Whether or not you are into bars or booze or any form of nightlife, a visit to Golden Gai is a must in Tokyo.
Come after dinner when the place wakes up and flashes its lights. Walk the 6 narrow alleys lined with two or three-storey structures housing over 200 tiny bars and eateries, most of which can fit only 6 people at a time.
A few establishments cater only to regular clienteles, but most welcome new customers and there is always something for everyone - whether your interests lie in jazz, R&B, K-pop, ramen, cartoons, guitars, mamasan, Harley Davidsons, chandeliers, skulls, disco balls… (Apparently, mine lie in chandeliers and red staircases.)
This was Tokyo before all the wide roads, highways, high rises, Chanel buildings, Roppongi Hills, and Tokyo Skytree.
Don't miss it. Golden Gai is truly an architectural and cultural wonder.
Golden Gai is a short walk from the east exit of Shinjuku Station, between the Shinjuku City Office and the Hanazono Shrine.