Thanks to its dense population and propensity to turn admiration into full-blown obsessed fandom, many areas of Tokyo are compartmentalised into tiny sub-cultural hubs. From fashion, to food, and of course music, Tokyo houses many different mini worlds. No matter your taste there’s something for everyone, you just need to know where to look.
One of the more well known entertainment hubs of Tokyo, Roppongi gets a little bit of a reputation for being shady thanks to its party loving inhabitants. Though really only shady by Japanese standards, for a party hub in a mega-city it’s still pretty safe for the casual visitor.
Given its diverse population, Tokyo’s party capital has a night-time establishment for every taste, but it’s EDM that Roppongi does best. Clubs V2 Tokyo and Muse are the crown jewels of the area’s EDM scene. Sprinkled with LED lights, gold embellishments and hosting some of the hottest DJs in the world, these two mega-clubs are the best place to go to be VIP for a night.
If you have any knowledge about Japan, odds are you’ll associate the name Akihabara with ‘otaku’ nerd culture. Known once as the technology hub of the world, Akihabara may fallen behind a little tech-wise, but when it comes to nerdy fandom culture it’s still number one. The biggest all girl J-Pop band (literally and figuratively) AKB48 are actually named after the area. Here you can visit the AKB48-themed café located near the major station, or if you’re lucky enough catch one of their nightly shows hosted in their own theatre here in Akihabara.
ABK48 Café – 1-1 Kanda Hanaokacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan, +81 3 5297 4848
AKB48 Theatre – 8th fl, Don Quijote, 4-3-3 Soto-Kanda, Tokyo, Japan, +81 3 5298 8648
When it comes to sound systems and interior design, there’s no debate that Tokyo is home to some of the best clubs in world, so it’s really a no-brainer that the city attracts the world’s best and most serious DJs and producers. There’s no better place to enjoy the city’s dance music scene than in the heart of Tokyo, Shibuya. Featuring a high density of nightclubs, Shibuya does house, techno and dance music best. If you’re an audiophile with a propensity for late night partying check out venues Vision and Contact to fulfil all your musical desires.
Vision – Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Dogenzaka 2-10-7, Tokyo, Japan, +81 3 5728 2824
Contact – Shin-Osaka Building No. 4 Building, 2-10-12 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan, +81 3 6427 8107
What draws floods of tourists to this suburb daily is its ability to encapsulate Tokyo’s traditional past. Though in previous decades the temple-dominated area was considered the city’s entertainment hub, that title has been passed on to the more youth oriented centres of Shibuya and Shinjuku. However, if you want to step back in time and experience Japan’s folk musical history via live tsugaru-shamisen performances often hosted in traditional izakayas, you can’t miss Asakusa.