Shinjuku Golden Gai
Shinjuku Golden Gai
4
5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Monday
5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Tuesday
5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Wednesday
5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Thursday
5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Friday
5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Saturday
5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Sunday
5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
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Top ways to experience Shinjuku Golden Gai
The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Shinjuku
Shinjuku is the commuting capital of Tokyo, and contains the busiest train station in the world. To the west, there's an office district with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office at its center. To the east, there’s a district with long-established department stores, cinemas and theaters. Shinjuku Gyoen is a park originally built as the garden for the Imperial Household. It is quite famous as a venue for cherry-blossom viewing in March and April. In Shinjuku, many restaurants operate all night, and districts such as Omoide Yokocho (Memory Lane) or Shinjuku Golden Machi have back streets filled with tiny restaurants and bars that reflect each owner’s unique taste and style.
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See what travellers are saying
  • Tokyo J
    Anglesey, United Kingdom328 contributions
    A Fun Night Out
    Golden Gai is an area comprised of a number of alleys with around 300 small bars - most of which can only fit around 10 people. It is becoming very popular once more with foreign tourists who come for the experience and a fun night out on a pub crawl. Each bar is different but you'll find most of them to be very lively and have an owner who can regale you with a story or two. For an enjoyable night out in which you're bound to make new friends, come to Golden Gai.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written April 12, 2023
  • T&F
    Montreal, Canada249 contributions
    Great fun vibe!
    Just to clarify the Golden Gai is not memory lane. They are located in different areas. I much prefer the Golden Gai, streets are wider, more streets that memory Lane and tons of little watering holes. So unique and very cool! People are brilliant! We passed through the day when no action is going on then in evening when these streets come to life! Real cool place and you cannot leave Tokyo without a walk through!
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written May 4, 2023
  • Ryan B
    Atlanta, Georgia899 contributions
    Super fun bar district
    I haven’t been to the Golden Gai bar district since the pandemic and it was so nice to be back and have some fun! As it would be, there was a festival that weekend (Cherry Blossoms?) and it was a great excuse for all the bars to have special drinks and longer hours so a perfect time to visit. We enjoyed walking around the tight alleys looking for places that did NOT have cover charges which seem to be more common now to keep foreigners out. If you are not from Japan I would recommend Albatross. I would definitely recommend you start at this bar – they are so friendly and the backstory is it was started by an Australian who wanted a safe bar for foreigners to hang out in with NO cover charge so they could make friends. The spirit is still alive and we had an amazing time. These are not upscale bars so dress and act accordingly and you will have a great time. Bring cash and many dont accept credit cards.
    Visited April 2023
    Written May 12, 2023
  • Abovetheclouds
    2,433 contributions
    Like stepping back in time.
    Really good vibe. Some owners can be a bit unfriendly so make sure you read up on any cover charges or if they accept card or cash before going into a bar. I was a solo female traveller. It was fine but stick to the outside parts where they have food as well. Nice to also take a walk in the day when it is quiet and you can photograph. They don't really like you to do it at night. Great atmosphere otherwise and like stepping back in time.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written May 26, 2023
  • Maximilian
    Hong Kong, China281 contributions
    Must visit Place in Tokyo
    My visit to Shinjuku Golden Gai was an unforgettable experience that certainly deserves a solid five stars. This iconic nightlife district in Tokyo is a maze of narrow alleys, filled with over 200 tiny bars and eateries. Each spot has its own unique vibe, from punk rock and jazz to movie-themed bars. There's always a sense of discovery as you wind your way through the streets. It's a unique glimpse into Tokyo's past and an absolute must-visit for any traveler.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 6, 2023
  • Seymour Butts
    London, United Kingdom13 contributions
    Overrated and overpriced
    Wanna overcome your fear of being in close proximity with drunken strangers? This is where foreign visitors go drinking in Tokyo. Japanese customers also come here but tend to stick to bars which are not predominantly foreign. Many places here have a seating charge which may offer a small bar snack, then drinks are still around ¥800 each, hence poor value for money. In contrast, traditional izakayas elsewhere with a small seating fee often means drinks and food are at absolute bargain prices. Looking to hook up with foreign travellers with beer goggles on? This place is a decent start. Don't miss your last train back to your capsule hotel.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written August 16, 2023
  • Joanne D
    Durham, North Carolina24 contributions
    Lots of fun for exploring and meeting people from around the world.
    I can see how some people wouldn’t like this. Yes, it’s touristy. But it was really fun to walk up and down the street and see these tiny bars - each with their own character and people enjoying themselves. It took us a few to find the one we loved, Pitou, but we drank some great organic Japanese red wine and I think sparkling sake. And we met some really interesting people from all over the world. Even got their names and numbers in case we are ever in Vienna.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written September 20, 2023
  • Erin C
    Glasgow, United Kingdom494 contributions
    A must-do in Tokyo
    This is a very cool area but the bars can be very hit or miss. But there are 200 of them. The first one we went into was great. Really good atmosphere, great staff, tasty drinks and we even got some scrummy food. The second one we went into had zero atmosphere and the bar tender didn't want to be there. It is hard because even if you research beforehand the bars are so tiny that chances are you won't get into the one you want so you just have to go somewhere with a free seat. Definitely an experience so do go when in Tokyo.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written October 19, 2023
  • jjj c
    3 contributions
    Enjoy Shinjuku's nightlife!!
    It is an attractive spot where you can feel the local Japanese atmosphere. There are so many bars with great atmospheres that it can be difficult to decide where to go, but you'll probably end up going to several anyway, so we recommend going as soon as there's an empty spot!! If you want to enjoy Shinjuku's nightlife, this is definitely recommended.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written November 14, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
2,245 reviews
Excellent
994
Very good
757
Average
369
Poor
87
Terrible
38

