Updated June 2020
To summarize Tokyo in one night is a sweeping generalization, but luckily you’ve come to the article that does just that. Assuming you only have one night in Tokyo, we’ll provide a concise itinerary that, while challenging, will deliver an unforgettable adventure.
If you’re got more than one night, grab our complete guide:
For those with 24 hours or less…let’s start things off! Head on over the infamous red light district of Tokyo: Kabukichō.
Kabukichō, Shinjuku [ 17:00 ]
A red-light district is always a fun way to start off any city, so hop off the train in Shinjuku Station and dive on in. Of course, we’re not suggesting to partake in the various array of girls bars, hostess clubs, and other questionable establishments, but rather, the heart of all things Tokyo: the Robot Restaurant.
Yes, robots. Robots and dinosaurs fighting amongst bikini-clad Japanese dancers. All within a venue that, allegedly, cost upwards of 10 million dollars.
While open most days of the week, make sure you get your reservation ahead of time. You can reserve it here (book with VOYAGIN for discount tickets!).
Robot Restaurant: Tokyo, Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kabukicho, 1 Chome−7−１
We suggest choosing the earliest reservation possible. As of this writing, this is 17:55. Also- skip the food option they offer, it’s the only low grade part about the show.
After the show (it lasts over 90 minutes), it’s time to calm down from all the adrenaline and enjoy some drinks nearby.
Golden Gai, Shinjuku [ 20:00 ]
Golden Gai is a famous bar area of Shinjuku nearby Kabukicho. While seemingly run down, it isn’t cheap (most have a 1,000 yen table charge in addition to drink prices), but you’ll be able to experience a very unique aspect of Tokyo’s nightlife culture: the intimate bar scene. The bars that are welcome to foreigners will have signs in English, so keep an eye out for them.
If you have some extra time, you swing by an absinthe bar as well. There’s a few in Shinjuku, but we recommend Alternative Absinthe.
After a few drinks amongst the bars, and a wobble in your walk, it’s time to head to Shibuya for the next round of general debauchery.
Shibuya Treats and Eats [ 22:00 ]
If you haven’t seen it already, swing by Hachiko (the dog statue) just out of the Hachikō Exit of Shibuya station. This is where the giant pedestrian crossing is too. Feel free to grab a coffee at the Starbucks by the crossing and catch the surreal view at the top of the escalator. After a few camera shots, it’s time to hit up a convenience store (or “conbini” as they say in Japan). Street drinking is legal here and our recommendation is a Strong Zero.
Careful though: it’s 8% and delicious.
After a little bit of a walk, it’s time to have some dinner.
Daidokoya: 〒150-0043 Tokyo, Shibuya, Dogenzaka, 2 Chome−15−1
Up the hill from Fashion 109, this often frequented sushi restaurant is open until the early morning hours (The closing time is 5:30 am), you’ll be treated to an authentic experience and delicious food: all at reasonable prices. If you don’t like sushi, you can try the horse meat (O_0), or simply choose another establishment through this site.
Shibuya Clubbing And Beyond [ 23:30 ]
Ok, with a full stomach, and a bit of a buzz, it’s time to down a few energy drinks and prepare for your next adventure: Clubbing.
Luckily you are in Shibuya: the central hub of some of the best clubs in Tokyo. What venue you’ll go to depends on the night of the week, but keep in mind that the standard peak time of Tokyo’s clubs is 1 am – 3 am.
If it’s a Friday or Saturday night, then make it easy on yourself and head to Vision.
Sound Museum Vision: Tokyo, Shibuya, Dogenzaka, 2 Chome−10−7
It’s right across the street from the sushi spot/up the road from Fashion 109 (the giant tower- you can’t miss it).
Roppongi [ 04:00 ]
After a dance session at Vision or an alternative club of your choice, aim to arrive in Roppongi, home of Tokyo Tower, between 4 am – 5 am. This is a short taxi ride from Shibuya (about 1200 – 1500 yen).
Many say Roppongi trumps Kabukicho as the most infamous nightlife district in Tokyo. You’ll have many touts trying to get you into their bars, but don’t listen to them: their bars won’t be anywhere near as good as the ones below.
If you are still with us, then get ready for the best after-hours clubs in Tokyo. Our personal favorite is Bar Quest (it has a hookah too), although this is more of a club that extends into the morning rather than being a dedicated after-hours spot.
5-3-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo 106-0032, Japan
After Bar Quest, we recommend trying Blue Bar or Odeon.
Blue Bar stays open until 3 pm (yes, you read that right):
3-15-24, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo WIN Roppongi 3F
And Odeon stays open until 8 am or 10 am:
3-15-23 Roppongi Minato-ku Tokyo 106-0032
For all of the above, entry is usually only 1,000 yen, but drink prices tend to be steep. However, with your last night in Tokyo coming to a close, it’s time you partied even harder.
Last Call [09:00~ 15:00]
We all know the golden rule: the night isn’t over until you see the sunlight. So exit the club, and end your triumphant night. Congratulations, you’ve just completed one night in Tokyo. We are sure you will brag to your friends and family
if when you get home.
While the kebab shops are probably still open, it’s probably best if you get on the plane home!
To get to Narita from Roppongi (3,000 yen one way and approximately 90 minutes- 140 minutes):
To get to Haneda from Roppongi (1,100 yen one way and approximately 65 minutes-90 minutes):
If your hotel is one of the limousine bus stops- even better. You can have a quick shower and perhaps a coffee before hopping on a plane.
All things considered, the total budget for this fantastic night in Tokyo will start at 15,000 yen (about 130 USD) and go up from there. Obviously the more fun you have, the more it will cost. There is no “upper limit” in Tokyo. But fuck it, it’s your one night!