Ultimate Guide to Shibuya Nightlife

By The BFF Tokyo Team | June 5th, 2023

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    Are you an international resident living in Tokyo? Looking for a way to dip your toes into the local social scene and put yourself on the map? There isn’t much need to look further than nightlife in Shibuya. Known as Tokyo’s Time Square, there is something for everybody. From blinking lights above the world’s busiest crosswalk to the rooftop greenery of Miyashita Park, whether you’re looking for a few after-work beers or a bass-popping club until the morning hours, Shibuya nightlife has never failed to please.

    A crowded line of bars at night in one of the most popular drinking streets in Shibuya Nightlife

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    What Makes Shibuya Nightlife so Different from the US?

    Public Intoxication/Outdoor Drinking

    Drinking alcohol in the street in Japan is 100 percent legal. Many Americans, including friends of mine who come to visit, are often surprised and uneasy at first walking around town with an open can in their hand. Given Shibuya’s crowded nature, you can imagine the open cans and bottles you see around you are abundant. This personally gives Shibuya nightlife a more liberating and festive feel than what you might get back home. That being said, you won’t be batting an eye at the groups of young people hanging out in parks or on street corners with drinks in their hands, since they’re not doing anything wrong. In the US, you can be arrested and even spend the night in jail for something as simple as this, so it’s widely considered a plus compared to back home!Instead of making a paragraph filled with numbers, consider making a table or infographics instead. It's easier for readers to digest all the information.

    Level of Safety

    If you haven’t already, you will soon realize that places that locals consider dangerous are equivalent to an average bar neighborhood back home, and if you come from a big city in the US, the level of safety may even feel strange at first. Violence in and outside of bars and clubs is quite common in many places in parts of the US, however, nightlife in Shibuya can offer you all the fun without the drama. Even in the areas that are considered “dangerous”, you can ask the bouncers at some of the most popular clubs if they’ve ever had to use excessive force, and they will likely say no. Of course, people get removed all the time, but force, especially to the point of violence is not common.

    Shibuya Nightlife Doesn't Sleep!

    Many bars in the US have a last order, and many cities have a local law to halt alcohol sales after a certain hour. In the city I grew up in, it was 2AM. It is totally normal for nightlife in Shibuya to take you through the hours of the night, out into the day, so bringing a pair of sunglasses with you may be beneficial for the ride home. There is literally a place to drink and meet people 24/7 every single day, and all around the clock food places sell drinks, so if you find yourself leaving “Womb” at 4:30 AM, you may bump into some familiar faces from earlier at “Kita no Kazoku” having some after party bites! It literally never stops, especially in Shibuya nightlife. Considering many bars and clubs run into the early morning, and when you build relationships with bar owners or bartenders, the likelihood that they will close on you if you are still drinking, even as one of the only customers, is slim. 

    The only caution I would give on this aspect of nightlife in Shibuya is that public transport ends not long after midnight, and taxis can be on the pricey side. This means if you’re taking a shot at an all nighter, make sure you can go until the first train!

    3 Things You Need to Know about Shibuya Nightlife

    Melting Pot of Cultures

    Often compared to downtown New York’s Manhattan area, it is a melting pot of people from all over the world. It’s the convenience of transit to Shibuya station, as well as being a business hub for many companies. It attracts people from all corners of the world for many different reasons, so it is quite difficult to feel like you don’t fit the social or physical appearance to match the average person in Shibuya. This makes it the perfect place if you’re feeling adventurous or want to try and add some variety to your Shibuya nightlife experience. Just some examples could be how you can find Mexican, Turkish, Italian, African, and Jamaican restaurants (check out “Good Wood Terrace '', Jamaican nationals themselves rave about it!), and the best part other than the food is the imported beverages, have you ever had an Ethiopian beer? All of these places are great options before hitting a Yonaguni Fiesta Latin party at Baia!

