with various prizes. If you are not familiar with Japanese holidays read our Ultimate Guide to White Day in Japan.

    Address: 1st Floor, Amuse Building, 1 Chome-6-8, Kabukicho, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, 160-0021, Japan.
    Website: https://www-amunet-co-jp.translate.goog/shop.html?_x_tr_sl=ja&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=sc 
    Hours: 10:00 am - 12:00 am
    Price Per Person: Price varies 

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    Essential Safety Secrets

    While going out in Tokyo is relatively safe, it is imperative to keep safety tips in mind. 

    Ukon No Chikara - The Cure for Hangovers

    It is essential to approach Shinjuku’s nightlife scene responsibly. When indulging in alcohol, it is important to eat beforehand, pace yourself, and stay hydrated. Most convenience stores are open 24 hours and are an easy and convenient way to get water. It is also important to be cautious when mixing alcohol as this can increase intoxication levels. A popular recommendation among locals and foreigners is to drink a bottle of “ukon no chikara,” a Japanese turmeric supplement that helps to alleviate hangovers and is available at convenience stores for ¥200 - ¥500. Make sure you consume it before any alcohol for it to be fully effective. 

    Know When Your Last Train Leaves or Sleep in a Cafe

    When heading home from a night out in Shinjuku you must be informed about the train system. While some lines run until late at night, many stop operating around midnight, so checking the schedules in advance is important. The JR Yamanote line typically operates until 1:00 am. Trains usually resume around 4:00 - 5:00 am. If you have trouble reading signs check out our Top 15 Japanese Kanji Tips.

    If you miss the last train, you have various options. As listed above, many establishments such as izakayas, karaoke bars, and cafes are open until the early morning. These places can provide a safe and comfortable environment for you to wait until the trains resume running. Some internet or themed cafes may offer private booths or sleeping spaces that you may purchase.

    Here is what you need to know if you would like to take a taxi home. Taxis pass by quite frequently, so hailing one should not be a problem. However, booking services have become more popular, so you might have to wait a while to get one. Taxis from Shinjuku to nearby areas such as Shibuya usually range from  ¥1000 - ¥2000 depending on the time. Japan does not have Uber, but you can order a taxi through the app

    Emergency Ready: Your Essential Toolkit for Crises

    The phone number for police and medical services is 110. Additionally, kobans, or small police stations, are placed throughout the city and can provide guidance and assistance to anyone in need. They are usually open 24 hours and can help with reporting crimes, finding lost items, and providing directions. Read our Guide to Finding the Right Expression in Japan in case you find yourself in an emergency.

    Must Known Vocabulary Terms and Phrases

    Bars and Clubs





    nama biru

    Draft Beer


    toire wa doko desuka

    Where it the bathroom?


    kono kakuteru wa ikura desuka

    How much is this cocktail?


    nyujyoryo wa ikuradesuka

    How much is entry?







    A Japanese bar that serves small and inexpensive dishes and alcoholic beverages





    yoyaku onegaishimasu

    I would like to make a reservation


    osusume wa nandesuka

    what do you recommend?


    okaikei onegaishimasu

    Can I get the check please?


    ikura desuka

    How much is it?


    Directions and Getting Home





    Train Station


    yamanote sen

    Yamanote Line



    Last Train



    First Train


    shuden wa nanji desuka

    What time is the last train?


    ___wa doko desuka

    Where is___?






    keisatsu o yobu kudasai

    Please call the police 


    kyukyusha o yobu kudasai

    Please call an ambulance


    saifu wo nakushimashita

    I lost my wallet


    Whether you choose to party in Kabukicho or have an intimate dining experience in Omoide Yokocho, Shinjuku at night will complete your Tokyo experience. With a good blend of locals and foreigners, you are sure to have a good time and meet new people along the way. To give you some guidance, here are The Top 15 Tips For Making Japanese Friends. To make you even more confident read this article on the Top 40 Japanese Slang to Know. Shinjuku’s unique charm and countless establishments have something to offer everyone. 

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