The Best Nightclubs in Shinjuku
Shinjuku is home to the world-renowned Golden Gai | © Sunshine Pics / Alamy Stock Photo
Whether you prefer kicking back with bottle service or shimmying and shaking the night away, these colourful clubs across Shinjuku were made for getting your party on.
Between karaoke rooms for rent, mythical Golden Gai and the raucous Robot Restaurant, Tokyo’s neon-lit Shinjuku neighbourhood is known for its technicolour nightlife – and its well-established club scene is no exception.
Shinjuku is the perfect place to bar-hop the night away © World Discovery / Alamy Stock Photo
While the pulsing energy of Shinjuku seems to lend itself perfectly to partying, note that Roppongi and Shibuya had owned the nightlife space for many years. Now that the tides have begun to turn, the area has become home to many off-beat and exciting venues – a majority of which stay open well into the early hours.
With that in mind, we’ve listed here the top clubs in Shinjuku to get your evening off on the right foot – from speakeasy-style jazz bars to LGBTQ hotspots.
Embrace all things weird and wonderful at DecabarZ
Nightclub, Cocktails, Beer, Wine, Snacks
Think of DecabarZ as a choose-your-own-adventure in the form of a neighbourhood nightclub. Somewhere between manga and cosplay café, dinner theatre, video game arcade and dance club, this jack-of-all-trades has a little bit of everything and then some. Note the whole bar works on a ticket system: one ticket is ¥700 (£5.20), three tickets are ¥2,000 (£14.90), five tickets are ¥3,000 (£22.30) and so on. Tickets can be used for drinks and snacks and don’t expire.
Head to ambient Shinjuku Pit Inn for all that jazz
Before letting your inner partier run rampant, start off at the historic Shinjuku Pit Inn. The internationally renowned jazz club has been hosting a consistently top-notch line-up of domestic and foreign musicians on a nightly basis since its inception in 1966. All seats face the stage to encourage patrons to listen rather than speak over the set, which creates an atmosphere of appreciation for the music as opposed to seeing it as a background soundtrack.
Party at AiSOTOPE LOUNGE in Tokyo’s gay district
Nightclub, Pub Grub, $$$
Party-centric AiSOTOPE LOUNGE hosts a handful of themed nights, including mixed, men-only and women-only events depending on the day (be sure to check before visiting, as the policy is strict). The venue has made a name for itself thanks to its strong cocktails
, vibey music and some of the city’s best drag shows.
Hit up Arty Farty for a warm and welcoming atmosphere
Nightclub, Cocktails, Beer
Tucked into Shinjuku Ni-chōme, this LGBTQ-friendly dance club has a consistently warm and welcoming atmosphere. Expect a steep cover charge of ¥2,500 (£18.50), but note that the price includes a complimentary drink – and you’re free to come and go as you please should you be in the mood to bar-hop to neighbouring establishments. The fee also includes entry to Arty Farty’s sister club, The Annex.
Get ready to bust a move at Neo Masquerade
Nightclub, Snacks, $$$
Neo Masquerade, also in Ni-chōme, is one of the neighbourhood’s flashier spots to go dancing. Here, guests can expect leather-backed couches, ironically baroque chandeliers mixed with disco balls and even a dancing pole. A decent roster of DJs take to the decks every night, playing everything from disco and R&B to soul and funk. The best part? Entry fees often include bar snacks, which range from pizza to takoyaki and Japanese curry.
Wander over to WARP SHINJUKU for epic DJ performances
If a Western-style club is what you’re after, look no further than glitzy WARP SHINJUKU. This sprawling nightspot boasts a massive dance floor with an impressive bass-pumping sound system and a mind-blowing light show. While it’s relatively new in the neighbourhood, the epic discotheque already features international DJs, professional dance performances and a first-class cocktail bar.
Mingle at multi-level Casablanca for the best reggae and hip-hop
Nightclub, Cocktails, Wine, Beer
A three-minute walk from ever-popular Golden Gai, multi-level Casablanca is one of the first clubs to open its doors in Shinjuku. The neon-lit locale is known for its excellent DJs, who specialise in hip-hop, reggae and electro. Great for anyone who likes a seat at the bar and space to bust a move, Casablanca is divided across two levels – one for drinks and bottle service and a second level with a huge dance floor.
These recommendations were updated on April 7, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.