    Young and Vibrant

    Now, we’re not saying that young people are the ONLY crowd on the prowl, however, it is the most visited area in Japan among university students, as well as numerous street artists and performers, making Shibuya nightlife impossible to describe with one, two, or even 10 words, but to keep it short and sweet, let's say young and vibrant. Its numerous businesses, and institutions, as well as the infamous Shibuya scramble, make it a hoarding ground for after-school socializing, workers egging to get loose after a tough day in the office (or celebrate a win!), and influencers alike. Anywhere within a 15-20 minute walk from the central station can be a battleground for a model’s photoshoot or an underground rapper’s music video, and if you spend enough time there, you are highly likely to be found in the middle of a street interview, so you may end up on TV yourself! Nonetheless, you’re never too old to stimulate your senses with these elements of Shibuya nightlife.

    Compact Density of Places

    There are unlimited options all within a tiny walking distance from each other which make nightlife in Shibuya one of the hardest things to walk away from, and essentially, bring its nightlife into the daytime! From a bar inside of a church (Dogenzaka Church) to a rooftop view nightclub, to sushi restaurants next to a kebab stand, and across from a Burger King, it is all within a stone's throw from the station. If it even comes down to it, there is a Don Quijote (24/7 one-stop shop, think Walmart, but cleaner!) if you need to change to a new shirt or pants at short notice (sounds ridiculous, but we’ve been there). The compact area of all these bars makes hidden venues available on street level, on numerous floors of any building, as well as underground (peep your head into “Chill Collection '', a 24/7 lounge with food, drinks, and shisha). If you’re someone who wants to spend too much time traveling from point A to point B, Shibuya nightlife is your go-to!



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    Debunking Myths and Rumors about Japanese People and Shibuya Nightlife

    Higher Prices for Foreigners (The Gaijin Price)

    I would be surprised if nobody has ever mentioned being cautious when buying, dining, or drinking in unfamiliar establishments, especially when the language isn’t a shared trait between you and the staff. If you have heard of the “gaijin card” (which essentially excuses you from a number of social rules due to being a foreigner), think of this more as the “gaijin price”. This is something that many people experience when first relocating to Japan but doesn’t usually happen much often later.

    Although in Japan, it occurs much less than in other countries, it is still important to note that IT CAN happen. Anywhere where alcohol is being served, you may find a bad apple or two who wants to take advantage of a tipsy outsider, and nightlife in Shibuya is no exception to that. That being said, when it does happen, it is usually a place where there is no English menu option and it is assumed that you do not understand Japanese. My advice would be to properly translate all options on the menu and understand the prices before ordering. Also, be sure to ask whether a credit card is acceptable and if there is an additional charge for using it.

    Halloween Hazards

    Halloween has universally been known as an occasion where crazy things tend to happen, I mean, in the US we even have an unofficial holiday the day before called “mischief night”, which basically explains itself in the name. This “spooky” occasion has become a key event for nightlife in Shibuya. To be real, I was honestly surprised by how hard Japan goes when it comes to Halloween, and as an American, I can confidently say they amplified the festivities, so if you heard any rumors about it, let me give you the scoop.

    Shibuya nightlife can be quite rowdy during Halloween, but much evidence of real danger is rather low. The most memorable incident was a car being flipped over by four men in 2018, and it seems not to have happened since. In 2022, there was supposed to be a ban on Halloween, with shops recommended to not sell alcohol and street security on high alert. However, I know plenty of people went. The biggest reason for the scare was because of a previous stampede in Seoul (South Korea), which took the lives of over 150 people. KEEP IN MIND that anytime large crowds of intoxicated people are in a compact place, there is potential for problems. My suggestion would be not to spend too much time in overcrowded areas (especially near stations, trains, buses, etc).

    Shibuya Nightlife partygoers crowding the streets on Halloween

    Excess of Public Intoxication

    Another rumor that you may have heard regarding nightlife in Shibuya is the excess of public intoxication and people sleeping in the street or on park benches. Well, to be blunt, it’s not a rumor, it’s a fact. This is something that I didn’t even know about until I moved here, and I, in fact, saw it firsthand before being warned about it.