jjj c
3 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
It is an attractive spot where you can feel the local Japanese atmosphere. There are so many bars with great atmospheres that it can be difficult to decide where to go, but you'll probably end up going to several anyway, so we recommend going as soon as there's an empty spot!!
If you want to enjoy Shinjuku's nightlife, this is definitely recommended.
Written November 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Erin C
Glasgow, UK494 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
This is a very cool area but the bars can be very hit or miss. But there are 200 of them. The first one we went into was great. Really good atmosphere, great staff, tasty drinks and we even got some scrummy food. The second one we went into had zero atmosphere and the bar tender didn't want to be there. It is hard because even if you research beforehand the bars are so tiny that chances are you won't get into the one you want so you just have to go somewhere with a free seat. Definitely an experience so do go when in Tokyo.
Written October 19, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark H
1 contribution
Oct 2023 • Couples
Burnt out, bad vibes. This is where drunk foreigners hang out and get drunk before walking to the red light district. No locals, overpriced. This feels like it was popping ten years ago. There’s an alley in Kyoto just west of the river in the shopping district that is 100 times better, much cleaner, and better choices, save your money and time for there.
Written October 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bobbie W
Warwick, RI1,375 contributions
Sept 2023 • Couples
A very interesting/fun area to walk around. Like Time Square on steroids. Tons of stores and restaurants. Lots of bright lights at night. Great for people watching!
Written October 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Emily
18 contributions
Sept 2023 • Couples
We are a young couple who went to the Golden Gai area for drinks during a recent trip to Tokyo. We weren’t sure where to go for quiet drinks in Tokyo as we’re not super into partying. Golden Gai is full of very small bars where you’ll meet interesting characters and can drink all night! Just be aware that you’ll need cash, and you might not find any seats in the bars on Friday and Saturday nights. There’s a cover charge in most of the bars, which is perfectly understandable considering they’re small venues, and this can usually be paid with cash.
Written September 21, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joanne D
Durham, NC24 contributions
Sept 2023 • Friends
I can see how some people wouldn’t like this. Yes, it’s touristy. But it was really fun to walk up and down the street and see these tiny bars - each with their own character and people enjoying themselves. It took us a few to find the one we loved, Pitou, but we drank some great organic Japanese red wine and I think sparkling sake. And we met some really interesting people from all over the world. Even got their names and numbers in case we are ever in Vienna.
Written September 20, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andy T
Perth, Australia56 contributions
Aug 2023 • Couples
Honestly I was a bit cautious about going here, worrying that it might be a bit of a tourist trap. I was pleasantly surprised though - I didn't go to many bars, but each bar clearly displayed their prices and cover charge (if any) on the door. The bars I did go to all had great drinks, cheap prices, and really great decor. Be prepared for things to get a bit squishy (especially if it's busy), and to share the space mostly with other tourists.
Written September 4, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Seymour Butts
London, UK13 contributions
Apr 2023 • Friends
Wanna overcome your fear of being in close proximity with drunken strangers? This is where foreign visitors go drinking in Tokyo. Japanese customers also come here but tend to stick to bars which are not predominantly foreign. Many places here have a seating charge which may offer a small bar snack, then drinks are still around ¥800 each, hence poor value for money. In contrast, traditional izakayas elsewhere with a small seating fee often means drinks and food are at absolute bargain prices.
Looking to hook up with foreign travellers with beer goggles on? This place is a decent start. Don't miss your last train back to your capsule hotel.

Written August 16, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

QW
Hong Kong, China1 contribution
Aug 2023 • Friends
Very unique experience of night life in Tokyo. Didn’t manage to get into any of the bars but just talking a stroll was eye opening.
Written August 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maximilian
Hong Kong, China281 contributions
Jul 2023
My visit to Shinjuku Golden Gai was an unforgettable experience that certainly deserves a solid five stars. This iconic nightlife district in Tokyo is a maze of narrow alleys, filled with over 200 tiny bars and eateries. Each spot has its own unique vibe, from punk rock and jazz to movie-themed bars. There's always a sense of discovery as you wind your way through the streets. It's a unique glimpse into Tokyo's past and an absolute must-visit for any traveler.
Written July 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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SHINJUKU GOLDEN GAI - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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