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    Golden Gai is several narrow lane ways filled with hundreds of bars and food outlets within Kabukicho District of Shinjuku Ward..

    Golden Gai translates to ’Golden District’ and is a hidden world of cultures which makes Tokyo so unique as a city. Golden Gai is just a couple of small streets packed with tiny (and I mean tiny!), slightly dilapidated but extremely popular bars. Each bar is unique and the number of visitors who can squeeze into them ranges from as little as five to a maximum of thirty (I said they were tiny!). Each bar has its own theme which incorporates and includes the strange and wacky props to the most outlandish decor you could imagine! This area has well known themed bars and they all usually have a signature drink or the promise of free karaoke till the early hours. Surely this has intrigued you?


    With a staggering 200 bars and eateries crammed into a maze of six narrow streets, Golden Gai district is one of the most rewarding and intriguing experiences you’ll witness in Tokyo. Most of the bars accept tourists but don’t be surprised if you stumble across a regulars-only bar and you’ll be told there’s no room, even if you see empty seats! But if you visit the streets of Golden Gai make sure you visit the following bars to see the bizarre bars that make this district so popular!

    Golden Gai Bars Highlights


    The fetish-wear that lines the walls as well as Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears and Michael Jackson playing over the stereo, makes this a strange combination and worth visiting for a drink!

    3rd Street 2/F, 1-1-8 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku; +81 (3) 3203 8450. Open Monday-Saturday 8 p.m.-5 a.m. Cover charge ¥500 including a side dish, drinks from ¥500. Station: Shinjuku (East Exit).

    Bar Plastic Model

    This place is a shrine to everything that existed in the 1980’s. Be prepared to witness the toys that adorn its counter to the mass-market cartoon heroes of the period. Any child of the 80’s will love this quirky bar!

    G2 Street 1/F, 1-1-10 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku; +81 (3) 5273 8441. Open Monday-Saturday 8 p.m.-5 a.m., Sunday 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Cover charge ¥700 (including a snack), drinks from ¥600. Station: Shinjuku (East Exit)

    Tachibana Shinsatsushitsu

    The strangest bar of them all! Its walls are crammed with biology diagrams, its counter littered with model skulls and skeletons, a real pickled baby rodent in a vial, and a gigantic silicon statue of a penis! (We said it was strange!). The barmaid wears a nurse’s uniform and fixes drinks in glass beakers while the food is served in metal kidney dishes.

    Original cocktails include the appealingly named Chounai Senjou (“colonic irrigation”) and the bar has just one table, which you’ll share with the other customers — much like an operating theatre! A must for anyone visiting the Golden Gai!

    3rd Street 2/F, 1-1-8 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku; +81 (3) 3208 4148. Open Monday-Saturday 8 p.m.-4 a.m., Sun 4 p.m.-midnight. Cover charge ¥1,500 (including a side dish), drinks from ¥500. Station: Shinjuku (East Exit)

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    1 Review on “Golden Gai”

    1. Valerie Golden Gai
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      There’s A LOT to find in Golden Gai, not just bars. The crowd around here is truly international, and you can find dozens of ethnic restaurants (like amazing South Indian curry or Thai) and entertainment. I recently found a Ninja Trick House close by, as all as an all-night gym. Golden Gai is less sparkly than Kabukicho, but it’s just as entertaining.

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