    This is so true that there is an Instagram page, “Shibuya Meltdown'', dedicated to it. It is not a normal night out in Shibuya without seeing drunk people lying out in the street, in parks, or in alleyways. The good news is that despite all of it, the chances of violent crime emerging from it are very low. Of course, I would recommend not getting involved much with drunk strangers in the street, but think about why everybody is so comfortable sleeping outside in such a bustling neighborhood. Because not enough bad cases have yet emerged. Once you get used to seeing it, you won’t even bat an eye. If anything, you may even leave a water bottle next to them for when they wake up, which is common practice you may begin to see. The good news is that chances are, they’re not dead. They will wake up, get on the train, and somehow still make it to work on time the next day. I wish I could do that!

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    Is Shibuya Nightlife a Good Place to Meet a Romantic Partner?

    They Have Events Just For You!

    Looking for love in Tokyo?! If you raise the question of where to find a romantic relationship, many locals or foreigners who have lived in Tokyo for an extended period will mention Shibuya (this of course varies depending on the age or intentions of the person you ask). If you are feeling shy about stepping out alone to look for companionship, there are a number of networks and organized events designed to bring people together. Many event organizers (that will be specified in the following section!) generally focus on language practice and general socializing but also have events specifically for singles, as well as nights where having “single” or “taken” written on your name tag is a requirement for participation. This approach works best for those who want to find companionship in Shibuya nightlife without the chaos of bar and club hopping. I can say from experience that these events have a way of connecting couples who wouldn’t have met elsewhere!

    Hotspots for People Seeking Connections

    One big aspect making nightlife in Shibuya a great place to connect with someone is the abundance of attractions, bars, and proximity to educational institutions making it a hot spot for younger people going out in groups. This makes for a perfect opportunity to mingle with others, especially considering many venues tend to combine tables when they begin to reach capacity. I would highly recommend going out in groups, which you will find not only common but the norm for university students, a big and energetic percentage of the Shibuya nightlife crowd! Younger crowds are very easy to find in crowded but affordable food & drink chains such as Torikizoku but are also always found in groups at more spacious bars like Lad’s next to the Don Quijote. Either way, numerous nights a week, it doesn’t usually take long for groups of strangers to merge together and get chatting.

    Make it a Date!

    Shibuya is known as one of the prime meeting spots for people in Tokyo (by the Hachiko dog to be specific)! If one is using a dating app, the chances of meeting in Shibuya are quite high. People are also comfortable meeting in this specific area due to the amount of people around, giving a sense of security. This is not only because of its easy accessibility but also due to the limitless amount of activities nightlife in Shibuya offers, such as “Shibuya Bowling Cafe '', which has a full bar of beers and cocktails (never saw that back home!). Shibuya Sky is another great place to attend sunset while sipping on a cocktail from the highest rooftop bar in the neighborhood, so whether you want to have a romantic date or an exciting night of games, Shibuya nightlife can offer you both!

    A seated Japanese couple mingling and exchanging information while drinking and experiencing Shibuya Nightlife.

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    Shibuya Nightlife & Language Exchange Events

    Welcome Japan

    Are you looking for some structured events concentrated on connection? Welcome Japan (known as Welcome Tokyo Events on the website) is a domain for countless events, largely located in the Shibuya area. There is at least one language exchange every day of the year, with countless other events that pile on top of it. It attracts numerous nationalities with internationally minded Japanese nationals usually making up at least half of the attendance. These locals have either traveled, already speak English, or have a strong desire to do so and connect with foreign residents in one of the two languages. In the majority of events guests are going alone and for the first time, making it more than welcoming to all types of people.

    Where and How Much?

    The organizers of this meetup group are completely aware of how tough it can be moving here from abroad, and if you’re new, you may not yet have a full-time job or have worked your way up to manager yet. General prices are 500 yen for online payment, and one thousand for cash payment at the venue (for language exchange). Certain events such as pub crawls, international pizza parties, and singles parties tend to go for 1000 yen for women and 1500 for men. Many events will have discounts for international students and foreigners alike!

    Language exchanges range from 4 PM-6 PM and at night, usually around 7:30-9:30 PM. International “Make Friends” parties usually start from 7:30 and end roughly around 10 PM. Most language exchanges are held at Jinan Cafe, 33 Tokyo, or the well-known British pubs, Hobgoblin and Lads. These events include flashcards with conversation topics in both Japanese and English to help light the match between guests, with staff keeping track of time to continuously switch languages. The international parties (often held at the same venues as the language exchange) also include games such as Jenga, Uno, and more. The organizer has an agreement with Lad’s and 33 Tokyo where guests are eligible for a 1500 yen nomihoudai (all-you-can-drink). These parties, especially on the weekends, can have upwards of 90-100 people, making you right in the mix with people who are either in the same shoes as you, or better-seasoned vets in Shibuya nightlife.

