Shinjuku Nightlife Walking Tour & Golden-Gai Bar Crawl

No trip to Tokyo is complete without experiencing its rich nightlife. This walking tour throws you deep into the heart of late night Shinjuku, starting off with Kabukicho, Japan’s largest red light district, where you can take in the buzzing atmosphere and vibrant neon lights, followed by the increasingly popular Golden Gai, an area crammed with hundreds of intimate bars that hold only a handful of drinkers. Each bar has its own personality and attracts a different clientele, with some bars focused on tourists,

however this unique tour aims to deliver a genuine Japanese experience by giving you the opportunity to rub shoulders with the locals in a few carefully selected bars where the friendly owners and regulars personally know me and love socializing with newcomers. We will also visit Piss Alley, but don’t worry, its days as a spot for people to relieve themselves has long gone – instead it houses a series of small shops. Shinjuku at night might seem a little intimidating and confusing to explore on your own, however accompanied with our knowledgeable guide, you will feel at ease, learn some interesting facts, and will be guaranteed to have a night to remember.

*Please bring cash in Japanese Yen as many of the bars do not accept card transactions.
*Some of the bars require a cover charge range from 500 to 2000 Japanese Yen, however this does include bar snacks.

Cancellation and Refund Policy
*A full refund will be provided within 7 days (Japan Standard Time) prior to your booking.
*A 50% refund will be provided within 6-3 days (Japan Standard Time) prior to your booking.
*No refund will be provided if you fail to turn up on the day of the experience or if you cancel within 2 days (Japan Standard Time).

Cost

Included only guide fee. Drink and food are NOT included. Please pay for host's meals and drinks during the tour.

Excludes

Meals and drinks, Personal expenses, Transportation fee

Note

Expect pay cover charge(The table charge is different depending on the bar, typically between 500YEN to 2,000YEN, but it includes a light snack or meal. A drink from 500YEN,)

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5 out of 5 stars

42 reviews

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What others are saying

  1. Vanita

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Satoko is a fantastic guide.

    Vanita

    She took me to areas where I would never be able to find on my own. She is very knowledgeable and personable too. She has provided me a wonderful time and experience I will never forget.

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  2. Andrea

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Highlight of My Trip!

    Andrea

    I was skeptical and worried about my first solo trip so I booked this tour. It was way better than I expected~ great directions & easy meeting point! My guide was incredibly warm, knowledgeable, and accommodating to me. We walked and talked leisurely, did some shoppong at a gag store, and went to the bars.There are hundreds of tiny bars and all have a unique funky themes. I went to the hospital bar~I tend to like weird/edgy concepts~ The drinks are named wierd things but are all very tasty. I had 5!Thru the kindness of my guide,I ended up having a nice chat with some locals and I plan to go back!

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  3. Thierry

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Excellent tour

    Thierry

    Satoko is an excellent host. She gives a good history of the area and tips to enjoy Kabukicho and Golden Gai. Golden Gai has plenty of interesting bars and Satoko knows the bars and owners very well. A great tour to recommend.

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  4. Erin

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Golden Gai a Highlight

    Erin

    I’m a confident, independent traveller but going into Golden Gai’s tiny bars was intimidating. I think also I was overwhelmed by choice and nervous about ascending those teeny staircases all by myself. I was desperate to experience Golden Gai and this tour enabled me to do that. Satoko is an entertaining guide who invests in her charges. I throughly enjoyed the quirky facts about the red-light district but Golden Gai ended up being a real highlight. Golden Gai is not cheap so it’s encouraging that Satoko takes you to the really great ones and lets you explore the more famous, foreigner friendly ones for yourself. If you’re debating about going to Golden Gai but reluctant to go alone, this tour solves your problem!

