There are many entertainment districts throughout the city of Tokyo. The most popular entertainment districts are primarily located around the larger train stations on the Yamanote train line. But, there are a few other cities around Tokyo that are also popular entertainment destinations. Essentially, inside the city of Tokyo the larger the cities train station is, the larger that cities entertainment district will be.
The city of Tokyo offers all the entertainment options that can be expected in a world-class city. These entertainment districts include many kinds of entertainment options for people of all ages. Here is a list of the Tokyo Entertainment Districts.
Tokyo Entertainment Districts
The Roppongi district has traditionally been the most popular entertainment area for foreigners living in Tokyo. Roppongi has many kinds of clubs, bars, dining, and adult entertainment options. The Roppongi entertainment district came alive after World War II and became the central gathering spot for foreigners living and working in Tokyo. Because of this, there are many international embassies, multinational companies, and other business employees who gather in Roppongi. They come to meet, drink, eat and party with other foreigners and Japanese nationals as well. This melting pot of history would turn the Roppongi district into the United Nations of Tokyo.
Roppongi has undergone an upscale makeover in recent years with the addition of the new Tokyo Midtown development, the Izumi Garden Tower and the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower building complex. These new massive development projects have introduced several high-end shopping, dining and entertainment options to the area. Roppongi is not a cheap place to have a good time, but it is still a popular destination for foreigners and Japanese people. On the weekends or holidays, Roppongi can get very busy. The Roppongi entertainment district is pretty slow in the daytime, but at nighttime, it is a very busy place.
Unfortunately, the Roppongi area does have some challenges. Some Japanese people even refer to the Roppongi district as not being Japanese, due to the large number of foreigners who populate and visit the area. In recent years Roppongi has seen an epidemic of foreigners and Japanese people who have been victims of various crimes such as being drugged, robbed, extorted, and more. A good general rule to follow if visiting Roppongi at night is, avoid all people on the streets who are trying to sell, promote or advertise anything.
The Shinjuku District is a massive city and home to the world’s largest train station, by train passengers per day. It has large entertainment areas, all around the Shinjuku Station. There are also a number of live music venues, adult entertainment, arcades, bowling, baseball batting cages and clubs, and many other entertainment options. Near Shinjuku Station is the home of several large Japanese department stores. The area has a huge underground shopping area that includes many different kinds of restaurants, drinking establishments, and retail shopping stores. Shinjuku has a large number of entertainment options and there is something for everyone.
North of Shinjuku Station is the Kabukicho area that is the largest red-light district in Tokyo. This area has a large amount of primarily adult entertainment options, love hotels, and other entertainment options. Just like Roppongi, it has a criminal element and the visitors to Kabukicho have been victims of many serious crimes. People on the streets who are trying to sell, promote and advertise anything in the Kabukicho area should be avoided at all times, especially at nighttime.
East of the Shinjuku Station is the Shinjuku Ni-Chome area, which is the largest gay area in Tokyo. The gay population in Japan is mostly underground due to the conservative nature of Japanese society. There are many clubs, restaurants and bars and other entertainment options that cater to the gay community of Tokyo. Shinjuku Ni-Chome area has been rapidly expanding in recent years and this is the area to visit to see all things gay in Tokyo.
West of the Shinjuku Station is Shinjuku’s skyscraper district that is home to many of Tokyo’s tallest buildings. This area around the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building houses many government agencies, multi-national companies, international hotels, many kinds of restaurants and bars and various other types of entertainment businesses.
The Shibuya District is one of the most popular entertainment areas in Tokyo. Shibuya is probably Tokyo’s most colorful, exciting and busy entertainment district. Shibuya has the feel of a Japanese version of Times Square in New York, complete with a large number of various kinds of neon light signs, massive video screens and busy sidewalks that are filled with people. Shibuya is the capital of Tokyo for the Japanese youth, who are found in great numbers all around Shibuya, 24/7.
Shibuya is packed with nightclubs, live music venues, movie theaters, arcades, various kinds of drinking and dining establishments. There are many other kinds of entertainment options that serve large crowds of visitors and tourists that come to the Shibuya district every day. Shibuya is also home to the largest concentration of Love hotels in Tokyo, which are located in the Dogenzaka area. Today, Shibuya might be the most popular entertainment district in Tokyo.
The Kinshicho District is one of the largest entertainment districts in Tokyo and it is located one train stop from Oshiage. Oshiage is the home of the tallest building in the city, the Tokyo Skytree. Foreigners who live in the northeastern area of Tokyo are mainly from other Asian countries such as China, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and others. So the Kinshisho entertainment district caters to these specific foreigners’ tastes.
North of the Kinshicho station is a large shopping area featuring many large department stores, numerous small shops, and restaurants. South of the station is the entertainment district where gambling, hostess clubs, and Love hotels are located. The Kinshisho red light district is one of the largest in Tokyo.
The Ikebukuro district is in the northwestern corner of the city of Tokyo. At the district’s center stands Ikebukuro Station, a busy commuter hub and the gateway to the nearby Saitama prefecture. There are large Japanese department stores surrounding the Ikebukuro Station and Ikebukuro offers plenty of entertainment, drinking, and dining opportunities.
A short walk away on the east side of the Ikebukuro Station is a walking street filled with many kinds of retail stores, movie theaters, restaurants, bars, arcades, and other entertainment options. At the end of the walking street across the freeway is the popular Sunshine City shopping mall. The bottom floors of the Sunshine City are essentially a large shopping mall, and the floors above have a variety of entertainment options for the whole family.
The Ebisu District offers adult style nightlife all around the Ebisu Station. Ebisu is one of the favorite places in Tokyo for foreigners to visit to have fun, as there is something for everyone. East of the Ebisu Station is a short walk away is a popular upscale attraction called Yebisu Garden Place. It was designed to look like an old, European city. The area west of the Ebisu Station is a popular nighttime destination. It is filled with several kinds of restaurants, bars, and a few live music venues.
Shimokitazawa District is located around colleges and universities. It is a popular spot with college-aged and young people and it is one of the cheapest entertainment spots in Tokyo. Shimokitazawa area is filled with many shopping opportunities and there is a large number of second-hand clothing stores, live music venues, independent theaters, arcades and cafes, and dining establishments.
The Shimokitazawa Cage is an event space that is located under the Shimokitazawa train tracks. It has rotating entertainment options that feature a variety of night markets, art exhibits, food stalls, and other displays. At nighttime Shimokitazawa can be a very lively and fun place.
The Ginza District is popular with the older and wealthier adult crowd. This is the capital of Tokyo and Japan for the high-end shopping experience. Every popular global brand and luxury company can be found in Ginza. Ginza is also the most expensive real estate in Japan. Entertainment options include fine dining restaurants, upscale Karaoke clubs, Art Museums, High-End hostess clubs, Jazz music clubs and many different kinds of theaters that offer a variety of live performances.
Ginza is home to the famous Kabuki-za Theater. The theater was recently remodeled and is a great place to see a traditional Japanese Kabuki play. There are language translators available in many different languages that can translate the play in real-time. This makes the play much more enjoyable if you do not speak the Japanese language. The Kabuki plays are quite elaborate, very entertaining and they can last a very long time.
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