    Website: https://www.welcometokyoevents.com/international-events

    Tokyo Comedy Bar

    If you’re like me and need a dose of laughter every once in a while… or every day for that matter, you may be relieved to know that Shibuya holds the first English language comedy bar in Japan, opened by English comedian BJ Fox. There is standup every night of the week where both experienced comedians perform, as well as opportunities for complete beginners to take a shot at open mic (and they are very encouraging). Though not large in size, it is a great experience to bring friends, a date, or as a “pregame” for a longer night. One of my favorite aspects of this bar is that the comedians actually take time to hang out with you after the performances. Comedy nights in Japanese are also available a few times a week. This spot is definitely best for those who may have tried to get into Japanese comedy but couldn’t quite make the switch (or just anybody who misses some standup jokes). Who knows, maybe it’ll make you consider testing your luck on stage!

    Where and How Much?

    Admissions can usually range from ¥1000-¥2000 and with this, you are guaranteed a seat for the show. Visiting just for drinking is available without reservation (reservations are recommended to be made online before, especially if specific comedians are performing or topics are discussed). Open from 16:00 to midnight, it is a unique place to get the ball rolling with nightlife in Shibuya, consisting of a great selection of eight craft beers available on tap as well as a small selection of bar food to snack on.

    Address: 3rd floor, 1-chōme-5-9 Dogenzaka, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0043

    Website: https://www.tokyocomedybar.com/ 

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    Young people laughing and exchanging information in a calm but luminated street during Shibuya nightlife

    Tokyo International Friends Party Shibuya

    This meetup group hosts international social events in a variety of different bars, from small size to luxury. Weekdays can expect a smaller number >10 (but maybe more), whereas the median range for weekends is much higher (50 depending on the daily conditions, but around 100 on good days!). What makes this network a little different is that it is specifically accessible through the “meetup” app, which is a must-have when getting involved in Shibuya nightlife (all activities in general actually!). The mission of this network is to connect foreigners with locals and help them build a social circle or some guidance into life in Tokyo. That being said, this network would be best for those looking to meet new and diverse groups of people, while at the same time getting local input on what activities or places of interest may be available to check out, like an insider tip!

    Where and How Much?

    A big upside of these events is that most, if not all events feature a nomihoudai (all-you-can-drink) discount, running ¥1,500 for men and ¥1,000 for women. Regular attendance is just ¥1,000 for men and ¥500 for women, with the chance for a ¥500 discount if a reservation is previously booked online. Yes ladies, that means you're free!! Other interesting discounts tend to apply, for example, if it is your birthday month, you’re automatically exempt from the admission price. You can expect to find many of the events hosted from 19:00-22:00 at numerous venues such as Milas Luxury Bar & Lounge, Cafè del Sonica, LITTS Bar, and others which are all conveniently located just minutes walk from Shibuya station.

    Website: https://www.meetup.com/tokyo-international-party-shibuya/

    Riding Solo?

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    Tryin' to Experience Shibuya Nightlife on a Budget?!

    You might think that this central location may skyrocket prices of drinks and entertainment, but fear not, as nightlife in Shibuya has something in store for everyone, no matter your tax bracket. Whether it is a local Japanese-style bar serving local beer or a spot with international drinks and food, there’s an option with a reasonable price tag!


    A favorite amongst many who are familiar with Shibuya nightlife, Tasuichi has become well known for visitors in the area, myself having knocked a few back my first time exploring the area. This place is best for those first getting their feet wet in the neighborhood. It is a cozy standup bar with cheap drinks (beers, cocktails, sake) and bites (nuts, fries, even pizzas!) perfect for meeting up with colleagues after work or class, or better yet, making new friends. Given its size, it is inevitable that you won’t end up exchanging words with other patrons, as well as the staff who are particularly notorious for their humorous nature. As a bar frequented heavily by both international and local residents, staff proficiency in both English and Japanese is available!

