In addition, several skyscrapers house restaurants on their top floors from where diners can simultaneously enjoy good food and good views of the city. Although usually on the high-end side, top floor restaurants are an especially good way of seeing the city views at night, after other observation decks close. Some notable districts where top floor restaurants are common include Marunouchi, Shiodome and Shinjuku.
Another unique and spectacular way to enjoy the night scenery is to take a helicopter ride over the city. A 15 minute ride costs about 25,000 yen. A further alternative would be to take a boat cruise and enjoy the waterfront scenery. Several operators offer 2-3 hour cruises along Tokyo Bay, with prices starting from 8,000 yen with dinner or 4,000 to 5,000 yen without.
Dining is probably the most heavily indulged in night activity. All over the city, various types of dining establishments can be found, from humble family restaurants to traditional Japanese style izakaya and posh three-star Michelin restaurants. It is impossible to categorize dining locations because they are ubiquitous, but here are some suggested destinations:
Asakusa offers many old-fashioned izakaya with an authentic, down-to-earth, traditional Japanese feel. Shinjuku, Shiodome and the Tokyo Station area have many high-rise buildings with top floor restaurants which make for great places to enjoy a meal and indulge in the night scenery at the same time. Yurakucho has a lively restaurant district built up under the brick arches beneath the elevated train tracks of the JR Yamanote Line.
To experience something unique, visit one of the plethora of themed restaurants in Tokyo, such as a prison themed restaurant in Shibuya, a gothic church themed one in Shinjuku, a ninja themed one in Akasaka, a vampire themed cafe in Ginza and maid cafes in Akihabara.
Disneyland and DisneySea are open until 22:00 on most nights (shorter hours on weekdays during winter). The theme parks offer night passports with discounted fees on most evenings. Visit the official Tokyo Disney Resort page to check for park operation times and night pass validity.
Tokyo Dome City also offers a night pass for its attractions after 17:00. The attractions operate until 21:00 and a discounted night pass is available. Another destination to consider is Tokyo Joypolis at Odaiba, an indoor amusement park that is open daily until 22:00 (entry until 21:15).
Northeast of Shinjuku Station lies Kabukicho, Japan's largest red light district, with hundreds of hostess clubs, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and massage parlors. Large bill boards and neon signs brightly light the streets. The district is generally safe but adult shops and posters of scantily clad women are not uncommon. Most establishments in Kabukicho target a Japanese clientele, and some charge expensive cover fees. Located in one corner of Kabukicho, Golden Gai is an old-fashioned district of narrow alleys with many small bars.
Shibuya commands a younger local audience, who patronize the numerous nightclubs, bars, dance lounges and restaurants that it has to offer. Shibuya is also home to the Love Hotel Hill with a high concentration of love hotels. Shibuya is somewhat less seedy and more easily accessible to foreign tourists without Japanese language knowledge than Shinjuku's Kabukicho district.
Ginza is the premium upmarket district, featuring fine dining restaurants, chic bars and night clubs, as well as upscale host and hostess bars. Expect hefty bills. Note that some establishments are rather exclusive and not easily accessible to foreign visitors without Japanese language skills.
Roppongi is the most accessible nightlife district for foreign tourists. A large concentration of foreign-friendly nightclubs, bars and restaurants can be found in the area. Although generally safe, there have been increasing reports of vice and bad practices at Roppongi, such as exorbitant hidden fees charged by bars and clubs, aggressive touting, spiked drinks and fights.
An evening stroll on the streets of Tokyo could be a great way to see the city after dusk. The temple precincts of Sensoji at Asakusa are charming at night with dimly illuminated lanterns. The main hall closes at 17:00, but the temple grounds are always open and are popular among tourists at night.
Those looking for a quiet moment may consider the waterfront area of Odaiba, which presents an opportunity for a nice walk in the sea breeze, with views of the illuminated Rainbow Bridge. Those looking for some vibrancy in the night but are not interested in clubs or pubs can still walk through the streets of Shinjuku, Ginza or Shibuya and enjoy the myriad of neon lights.
Thanks to modern drilling technologies, Tokyo offers several large hot spring establishments with a wide selections of baths, relaxation, dining and entertainment options. They are like onsen theme parks, where visitors pay an entrance fee and are free to dip in any of the hot spring pools as many times as they wish. These hot spring establishments usually open late and are great places to rejuvenate after a day of touring the city.
Oedo Onsen Monogatari
Hours: 11:00am to 9:00am (entry until 7:00am) Closed: Early closure at 23:00 once per month for cleaning Admission: 2720 yen (2180 yen after 18:00). Additional 216 yen on weekends and holidays. Additional 2160 yen overnight fee after 2:00.
Located in the shopping and entertainment district of Odaiba, Oedo Onsen is a hot spring theme park which reproduces the atmosphere of the Edo Period. Here you can enjoy various types of indoor and outdoor baths which are fed by hot spring water pumped from a depth of 1400 meters. Restaurants, aesthetic services, traditional game stalls, as well as overnight stays are available.
Hours: Daily 11:00am to 9:00am the next morning Closed: Dec 30 to Jan 3 and a small number of irregular closing days Admission: 2850 yen (extra fee on weekends, holidays and after midnight)
Located at Tokyo Dome City, LaQua is a popular relaxation oasis in the center of busy Tokyo, featuring various hot spring pools, saunas, relaxation space and massage and beauty services. The hot spring water is brought to the surface from a depth of more than one kilometer. Overnight stays are available.
Tokyo hosts an amazing range of cultural performances at a countless number of concert halls and theater venues. Throughout the year, international and domestic concerts, recitals, drama and art festivals of every genre can be found on show.
Other forms of night entertainment include game centers, cinemas and karaoke. Game centers can be found in many areas of the city, but they are most numerous in the Akihabara district. Movie theaters can be found in many major districts such as Shibuya and Shinjuku. Karaoke establishments are ubiquitous in the city and easy to spot close to major train stations.
Sports entertainment facilities, such as Round 1, offer a wide variety of sports and games under one roof. Most of these establishments open until late at night or remain open for 24 hours. Featured sports, games and entertainment include bowling, darts, billiards, table tennis, karaoke, arcade games and more.
Most department stores and shops close around 20:00. Malls in some districts such as Odaiba and Shibuya generally close slightly later at 21:00. Large electronics stores like Yamada Denki, Bic Camera and Yodobashi Camera often remain open until 22:00.
Seasonal illuminations around Christmas have become a popular attraction in cities across Japan. Illuminations are typically displayed from around November to around Christmas or New Year, while some are kept up until Valentine's Day in February. For more information about popular illumination spots in Tokyo, please visit our Christmas illuminations page.