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  5. Matt

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Great tour with a local - worth it and recommended

    Matt

    Wonderful tour, Satoku was incredibly patient as I showed up late after difficulty finding the correct station, the tour was a fantastic whirlwind of cool sights, interesting facts about the area, and great to have an insider who could guide me through the area. I dd this on my first night in Tokyo and it was incredibly helpful to have such a great tour day 1 under my belt to better understand the Shinjuku and Tokyo area

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  6. Mike Greven

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Good value for the money

    Mike Greven

    My wife, daughter and myself took Satoko’s delightful tour of the Golden-gai one cold and wintry January night. She will introduce you to bars, restaurants and other attractions you would never be able to find on your own unless you spoke and can read Japanese. She pointed out which establishments offered ‘good value’ for a follow up visits and which were tourist traps. She also has good stories to relate.

    M from Vancouver

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  7. Stephen

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Great experience !!

    Stephen

    Very good tour. Period

    1. Sakoto speaks good English
    2. Informative and gives u a Low down of the places
    3. Brings u around, shows you where to eat and where Not to eat
    4. Explains to u the signs and meanings around the entertainment district of Shinjuku.
    5. Not really strict about the duration of the tour
    6. Good recommendation of places to go and eat outside Shinjuku
    7. Good knowledge of sake
    8. Knows the bar tenders in golden gai , knowledgable on the themes of the pubs
    9. Talks like a Friend , not just about the tour
    10. Very informative about Japan overall !

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  8. Wendy N

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Unexpectedly Incredible - best kept secret tour

    Wendy N

    Satoko helped me start my vacation off right in Tokyo. The tour boasts quite a few hidden alley gems for trying foods I’ve only ever seen Tony Bourdain partake in. There are skewered hearts, skins, big boobys or so they’re called, eel and puffer if u dare…oh and my favorite are the Octopus balls (though not to be confused with the reproductive organs, it’s just shaped like a ball lol). Novelty shops, bright flashy lights inviting u in almost everywhere to gamble, see robots get jiggy with, sing along with Kpop, drink hard core whiskey, learn about old pre world war 2 tales and establishments that have been around for eternity, even the air was draped in a lust for history and all things fantasy land … The entire time I felt like I was traveling in a parallel universe with a great friend!!! Great introduction to Tokyo’s fettish side as well.

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  9. Leila

    Rated 5 out of 5
    A true local experience.

    Leila

    Satoko was incredibly sweet and gave us a thorough run through of Shinjuku and Golden Gai. Our experience ended up being a quite impromptu night with new friends exploring Golden Gai and singing Karaoke!

    Thank you Satoko for the memorable evening!

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  10. Dudley

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Shinjuku Kabukicho Golden Gai tour

    Dudley

    We enjoyed our tour and found it interesting and informative. Will definitely recommend to friends.

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  11. Marc

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Awesome tour - one of the best

    Marc

    We did this tour in December, I have to say it was one of the best nights in Tokyo. Satoko knew the area so well and provided a wealth of really good info and tips. The bars were excellent and definitely a unique experience. Great fun.

    If you want to see the real bars where the locals go, book this tour !

    Thank you for such a memorable and amazing tour…
    Marc,Henry and Edward x

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  12. Michelle

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Such a great time with Satoko!

    Michelle

    We had such a great time touring Golden Gai with Satoko! We went to several different bars and got to try some great Japanese food as well. Satoko also gave us plenty of recommendations for restaurants and things to do in other cities as well. Highly recommend this tour.

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  13. Tyler

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Awesome night in Golden Gai

    Tyler

    Satoke is so much fun. In a town where it is very difficult to get around in as a forefinger, Satoke makes it easy and is a pleasure to be with!

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  14. Willy

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Easy going tour guide

    Willy

    Very easy going and has a good eye for the right bars. Highly recommended!

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  15. Gabriel

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Awesome Host

    Gabriel

    One of the best times I had in Tokyo. Definitely recommended it to everyone

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  16. Sherisse

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Was very informative and my host was great!

    Sherisse

    My host Satoko was very nice person. We started off the tour in Shinjuku by the main square. She immediately started giving me facts and tips of places to go. We walked over to Piss Alley where she pointed out her preferred Yakitori places. After that walked through the Red Light district were she pointed out some funny places to me. We had some laughs. Last we hit up the golden gai. She pointed out her favorite bar which was not open that night. By this time me feet were hurting so I offered to buy her a drink and we sat and talked at a bar. We had such a good time together that we actually exchanged info and met another night to hang out socially were she took me to a all Japanese bar in the golden gai that I would have never found on my own. She’s a great host!