    Cover Charge: FREE!

    Standard Drink Cost: ¥400 - ¥600

    All You Can Drink (Nomihoudai): Not available

    Average Food Cost: ¥300-¥600

    Open Hours: 16:00 - 1:00 Sunday to Thursday; 16:00-2:00 Friday & Saturday.

    Address: 33-14 Udagawacho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0042

    Website: https://www.tasuichi.co.jp/ 

    33 Tokyo

    Just a stone’s throw away from Tasuichi, we are met with another spot growing in popularity in the Shibuya nightlife scene. With a fairly similar mix of both locals and internationals, 33 Tokyo “ups the ante” a bit in terms of volume as a restaurant in the evening that turns into a music bar at night. Located on the second floor, customers are given a decent view of what’s going on outside on the bustling street while still being inside a “European style” lounge bar with appealing music, great international food, and a variety of drinks. With regular tables and a bar available, the interior takes a shift of gears by adding comfortable lounge-style couches with a see-through glass floor with visible plants and greenery beneath. It is definitely what I would call a “bang for your buck” bar. This place would fit best for those looking for a modern and stylish spot without having to cough up too many yen. 

    Cover Charge: FREE!

    Standard Drink Cost: ¥480-¥680

    All You Can Drink (Nomihoudai): Not Available

    Average Food Cost: ¥400-¥1,200

    Open Hours: 18:00-5 AM

    Address: 2F GRAND TOKYO SHIBUYA bldg. 33-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0042 Japan

    Website: https://33tokyo.com/ 


    Among the most popular bar franchises in Japan. Although it's findable in all areas of the city, the important role as a starting position for nightlife in Shibuya cannot be knocked, especially with its tempting drink and bar food prices that make it an easy decision. It is well known for its high frequency of locals looking to meet and connect with foreigners, making it an easy stepping stone into a deeper experience. What makes this specific branch of the HUB is the influx of patrons, making it go from a regular pub sports bar to a crowded party in a matter of minutes. Its location just a few minutes from the station has also made it a common ground for social and networking events, which all soon blend into one big cluster connection between all parties. This place is best for those who want a “pub” vibe at some of the cheapest prices around, especially as a place to grab a few quick bar bites before any heavy drinking. Happy hour is available!

    Cover Charge: FREE!

    Standard Drink Cost: ¥460 - ¥870

    All You Can Drink (Nomihoudai): Not available

    Average Food Cost: ¥500-¥950

    Open Hours: 17:00 - 23:30 Sunday to Thursday; 14:00-1:00 Friday & Saturday.


    Website: https://www.pub-hub.com/index.php/en 

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    Bars and Clubs Shibuya Ranked

    Rank A Shibuya Nightlife


    Womb is a highly praised four-floor techno and house club among locals and foreigners alike, and if you talk to anybody who indulges in nightlife in Shibuya (or anywhere in Tokyo for that matter), it is bound to come up. With a capacity of 1000 people and four floors to party in. Large sound systems and strobe/party lights in abundance, as well as guest hosts and DJs both local and from abroad. This place is best for people who like to dance to loud music and get “lost in the sauce” with a bunch of crazy lights!

    Open Hours: 22:00-4:30 AM

    Peak Time: 00:30-4 AM 

    Cover Charge: ¥1,500

    Standard Drink Cost: ¥500

    Address: 2-16 Maruyama-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0044, Japan

    Website: https://www.womb.co.jp/en/ 


    Another is Known as the largest luxury club in Shibuya nightlife with one floor. Despite not having multiple levels like many other clubs, it still manages to boast a 1,000-person capacity. It is defined by its luxury interior with famous DJs regularly attending as guests, as well as its extremely foreign-friendly policy. This place is a high recommendation for people who want to experience a mixed local crowd and not be separated by other patrons through different floors, which makes social integration much easier!

