Serious techno: Contact
Located in the heart of the constantly buzzing Shibuya is one of Tokyo’s most revered and impressive clubs. With the entrance hidden from the city’s main streets, the venue is home to the more discerning techno and dance music fan. With an excellent sound system and a reliably good clientele, it’s clear why the likes of Marcel Dettmann, Ben Klock, Nicholas Jaar, and Giorgio Moroder have rolled through Contact’s doors in recent times. The main room features a very strict no drinks, no cameras policy, and to enter, visitors must register online to become a member to gain access to the venue. But once you get through the doors of Contact you’ll agree the effort is worth it.
150-0043 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 2-10-12 Shin Oji Bill B2, +81 3 6427 8107
Rock ‘n roll: Bauhaus Roppongi Rock Club
This one is for the rock n rollers out there. Though Tokyo is a city overflowing with amazing intimate live houses, if you only have a limited amount of time to rock, then make your way to Bauhaus Roppongi Rock Club. Housing a diverse audience, the venue is still very authentically Japanese. Request lists are passed around the venue where guests can request their favorite classic rock hits. Here you’ll find hard partying tourists mingling with hard working salarymen, becoming a single entity thanks to the power of rock.
Situated just five minutes from Shinjuku by train on the main city loop Yamanote line sits Shin-Okubo, Tokyo’s famous ‘Little Korea’. Populated by Korean cosmetics stores, cafes, restaurants, supermarkets and everything in between, visiting the area legitimately feels like you’ve left the country. Beyond amazing food, Korea is also home to K-Pop, arguably the biggest Asian pop music industry in the world. Here at Showbox you can party with and like a K-Pop star. The live venue features a rotating list of some of the Korea’s best K-Pop exports.
169-0072 Tokyo, Shinjuku, Okubo, 1 Chome−178, 1F, +81 3 3208 4522
For a big night out: Ageha
With multiple venues, a roster of the biggest names in the electronic music scene, waterfront views and even a pool on the dance floor, Ageha is the best place to go for a big, big night out in Tokyo. Because it’s so big the club is located a little out of the city in Shin-Kiba, but don’t fret they offer free shuttle buses to and from the city centre all night long, but really once you get there, leaving is the last thing on your mind.
2 Chome-2-10 Shinkiba, Koto, Tokyo 136-0082, +81 3 5534 1515
Gay clubbing: Aisotope
Nestled in the center of Ni-Chome, Shinjuku, Tokyo’s best gay club is Aisotpe, a rather unassuming venue from the outside, but don’t let that fool you into misjudging the debauchery and partying that happens inside. Featuring an array of weekly and weeknight parties this, the biggest gay club in Ni-Chome especially comes alive during seasonal celebrations like Halloween and Christmas, when it hosts the biggest and best gay parties in Tokyo.
160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku, 2 Chome-12-16, St.forville, +81 3 6380 1504
Hip hop: Harlem
Opening its doors 20 years ago, this Shibuya institution has a reputation for being the best hip hop club, not only in Tokyo, but in the whole of Japan. Booking both local and international DJs and performers, the venue is as diverse as the music is loud, and it’s really loud. Harlem is also the best place to witness up and coming Japanese hip hop stars cut their teeth and learn the tricks of the trade before taking over the J-Hip hop charts.
2 Maruyamacho, Shibuya, Tokyo, +81 3 3461 8806
Mainstream partying: ALIFE
Roppongi is known as Tokyo’s EDM and party suburb, so if that’s what you’re chasing then you can’t go past one of the area’s most popular nightspots, ALIFE. Spread over two floors, the music here is all about no-pretention good old fashioned fun, thing cheesy bangers and top 40 hits. The venue also offers very dangerous but great value for money ‘all you can drink’ specials, which is sure to get the party started.
Meeting foreigners: Gaspanic
A little similar to ALIFE in terms of partying style, think EDM, bass drops, top 40 hits and general mainstream club vibes. However if you’re new to Japan, don’t speak much Japanese and want to make new friends Gaspanic is one of your safest bets. The venue is incredibly culturally diverse, and features pretty cheap drinks, think 800 yen ($7USD) for a cocktail. Entry is free too, so really there’s no excuse not to go.
150-0042 Tokyo, Shibuya, Udagawacho, 21-7, Fuji Building, +81 3 3462 9099
VIP experience: Genius
This is one for those wanting to make the night extra special by adding a few VIP touches. Located in the high end suburb of Ginza is Genius, the purveyors of a much a more formal type of partying. Think men in well-tailored suits, bars dotted with champagne flutes and stylish ladies in glittering gowns. Be prepared though, and be sure to dress up to avoid getting rejected at the door.
6 Chome-4-6 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0061, +81 3 3571 5830
After, after hours: Oath
The best place to wind down after a night of partying, without winding down too much is Oath, the cozy house, techno club located in Aoyama a stone’s throw from central Shibuya. Featuring some of the world’s best underground DJs, high quality drinks, and doors that stay open until 8am on Saturday and Sunday it’s your nijikai (second party/ after party) saviour.
4 Chome-5-9 Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0002, +81 3 5888 5847