Shinjuku Golden Gai

shinjuku golden gai tokyo

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Shinjuku Golden Gai is known as a famous nightlife spot and also as an area of architectural interest where was left behind in economic development of Tokyo. For tourists, it is a good place to go drink and meet people in such a featured old narrow area contrasting with the big modern Shinjuku City.

There are over 250 tiny bars lined on a set of extremely narrow 5, 6 alleys. They are rather small with some only hold 5 people or so. The bars have their own unique character such as jazz, punk rock, karaoke, flamenco, quaint old-fashioned, movies, camera, cosplay, writings, manga or much more.

Golden Gai is widely known as a meeting place for musicians, artists, directors, writers and actors, and many of the bars only accept regular customers introduced by an existing patron. However, in the past few years, it has become easy to find many bars welcoming non-regular customers, since new concept bars by young owners have opened one after another.

Near the entrance of Golden Gai, there are some places for meals, so in case you are hungry enough, it would be an option to have some ramen or okonomiyaki there at first and then wander about the street for drinks and chats with people.

In one corner of Golden Gai, in front of a police box, there is a tiny theater called Shinjuku Golden Gai Theater which mainly puts on comedy shows.

Golden Gai is located a 5 minutes walk from JR Shinjuku Station East Exit between the Shinjuku City Office and the Hanazono Shrine.
The bars start to open around 7:00 but after 22:00 is the busiest time with plenty of customers.
During the daytime, this area is very tranquil with no bars opened yet, but there is still an opportunity to feel the Japan’s nostalgic atmosphere being yourself in the ordinary life of there.

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