    Open Hours: 22:00-4:30 AM

    Peak Time: Midnight-4 AM 

    Cover Charge: Men - ¥1,500/2D, Women - ¥500/1D (Weekdays), ¥3,500/2D (Men on weekend)

    Standard Drink Cost: ¥1,000

    Address: B1F, Chitosekaikan, 13-8, Udagawacho, Shibuya Ku, Tokyo To, 150-0042, Japan

    Website: https://tk-nightclub.com/ 

    Bottle girls holding sparkling champagne with staff carrying a wish sign for a Shibuya Nightlife birthday bash in a crowded club.

    Rank B Shibuya Nightlife


    Popular among many Latinos, this club boasts a 1,000-person capacity with a reputation for luxury and style. It carries four floors providing everything from club dance space, to karaoke rooms, to a rooftop view of Shibuya. What physically sticks out about this club is its marble-implemented design crafted by Ray Nacham, an architect from New York. I highly recommend this club to those who like an upper-class feel, as well as those interested in nightlife in Shibuya with a Latin twist, as numerous Latin events (Remember the names Yonaguni Fiesta and Favela Fiesta!) have appearances there.

    Open Hours: 23:00-5 AM

    Peak Time: Midnight -3:00/4:00. 

    Cover Charge: ¥1,500/1D for men, ¥500/1D for Women (events & holidays may vary)

    Standard Drink Cost: ¥1,000

    Address: 16-17 Udagawacho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0042

    Website: https://baiatokyo.com/ 


    Another one of the big names in Shibuya nightlife, this is a three-floor club offering a capacity of general pop music on the first, hip hop and RnB on the second, and EDM music on the third. Located about a 6-minute walk from Shibuya station, it offers a whopping 1,200-person capacity, giving the night intriguing potential. This club would be a great fit for those who want a variety of different music, as changing the vibe can be done by simply going up or downstairs!

    Open Hours: 22:00-4:30 AM

    Peak Time: Midnight - 4:00 AM

    Cover Charge: Men- ¥900 before midnight and ¥1,900 after; Women - ¥500 before, ¥900 after.

    Standard Drink Cost: ¥1,000

    Address: 1F Dr. Jeekahn's 2-4 Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan

    Website: https://atom-tokyo.com/ 

    Rank C Shibuya Nightlife


    Also spans three floors with each playing different genres of music and styles, where the B1 floor is meant for a luxury vibe, B2 boasts an international lounge feel, and B3 delivers powerful LED lights and sound systems. This club caters to roughly 700 potential partygoers, located just a few minutes from the station. This club is recommended to those who want a comfortable mix of not only music but an interior style that differentiates by flood.  

    Open Hours: 22:00-4:30

    Peak Time: Midnight- 4:00

    Cover Charge: Men - ¥1,000 before 23:00, ¥3,900/1D after ¥23:00; Women - From midnight ¥500/1D

    Standard Drink Cost: ¥1,000

    Address: B3, Jinnanzaka flame, 1-18-2, Jinnan, Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-0041

    Website: https://clubcamelot.jp/ 

    Ce La Vi

    Despite being one of my favorite places in the area, it is placed lower due to not being open all night, which is an important factor when competing with clubs in Shibuya nightlife. It is a three-piece club with a restaurant & sky bar, club lounge, and luxury restaurant. Known for having one of the best views in the city (which I can personally vouch for), it is a venue great for those who want a luxury, almost “on top of the world” feeling. Many who visit there don’t go without intentions of eating as well, and it is generally a favored place for get-togethers held by companies and institutions (my university included). It is a great place to go with friends and test your luck (it shouldn’t take much) merging in with others! I would also say this place is best for those who are pregaming, plan on having an early night, or want to go for a comfortable night out with friends.

    Open Hours: 11:00-23:00

    Peak Time: 18:00-22:30

    Cover Charge: N/A

    Standard Drink Cost: ¥1,200

    Address: 150-0043 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Dogenzaka, 1 Chome−2−3

    Website: https://www.celavi.com/ja/tokyo/ 

    Don't limit yourself to just club music, read up on our guide to J-Rock to see another side of the nightlife!

    Ready to Dive into Shibuya Nightlife?

    At this point, you should be equipped to ride full throttle into nightlife in Shibuya. With the provided venues, it won’t be difficult to set up a road map for your first night out, not that you necessarily need one, as just winging it has always worked for me. As always, be open-minded, let loose, and enjoy the hippest neighborhood in Japan!


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