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  17. Martine

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Great Experience!

    Martine

    My husband and I had a great time with Satoko exploring Golden Gai. We went to three very different (and tiny!) bars and learned a lot about the different areas and the history of the neighborhoods. It was wonderful getting the chance to have drinks with local and meet some other locals in the process. Highly recommend!

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  18. Rémi

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Perfect discovery of Golden Gai

    Rémi

    Satoko is a great guide. We went to Kabuki-cho then to some bars in Golden Gai. I felt welcome in the bars even I don’t speak Japanese. Satoko is a great person and she is very interesting to chat with.
    It’s a nice discovery of Golden Gai, very recommended.

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  19. Irving

    Rated 5 out of 5
    This was a big highlight in my trip!

    Irving

    Thank you Satoko for everything!!

    She is an interesting, funny and smart person. I enjoyed the tour itself as much as I enjoyed talking and having a drink with her. She knows a lot about the city, and would definitely recommend this tour. Make sure you also check her other tours!

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  20. Brian

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Nice and cozy

    Brian

    Went on the road with satoko, she told me alot about the area and we hitted some of her favorite bars and the locals seemed pleased to have me! And also I had the chance to work on my Japanese! Thank you again satoko

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  21. Chris

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Great night out!

    Chris

    Great night out! Satoko knowledge was great, got to see and drink in bars first timers would unlikely to find in Golden-gai on their own.

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  22. Jo

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Awesome tour & introduction Kabukicho, Memory Lane & Golden Gai

    Jo

    Satoko is an excellent guide providing us with expert knowledge not only about Memory Lane & Golden Gai but about the whole area. She made sure that as a group meeting for the first time, we socialized & made lasting friendships. She introduced us to various bar owners in the area and provided us with interesting information about the bars.

    This tour is a must!!

    Thank you Satoko!!

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  23. Megan

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Had a lovely evening exploring

    Megan

    Had a lovely evening exploring the streets of Kabukicho with Satoko. I especially loved the upstairs local bar in Golden Gai which I would never have experienced on my own. I recommend this tour and thank Satoko for a great night and for suggesting a shochu sour to drink!

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  24. Earlisha

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Fun night

    Earlisha

    Had a great time , ate great food, and met intresting people.

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  25. Shiloh

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Satoko is the best!

    Shiloh

    Golden-gai is quickly becoming a popular destination site for tourists, and it’s not difficult to see why – an absolute labyrinth of bars harking back to Japan’s postwar nightlife. While you could venture into the maze by yourself, having Satoko as a guide was a blessing! We visited two bars; Satoko’s favourite, a bar dedicated to writers and artists (this was my favourite of the two as well), and a cat bar with an incredibly extensive selection of whiskey and four very friendly cats. It was raining very heavily so we stayed and talked for longer than the initial 2 hour tour time, by the end I felt like I had spent the evening with a friend rather than a stranger. Satoko was very gracious (she even gave me advice on other similar bars outside of Tokyo where I would be traveling).

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  26. Chris

    Rated 5 out of 5
    A great tour of Golden Gai!

    Chris

    A quick and nice tour of Golden Gai, which would have been hard to accomplish on our own if we just showed up. You end up walking around for a bit, exploring some of the bars and then eventually settling at a bar where the sake pours are really strong!

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  27. Campbell

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Fun ..... For kids too

    Campbell

    We just got back to the hotel after a great walk around some parts of Tokyo we never would have found by ourselves. Satoko kindly agreed to start the tour a bit earlier to make it kid friendly. No going into bars for us this time but we will know where to go next time. A great tour with a terrific guide.

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  28. Jason

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Great experience of the Golden-gai night life

    Jason

    I had a great experience exploring Golden-Gai with Satoko. She was very knowledgable about this place, and took me to her favorite spots. It was a great time chatting with her and the locals at the bar. I highly recommend this tour for first time visitors.

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  29. Scott

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Awesome Night in Golden Gai

    Scott

    It was really fun and interesting night. Satoko was a great guide, gave some interesting insights into Shinjuku and we got to try out some fun little bars in Golden Gai. I would do it all over again the next time I’m in Tokyo.

