Shinjuku Golden Gai
Shinjuku Golden Gai
4
Tuesday
12:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Wednesday
12:00 PM - 11:00 PM
About
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Shinjuku
Shinjuku is the commuting capital of Tokyo, and contains the busiest train station in the world. To the west, there's an office district with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office at its center. To the east, there’s a district with long-established department stores, cinemas and theaters. Shinjuku Gyoen is a park originally built as the garden for the Imperial Household. It is quite famous as a venue for cherry-blossom viewing in March and April. In Shinjuku, many restaurants operate all night, and districts such as Omoide Yokocho (Memory Lane) or Shinjuku Golden Machi have back streets filled with tiny restaurants and bars that reflect each owner’s unique taste and style.
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See what travelers are saying
  • Maximilian
    Hong Kong, China1,692 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must visit Place in Tokyo
    My visit to Shinjuku Golden Gai was an unforgettable experience that certainly deserves a solid five stars. This iconic nightlife district in Tokyo is a maze of narrow alleys, filled with over 200 tiny bars and eateries. Each spot has its own unique vibe, from punk rock and jazz to movie-themed bars. There's always a sense of discovery as you wind your way through the streets. It's a unique glimpse into Tokyo's past and an absolute must-visit for any traveler.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 6, 2023
  • Seymour Butts
    London, United Kingdom13 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Overrated and overpriced
    Wanna overcome your fear of being in close proximity with drunken strangers? This is where foreign visitors go drinking in Tokyo. Japanese customers also come here but tend to stick to bars which are not predominantly foreign. Many places here have a seating charge which may offer a small bar snack, then drinks are still around ¥800 each, hence poor value for money. In contrast, traditional izakayas elsewhere with a small seating fee often means drinks and food are at absolute bargain prices. Looking to hook up with foreign travellers with beer goggles on? This place is a decent start. Don't miss your last train back to your capsule hotel.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 16, 2023
  • Joanne D
    Durham, North Carolina65 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lots of fun for exploring and meeting people from around the world.
    I can see how some people wouldn’t like this. Yes, it’s touristy. But it was really fun to walk up and down the street and see these tiny bars - each with their own character and people enjoying themselves. It took us a few to find the one we loved, Pitou, but we drank some great organic Japanese red wine and I think sparkling sake. And we met some really interesting people from all over the world. Even got their names and numbers in case we are ever in Vienna.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 20, 2023
  • Erin C
    Glasgow, United Kingdom491 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must-do in Tokyo
    This is a very cool area but the bars can be very hit or miss. But there are 200 of them. The first one we went into was great. Really good atmosphere, great staff, tasty drinks and we even got some scrummy food. The second one we went into had zero atmosphere and the bar tender didn't want to be there. It is hard because even if you research beforehand the bars are so tiny that chances are you won't get into the one you want so you just have to go somewhere with a free seat. Definitely an experience so do go when in Tokyo.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 19, 2023
  • jjj c
    3 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Enjoy Shinjuku's nightlife!!
    It is an attractive spot where you can feel the local Japanese atmosphere. There are so many bars with great atmospheres that it can be difficult to decide where to go, but you'll probably end up going to several anyway, so we recommend going as soon as there's an empty spot!! If you want to enjoy Shinjuku's nightlife, this is definitely recommended.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 14, 2023
  • Retired_engineer_58
    London, United Kingdom221 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good tour
    We did a 5pm-8pm tour with Agrigto Travel. Giulia was knowledgeable and entertaining about the area where we walked. There were 5 in the group plus guide. The variety, quality and quantity of the three restaurants we visited was good, plus a bar at the end capped a good evening despite the rain.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 5, 2024
  • Antonia S
    Groningen, The Netherlands2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The golden street!
    It was a great street! We attended a tour to find out local restaurants within the golden-gai and we did! They served delicious yakitori and a lot of lemon-sour! It was a great time. Would definitely come back for later
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written April 5, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles2,255 reviews
Excellent
1,000
Very good
758
Average
371
Poor
88
Terrible
38

Alajournal
Bratislava, Slovakia10 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019
I give one point, just because of the experience of seeing it and walking in these peculiar little streets. Empty with closed bars during the day, still interesting to visit. I returned in the evening. However, I should have avoided “enjoying a drink inside”. I wanted to have a drink to make my evening visit really authentic and I entered a bar ordering a drink, sake - being in Japan. When a couple entered shortly after me, the bar keeper told me to move from my seat to another seat and this couple was seated. We started having a conversation with this couple, they were from the U.S.A. The bar keeper was in the door, to lure some more customers into his bar and then we were made to move again, so that the newcomers could be seated and the bar keeper somehow tried to instigate a conversation among us. It felt a bit awkward, but the space was really small. I found the guests pleasant and interesting, though. However, a short while later, we were asked if we wanted to order another drink. If not, we should finish our drinks and leave as he has a reservation and he needs the bar. So much about “enjoying a drink inside”. Less than 20 minutes gone and I was out again. Maybe it could be enjoyable coming with a party of exactly the amount of friends just fitting into the bar and just have as much time as necessary for you to enjoy your drink.
