What is Nightlife in Japan?

Introducing plans to enjoy nightlife to the fullest

Japan is rich in tourist spots, so there are many places you want to visit during the day, but many people feel that there are not many places to enjoy at night.

Actually, there are many ways to enrich your Japanese nightlife. In order to enjoy such nightlife to the fullest, you must know about Japanese culture.

In this article, we will explain the nightlife you can enjoy in Japan, along with the culture and how to enjoy the night in Japan according to the time of day and mood.


◊Nightlife in Japan – Sake Edition

First, here are three places to visit when you want to enjoy a drink. Let’s get to know how to enjoy each of them and their culture.

・Chi Izakaya where you can enjoy a light drink.

Izakaya is a traditional Japanese restaurant where you can enjoy a casual drink.

Each store has its own unique character, from the stylish and relaxed to the lively.

Izakaya are basically seated style restaurants with chairs and desks, but there are also standing style restaurants. Going back in history, izakaya was established in the Edo period (1603-1868), and it is said that the standing style of drinking started because alcohol was the main product sold at that time. Please enjoy the atmosphere of the stores and the different drinking styles.

Izakaya is also a popular place to enjoy local specialty foods and drinks. Enjoy the cuisine of each region with alcoholic beverages.

Another izakaya culture you should know about is “otsuke. When you are seated, simple dishes such as edamame, sashimi, and simmered dishes are served at the same time as oshibori and drinks.

Otoshi is one of the symbolic cultures of izakaya (Japanese style pubs) that has been around for a long time, and is known as “tsukidashi” in the Kansai region.

Please enjoy this uniquely Japanese custom.


・Sound A club filled with music and vibrancy

Speaking of nightlife in Japan, clubs are also popular, where you can enjoy drinks and music until dawn in a lively space. If you use the club late in the day, you will need to show identification, so don’t forget to bring your passport.

At clubs, you can enjoy drinking at the bar counter and dancing on the floor. A particularly popular area in Tokyo is Roppongi, where many mega clubs are located. Music genres and events vary from club to club and day to day.

Check in advance and visit clubs that you think you will enjoy.

A bar where you can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere
The next place we will introduce is a bar where you can enjoy drinks in a relaxed atmosphere.

While bars in other countries have an image similar to that of a comprehensive restaurant, Japanese bars tend to be enjoyed quietly by a small group of people.

Many people visit bars to meet bartenders, and the service is often tailored to the customer’s mood and tastes. Enjoy the skill and ambiance of the bartender as you converse with him or her.


◊Nightlife that you can enjoy in Japan ~Walking edition~

Next, I would like to introduce two Japanese nightlife spots where you can stroll around and enjoy the night at your leisure. You will find that they have a different charm from that of the daytime.

・A walk to enjoy the city at night with your eyes

A night walk offers a different view and atmosphere of Japan than in the daytime.

Japan has many lively places even at night, and Kabukicho in Tokyo is one of the three busiest districts in Japan and is called “the city that never sleeps. The area is filled with izakaya (Japanese style pubs), bars, and host clubs, so the neon lights are bright and glittering even late at night.

Night shopping, which is fun just to look around, is another Nightlife activity you can enjoy in Japan. Commercial establishments are open until around 10 pm. Sweets and manga are popular among visitors to Japan. Don’t forget to buy souvenirs and mementos.


・Light up to enjoy a different quality than during the daytime

Night views and lights are another way to enjoy a different attraction from the daytime. The night view from the top of the mountain is popular late in the day when the observatory and buildings are closed.

The view from Mount Inasa in Nagasaki Prefecture, recognized as one of the three most beautiful nightscapes in the world and one of the three newest in Japan, is called the “Ten Million Dollar Nightscape.

In addition, Japanese-inspired scenery such as cherry blossoms and castles look different from daylight when illuminated by lights.

If you are not sure where to go at night, why not visit the places you went to during the day? You can enjoy the difference in atmosphere if you see the sightseeing spots you visited during the day at night.


◊Nightlife that you can enjoy in Japan ~Play edition~

Here are three places to go when you have not had enough fun in Japan. Let’s enjoy Japanese entertainment.

・Singing is an exciting karaoke

Karaoke is a culture that originated in Japan, where people can enjoy singing freely. Private rooms are equipped with tables, chairs, microphones, and monitors, allowing people to sing freely in their own space.

Since alcoholic beverages and light meals can also be enjoyed, the restaurant can be used in combination with a simple meal.

Karaoke is a broadcasting term used in the broadcasting industry, coined by combining “kara,” meaning “no content,” and “orchestra,” meaning “orchestra.

Large groups can be admitted depending on the size of the room. Enjoy Japanese songs and a unique space.


・A game center where you can touch your favorite works.

Game centers offer a wide variety of games and are popular among manga and anime enthusiasts; some are open 24 hours a day.

Prepare cash, as game arcades use coins. There is no problem even if you only have bills ready, as there are exchange machines in the store. In addition to shooting games and sports games, games in which coins are converted into medals are popular.

UFO catchers are particularly popular games. It is a game in which you grab a stuffed animal or figure in a case and take it out. Character goods such as manga and anime works are the prizes. Find the game you like and the prize you want and enjoy it.


・Billiards, darts and sports facilities

In addition to karaoke and game centers, there are many other Japanese entertainment facilities where you can have fun at night.

● billiards
● darts
● bowling
● Simulation Golf

A wide variety of establishments are available, ranging from full-fledged establishments to those that are casual and fun. Billiards and darts are often attached to bars.

In addition to these pastimes, there is a comprehensive facility where table tennis, basketball, and other sports can be enjoyed at the same location, allowing large groups of people to play for extended periods of time.


◊Nightlife that you can enjoy in Japan – Break edition –

Here are two places we recommend when you want to take a relaxing break in Japan. There are places where you can stay until morning, so relax and feel Japan.

・Cinemas where you can see Japanese films

Movie theaters are the place to enjoy Japanese films even late at night, with some theaters showing films after 24:00 and into the morning. Prices tend to be a little higher than overseas at around 1.800 yen, but on service days the price can be reduced to around 1,500 yen.

In Japanese movie theaters, it is good manners to watch movies quietly during the screening. Do not talk or laugh loudly.

Another characteristic of Japanese movie theaters is that even after the film ends and the end roll begins to play, the theater remains dark and many people do not get up from their seats. Of course, you are free to leave the theater, but it is one of the pleasures of the movie theater to take your time and soak in the afterglow.

Depending on the film, there may be a short scene after the end roll. Let’s feel the Japanese way of enjoyment at the movie theater as well.


・Sento to relieve your tired body

Sento are traditional Japanese public bathhouses. There are not only traditional sento, but also super sento with restaurants and spacious rest areas. Many super sento, in particular, are open 24 hours a day, allowing you to relax after a long night of fun and relaxation.

One of the manners you should know when using a public bathhouse is kakeyu. Kakeyu is the act of rinsing the body before entering the bath. Before entering the bathtub, kakeyu should be performed to remove sweat and dirt.

It is also considered bad manners to put a towel in the bathtub. Place it on your head or wrap it around your head. Some facilities do not allow people with tattoos to enter, so please check in advance.

Feel the Japanese culture of bath-loving in a place where you can also enjoy onsen and open-air baths.


Find more attractions with Nightlife in Japan!

We have introduced Nightlife in Japan. In Japan, there are many places to enjoy not only during the daytime but also at night. Why don’t you enjoy the night time in Japan while feeling the cultural differences?

You can experience more of Japan by how you spend your evenings. Please refer to the contents of this article to make your plans.