Tokyo…what I affectionately call, the Big Sushi Roll. As the only fully developed Asian mega city in the world, it has all sorts of wonders on offer—here is your guide on where to go, to meet sexy Japanese women.
Big city nights? Yes, if you’re in Japan.
The first thing you should know is that Japanese people are weekend night owls. While the last train home for everyone is around midnight, many people out for a night on the town will catch the first train in the morning, around 5am. This is especially common among young people due to the incredibly high cost of taking taxis.
Ok, so where to go?
Movin’ on UP!
Roppongi is one of the most famous neighborhoods in Tokyo, along with Shinjuku(and Kabukicho), Shibuya and Ginza. It’s located on the Hibiya line and on the much newer Oedo line, but is also easily reachable by bus 01 from Shibuya.
It’s been known as the foreign area for a very long time and when I first moved to Japan in 2000 it was a total dump, though apparently there were always several high class hostess bars and other top end establishments located in the depths of buildings off the main drag.
The completion of Roppongi Hills, a massive multi-building labyrinthine complex that includes offices, apartments, retail stores, restaurants, a cinema, multiple “parks”, a large book store, 3 Starbucks coffee shops, a grocery store, and a DVD rental shop, really moved the are upscale, however. Roppongi’s development continued with Roppongi Mid-town, which houses the Ritz-Carleton hotel & residences, along with a number of restaurants, offices, shops, public spaces, and –of course– a Starbucks.
Just a ways down the street towards Roppongi 1-Chome station is Ark Hills another similar complex. While the main street can still be pretty seedy, with lots of African touts trying to pull you into random bars and crowds of drunk western college kids roaming the street on weekends, it is still one of the best places to meet Japanese women.
In general Roppongi is a good choice for meeting women at clubs, bars and cafes when the after work crowd is getting dinner or drinks. During weekends there are plenty of attractive women walking around. The best spot to meet them is Roppongi Hills, specifically at the Starbucks/bookstore/DVD rental combo complex. When it comes to meeting girls at night, however, there are far more options.
First off, the club and bar scene is constantly shifting. Crackdowns happen regularly, especially on large dance clubs. One of the more famous and well known establishments, Muse (“Can’t lose at Muse!”) was raided by the police, and several staff members were arrested. Muse has since re-opened and from reports is as hopping as ever!
This is not uncommon in Japan and usually is because the owners haven’t been practicing tight enough security and there have been brawls or other kinds of disturbances. In Japan any establishment that has dancing after midnight is required to operate with a special permit that the government rarely issues. As such all night clubs are operating “illegally”. What this means in practice is that if the owners of a night club are causing any problems in the neighborhood by not controlling their clientele(rowdiness, excessive public drunkenness, too many fights, etc.) then they’ll use the lack of the permit to arrest the owners and shut the club down. In any case, in typical Japan fashion, Muse like most other clubs that get shut down will probably re-open in the same location, with the same layout, with a new name after a few months.
Up until the closure, Muse was well known as a place that Japanese female professionals, usually in their mid to late 20s, go to get down with foreign guys. It used to be that the same crowd would normally “pre-game” it with a few drinks at another bar, called Heartland that is in Roppongi Hills earlier in the night, but after Heartland re-opened as Tusk, it doesn’t seem as popular as it once was.
Tusk, formerly, Heartland has traditionally been a banker bar because Barclays and Lehman were both located in Roppongi Hills, so it tends to attract women in their late 20s and early 30s with a few younger girls sprinkled in the mix. The crowd tends to go for a more sophisticated look. Most of the guys there don’t do much approaching so it’s pretty easy to have the pick of the litter but, in general, younger guys appearing less well off won’t do well there.
Since Heartland closed (and re-opened,) many of the bankers (and banker hunters, presumably) have moved on and up to another bar-restaurant in Roppongi Hills, called Rigoletto. Rigoletto has a rectangular bar near the entrance-way of the restaurant and a great view overlooking the city and Tokyo tower. The crowd is fairly small, so it’s better if you’re looking for a place to chill for a drink or two while keeping an eye out for a girls that may interest you. You can reach it by taking an elevator to the 5th floor of elevator closest to Zara.
The crowd at a971 in Roppongi Midtown is very similar but it’s a smaller place so doesn’t have nearly as many people. It’s always worth swinging by to check out, though.
A Great Selection…
The last bar that is well worth going to is the Hub, located on Roppongi’s main strip in the basement past Wendy’s just before the corner that leads to the Hard Rock Cafe. Girls often outnumber guys there and the guys that do go there rarely approach. I’ve seen women visibly jealous because me and my friends were busy talking to a different group of ladies. It has a very laid back atmosphere and the layout makes it quite easy to talk to almost anyone there. The girls range in age from early 20s to early 30s; and, if you’re into young cute girls who really want to speak English, this is hands down the best place in Roppongi.
The Club Scene in Brief
For clubs, Feria used to be a good choice. It attracts a very international crowd — lots of western models, Japanese Americans, and Japanese international school graduates. The lighting is a bit dark for my taste and the social circles run deep but it’s still very easy to meet girls there. If you’re new to Japan and want to hang out with a younger party crowd then you’ll find it great. The English levels are quite high and if you hang out in front of the elevators you can have some pretty easy approach opportunities.