Written February 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ryan B
Atlanta, GA928 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
I haven’t been to the Golden Gai bar district since the pandemic and it was so nice to be back and have some fun! As it would be, there was a festival that weekend (Cherry Blossoms?) and it was a great excuse for all the bars to have special drinks and longer hours so a perfect time to visit. We enjoyed walking around the tight alleys looking for places that did NOT have cover charges which seem to be more common now to keep foreigners out. If you are not from Japan I would recommend Albatross. I would definitely recommend you start at this bar – they are so friendly and the backstory is it was started by an Australian who wanted a safe bar for foreigners to hang out in with NO cover charge so they could make friends. The spirit is still alive and we had an amazing time. These are not upscale bars so dress and act accordingly and you will have a great time. Bring cash and many dont accept credit cards.
Written May 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tokyo J
Anglesey, UK356 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Friends
Golden Gai is an area comprised of a number of alleys with around 300 small bars - most of which can only fit around 10 people. It is becoming very popular once more with foreign tourists who come for the experience and a fun night out on a pub crawl. Each bar is different but you'll find most of them to be very lively and have an owner who can regale you with a story or two. For an enjoyable night out in which you're bound to make new friends, come to Golden Gai.
Written April 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maximilian
Hong Kong, China1,692 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023
My visit to Shinjuku Golden Gai was an unforgettable experience that certainly deserves a solid five stars. This iconic nightlife district in Tokyo is a maze of narrow alleys, filled with over 200 tiny bars and eateries. Each spot has its own unique vibe, from punk rock and jazz to movie-themed bars. There's always a sense of discovery as you wind your way through the streets. It's a unique glimpse into Tokyo's past and an absolute must-visit for any traveler.
Written July 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Abovetheclouds
2,021 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Solo
Really good vibe. Some owners can be a bit unfriendly so make sure you read up on any cover charges or if they accept card or cash before going into a bar. I was a solo female traveller. It was fine but stick to the outside parts where they have food as well. Nice to also take a walk in the day when it is quiet and you can photograph. They don't really like you to do it at night. Great atmosphere otherwise and like stepping back in time.
Written May 26, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Seymour Butts
London, UK13 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Friends
Wanna overcome your fear of being in close proximity with drunken strangers? This is where foreign visitors go drinking in Tokyo. Japanese customers also come here but tend to stick to bars which are not predominantly foreign. Many places here have a seating charge which may offer a small bar snack, then drinks are still around ¥800 each, hence poor value for money. In contrast, traditional izakayas elsewhere with a small seating fee often means drinks and food are at absolute bargain prices.
Looking to hook up with foreign travellers with beer goggles on? This place is a decent start. Don't miss your last train back to your capsule hotel.

Written August 16, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Erin C
Glasgow, UK491 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
This is a very cool area but the bars can be very hit or miss. But there are 200 of them. The first one we went into was great. Really good atmosphere, great staff, tasty drinks and we even got some scrummy food. The second one we went into had zero atmosphere and the bar tender didn't want to be there. It is hard because even if you research beforehand the bars are so tiny that chances are you won't get into the one you want so you just have to go somewhere with a free seat. Definitely an experience so do go when in Tokyo.
Written October 19, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sophia
Japan37 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Friends
This is a famous sightseeing spot in Tokyo called "Golden Gai".
There are many small bars where you can enjoy a variety of drinks.
People from different countries are visiting and you can talk and interact.
It was a very very amaszing place for a valuable experience.
Written April 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jjj c
3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
It is an attractive spot where you can feel the local Japanese atmosphere. There are so many bars with great atmospheres that it can be difficult to decide where to go, but you'll probably end up going to several anyway, so we recommend going as soon as there's an empty spot!!
If you want to enjoy Shinjuku's nightlife, this is definitely recommended.
Written November 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark H
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Burnt out, bad vibes. This is where drunk foreigners hang out and get drunk before walking to the red light district. No locals, overpriced. This feels like it was popping ten years ago. There’s an alley in Kyoto just west of the river in the shopping district that is 100 times better, much cleaner, and better choices, save your money and time for there.
Written October 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Shinjuku Golden Gai - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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