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  30. Dianne

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Great Japanese Characters

    Dianne

    Satoko was lovely and friendly. We went to a quirky upstairs bar with great food and a very nice woman owner/ bar person. I was fantastic to hear her story and the history of the bar. The 2 local men that shared the bar were very relaxed and happy to have me sit and listen with Satoko interpreting for me. Thanks Satoko for a great experience and for being so kind and friendly. Sayonara. Di

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  31. Benjamin

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Great experience

    Benjamin

    Satoko san is very knowledgeable and an interesting person. You’l be able to see and understand some of the dark secrets of Shinjuku. She also gave me great food recommendations for Tokyo !! Highly recommended!

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  32. michael

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Interesting tour that was a great way to end the nightt

    michael

    Satoko Was very knowledgable of the Kabuki-cho and Golden-gai areas, she gave us a lot of the backstory of the area, and showed us many sites i havent seen before, we ended up at a small bar where we met some real characters, we felt so welcomed and this will be something we definately want to revisit next time we come to Tokyo!

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  33. Rolv-Håkon

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Had a very interesting time!

    Rolv-Håkon

    I went to the Shinjuku Golden-gai Tour with Satoko-san and had a very interesting time! I have to say that I really loved the area, even though I wished I knew more Japanese. The next time I will travel there I will surely have improved my Japanese skills. We went to a drag queen’s bar and did some Karaoke while having very interesting conversations! I really love the style of the bars with only room for few people where you go from bar to bar and meet new people all the time. I will return here when I get back to Tokyo!

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  34. Benny

    Rated 5 out of 5

    Benny

    If you’re looking for a fun night out in Golden Gai and Shinjuku then this is the tour for you! Satoko was very nice, knowledgeable and accommodating! Golden Gai is filled with hundreds of tiny, quirky and fun bars. It’s one of a kind. You need to experience it to believe it!

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  35. Orlando

    Rated 5 out of 5
    You were amazing!

    Orlando

    Thank you for a perfect night.
    You and your friends were great.
    Thank you again!

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  36. Bert

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Lovely guide

    Bert

    Great tour and neighbourhood. Lovely guide

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  37. Amit

    Rated 5 out of 5
    I had a lovely time

    Amit

    I had a lovely time see a lot learn a lot and good drink & food. Satoko was nice and funny and i had an expires that probably wouldn’t do if it wasn’t for her.
    I know that by myself i probably wouldn’t go or go but see the most tourist places.

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  38. Brian

    Rated 5 out of 5
    This was a major highlight of our trip

    Brian

    We went to one of the funnest bars I have ever been to in my life. Without Satoko, we never would have been able to navigate our way through Golden Gai or get served at the bar. This was a major highlight of our trip.

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  39. Ricardo

    Rated 5 out of 5
    All the best!

    Ricardo

    I would like to thank Sakoto for the great experience in Golden Gai. We’ve visit 3 bars (one of the a Portuguese kind-of bar) and had a wonderful time. All the best!

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  40. Janne

    Rated 5 out of 5
    Highly recommended!!

    Janne

    We had a great time with Satoko-san on the Shinjuku Golden-gai Night Tour. We went to 2 small bars and ended the tour in a karaoke place. Highly recommended!!

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  41. Mari

    Rated 5 out of 5
    It was a great time.

    Mari

    Satako is extremely friendly and knowledgeable about Shinjuku and the Golden Gai area. She showed us several nooks and crannies that only a local would know, all the while keeping up a steady flow of information. We ended up in a few tiny bars that she recommended. It was a great time.

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  42. Max

    Rated 5 out of 5
    The Golden Gai tour was a fantastic tour

    Max

    It is basically visiting local bars in the Golden Gai area. I think it is a memorable experience that everyone should try. At least for me, I was not used to the small bars that Golden Gai area has to offer. You’ll see many local Japanese and get to talk to them. But you won’t find many young people (college students, people in their early/mid 20’s) in bars like these. Still, it was a good experience, and if you do not speak Japanese, signing up for this tour is a good way to go.

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