The Cavern Club is a great place to visit for either Beatles fans or anyone interested in having a good time joining in for a fun night out. The club has live music, with the "Silver Beats" playing most nights - an exclusive Beatles selection of songs. The band is actually pretty good, and one guy even looks a little like John Lennon. The atmosphere was friendly and welcoming; the night we were there the band played the Beatles birthday song for both a Japanese man and a foreigner.
An ex-boxer who I've been told is homeless dons all of his gear some late evenings and spars with gloved customers for around $10 US in a small raised plaza in a [literally] red light/lantern area North East of the Shinjuku train station. Why woud you be insane enough to box an experienced professional? The catch - he doesn't hit back. He'll go a good few minutes with you; attempting to duck your punches while making sure he blocks anything that might connect..
Watching people box this man was mesmerizing. The best competitor challenged in front of a group of fellow Japanese businessmen. He was obviously drunk, and the pro dodged his swings with ease. The one connection he made bounced his glove off of the other's, landing on his eye. That's right, he hit himself - knocking his own contact out. The laughter bursting from everyone [especially his co-workers] surrounding the plaza translated perfectly - without needing to know a word of Japanese.
Dress Code: Be in good physical condition. Or sit on a low wall, beer in hand, and watch for free.
Tokyo nightlife ideas:
Very generally, the ares of Tokyo can be characterized as follows:
Roppongi - Popular with Xpats, many foreigners in Japan on a short stay. Types of bars vary greatly, Dance clubs, live venues, small bars, Izakaya... some reputable, some considered dangerous.
Shinjuku - Red light district, but more "local" in it's club scene, great intimate small bars.
Shimokitazawa - Hip youthful club scene, DJ's, Rock, culture centre.
Shibuya - Trendy bridge and tunnel club scene extending to Aoyama.
Koenji - Small live rock venues, Punk, Metal, etc...
Shinbashi - Traditional older guy kind of hangout (loosen up that tie!), unpretentious and comfortable. Great small greasy restaurants, Izakaya. Casual bars.
Ginza - Often mischaracterized as expensive (which it can be), but also hosts small hip bars and restaurants of reasonable cost that cater to younger professionals, art types, trendy style industries, etc...
Of course, Tokyo has a great nightlife. Or should I say eveninglife as it is amazing how quiet it can be in the middle of the night. There are several places where the Japanese celebrate special events or are just going crazy on music. Karaoke is truely Japanese and might be intresting to do in the land of origin. It is always good for a few laughs. In Tokyo there are also many concerts of worldfamous bands and artists and thus intresting to visit (if tickets are still available). An exclusive example where you can find a lot of entertainment after a exhausting day of shopping: the Ginza.
A fast paced musical show featuring a cast that has men playing women's parts in the show (like Kabuki), but also has women castmembers. Stage moves and transforms constantly. It is unlike anything you would see in the U.S. and was recommended by a friend that lives in Tokyo. A fun nightclub show with an unusual twist.
Dress Code: Casual to dressy casual.
@Home Cafe Donki is located in the popular Don Quijote building in Akihabara, a building famous for anime, otaku and cosplay mechandise and off course @Home Cafe Maid Kissaten, one of the most popular maid kissaten cafes in the akiba area (they have 6 branches in Akihabara) and the main reason why i went on a return sojourn to Japan is to experience the otaku craze of Maid Cafes! This branch of @Home Cafe in Donki is the most popular and rivals the crowds in nearby maid cafes of pinafore, lammtara, cure maid and others!
in here you pay by the hour (about 700 yen) for the use of the maid cafe services like la-z boy couches, internet stations, wide array of manga and anime comics, watch cosplay and anime movies, watch the maids singing, play a game with a maid, eat food, drink coffee or liqours or just plain bum around! add another 500 yen for a picture with you favorite maid and about 2,000 yen for a meal and drink (choices are limited but youre not here for the food right!). the only downside is that they don't allow photos or videos of the place (my shots are stolen from my mobile phone nokia camera, ok) but still, definitely worth the experience!
Dress Code: smart casual or just about any wear as long as you don't go inside in slippers and flip flops, it will be ok.
Opens 11.30am to 10pm everday
Good place for a drink after a long day if you don't wann go out.
Good live music
Dress Code: relaxed, but it's not a Pool bar.