For this brief introduction to clubbing in Tokyo we consider two main
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In Japan, foreigners are mostly male, so it’s the male audience that makes the biggest difference. Therefore, by Japanese and foreigner, here we mean the guys.
Among the Japanese-style clubs we differentiate between three types:
Japanese-disco clubs are those where the youngest and prettiest girls usually go. They don’t necessarily follow a specific looks but,
Himegyaru will certainly feel at ease here. Guys there are mostly Japanese and many will come in with their salaryman suits.
While females are more interested in studying English, those in the Japanese-disco clubs are probably straight off school and haven’t really had a chance to practice the language much, or may even not really want to learn (thought most people in Japan are obsessed with learning English !). Practically, in these clubs chances are that most girls aren’t expecting to be approached by a foreigner.
It’s not all lost however ! Because where the gaijin are scarce, girls that can speak some English (and had a few drinks) are likely to make an effort to be noticed. To most Japanese, foreigners are “cool” but it’s easier to be cool where not every other guy is a foreigner. Some Japanese guys may try to shake your hand, introduce you to their girlfriends or generally use you as a vehicle of coolness: “Look at me ! I’m friend’s with a foreigner !”.
Those are interesting experiences, but there is also a good chance that you’ll feel out of place. It’s really up to the individual. Most of us dig the Japanese-disco clubs, so, we can only suggest you to try them at least a couple of times. Try heading for ColoR in Roppongi and see what you make of it.
When you go there, remember to bring your ID (you always should !) and leave sandals and shorts at home, as there is a basic dress code to follow. And, while you are at it, try to put to use your more formal clothes.. many Japanese girls do like that.
It can be an interesting experience, but the cultural exchange is certainly going to be minimal. If you go with a group of friends you can have fun anyway. But, there is a good chance to end up feeling out of place.
The music is usually some Trance, though a very peculiar “candy Trance” that shares little or nothing with the Trance known in the rest of the World.
The currently most active club hosting these events is Atom in Shibuya.
A standard club in Japan is a club with a tendency towards House or Techno music, and where there is basically no dress code. A casual place where the younger foreigners find themselves more at ease ..it can be great fun !
The tendency is more towards enjoying good club music with a more casual crowd and less about picking up.
Also, with better music and more popular DJs, prices tend to go up, for men and women alike.
Our first suggestion would be Womb in Shibuya. The location is great, DJs are top notch and the sound system is the real deal.
The most impressive is ageHa where practically all major international Trance DJs spin. The place however is located pretty far away.. though a free bus service is usually available from and to Shibuya station all night long.
There are also a lot of smaller clubs that are less “commercial” so to speak. There, depending on the night and on the DJ, you may dance at the rhythm of reggae, techno, psy-trance.
The smaller clubs is often where groups of friends gather to support a certain minor DJ and turn the night into some sort of home party away from home (Tokyo apartments are too small to held decent parties !).
While those aren’t quite private parties, chances are that most of the people present already know each other. May you stumble upon one of those clubs, don’t be afraid to stick around.
Most Japanese are only happy to have a cool gaijin around. This can be a good way to make new local friends !
These are those clubs that are mostly populated by gaijin men and Japanese women.
Like for the Japanese-style clubs, we also subdivide into three sub-categories:
To get into those places, which are mostly located on Roppongi st., there is usually no cover charge. Drinks are not cheap but they are made for the stronger western drinkers. The level of decadence really depends on the place. We suggest trying a few places, give them more than once chance, you never know what can come out of it. Non-Japanese girls will feel more at ease, but forget the kawaii Japanese girls of alife.
Also watch out for prostitutes and transvestites… unless that’s your thing !
The nice thing about these clubs is that there is usually no cover charge, so you can get in, have a drink and get out. Some clubs may sort of suggest you into buying at least one drink. But in most cases you can probably just say “no”.
Wallstreet, Gas Panic, 911 Black, Motown are among the most famous, but there is really a lot more.
By “mature” we mean those places where there at least some dress code (usually no shorts, no sandals). Where the girls pay less or nothing to get in and where the average age is higer, especially for the men.
Notice how Muse used to be the major gaijin hangout, but it has changed in the recent years, and now it’s mostly a Japanese club, packed with salarymen not wearing a tie. Alternatively starting in a bar in Tokyo Midtown, such as A971, which seem to draw an even more mature crowd than Heartland itself.
Other possible destinations are, again 911 Black (which is also somewhat of a “Roppongi Club”) or even Lexington Queen, Midas, or the loungish Velours if you are in Aoyama (Velours is quite hidden and it’s an hit-and-miss kind of place).
Salsa is great fun ! It takes two to dance salsa and it’s really OK to ask any lady in the room.. no fears, no uptightness ..Great ! Our experience is limited to
Salsa Sudada (closed) and El Cafe’ Latino, the first being more cozy and the second more spacious.
If you would like to know more about Salsa in Tokyo, try www.salsapower.com