It closed down at the end of 2015, moved to Azabu Juban and reopened as Elle. The bottom floor is where all of the action is, but for approaching girls, the top floor is where you want to be. It’s more like a lounge than a club so it’s easier to interact but there isn’t much room.
Then there is A-life which seems to stay in the same spot but rotate names. It used to be my favorite place in Roppongi before Vanity opened because the layout is nice for partying. These days it can be hit or miss with some weekend nights totally packed and others that are pretty empty. You can scope out the line before you go in and see if it’s looking like a big night. It’s located across from Roppongi hills so it’s easy to find.
V2, formerly Vanity, is one of my favorite spots. It’s a very Japanese scene with a lot of young office lady(OL) type girls and young salarymen trying to have fun and hook up. Later in the night, around 3pm, a second wave of girls show up after they get off of their hosting jobs. Plenty of Japanese guys here throw around cash hoping that champagne will lead them to some easy action. It’s not a particularly foreigner friendly or hostile scene, despite the low English levels. In general, the girls there are definitely up for fun.
Lastly, long time foreigner haunt, Muse, is back in business. It’s more Japanese than it used to be, but you can’t beat the layout. The old adage, “You can’t lose at Muse” is not true like it was back in the day when Japanese girls there were looking for the next foreigner, but it’s still a lot of fun and one of the best places to interact with women with it’s two floors and 3 rooms plus plenty of nooks and crannies to keep it interesting.
Finally, if you’re new to Japan, the you should definitely hit up any of the innumerable international parties held regularly in Roppongi like Tokyo Pub Crawl or others you can find on Meetup.com where it’s easy to go and meet people, make friends and find Japanese girls that speak pretty good English and are keen to meet new guys. Roppongi has been one of Tokyo’s premier dining, shopping, business, and nightlife entertainment neighborhoods for decades for a good reason. It may not be your preferred environment, but it’s definitely worth spending some time in, especially as it’s the most foreigner friendly area in all of Japan.
*Got favorite spot you in Roppongi? Leave it in the comments below with a short description. Thanks!
Ahhhh, Shibuya. Maye the most famous place in all of Japan, it’s been featured in movies as different as Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift and Lost in Translation and probably hundreds of other popular movies, and videos. So what accounts for it’s popularity and does it live up to the hype?
Shibuya has several things going for it that make it one of the best spots on the planet for meeting women and maybe THE best spot on the planet for meeting Asian girls.
So MANY Women!
The sheer volume of people in around Shibuya mean that there is an inexhaustible number of women to approach at any time of the day or night. Veteran Tokyo watcher, Danny Choo(son of Jimmy Choo of the shoe), says that 45,000 people cross every 30 min which means easily more than 1million per DAY!
[youtube width=”560″ height=”315″ video_id=”S-5BRDF6cVg”]
And if that weren’t enough…
Shibuya is Japan’s fashion capital…sure some people will say that Harajuku fits the bill more but a) Harajuku is only a short walk away and b) when it comes to mass market fashion, Shibuya wins, hands down.
As a young buck on the hunt, what this means for you is that Shibuya is teeming with 100s of THOUSANDS of young Japanese girls dressed to kill. There have been more than a few reports of guys breaking their own necks trying to take it all in or being overwhelmed after newly arriving from the west.
Everything Is Here
Not only are all the women you could ever want swirling around you as they disperse from Shibuya crossing in all directions going to cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs, karaoke, department stores, and other clothing stores of all kinds, but Shibuya is also home to the most famous “happening bar” in Tokyo, called Sleeping Beauty (a happening bar is a kind of sex club).
What that means is that there are so many places to go to meet women that you can take your pick. If you like meeting girls on the street, NO PROBLEM.
If you like meeting girls at cafes, NO PROBLEM.
If you like meeting girls at bars, NO PROBLEM!
If you like meeting girls at clubs, NO PROBLEM!
The One Drawback
Now, before you explode out of your pants just thinking about all that Shibuya has to offer a young(or not so young) guy on the go, there is one drawback to Shibuya over Roppongi…or maybe two depending on your proclivities.
Some guys…apparently, for reasons I can’t understand, don’t like young girls. If you prefer your women above the age of 25, then Shibuya is not the place for you. Shibuya is a youth centered area, which is one of the reasons there is so much activity there all day everyday.
It’s also frequented by less professional women who tend to have more working class jobs and a lower educational attainment. Many of these girls are hair dressers, nail artists, clothing shop staff, and other types of jobs that don’t require college degrees. If that’s not your bag, Shibuya is not for you. Please leave it to the professionals like me. (LOLS *wink*)
However, this does feed into the one somewhat serious drawback of meeting girls in Shibuya and that is the low levels of English ability. This may be more or less of a problem for you, depending on how comfortable you are working through language barriers. Additionally, as mentioned, the sheer volume of women means that you can find a girl who can speak serious English here too, it’s just going to mean that you’ll have to go through more girls.
If you like young Japanese women with blonde hair and short skirts, Shibuya is your place. If you like, young Japanese women with blonde hair and short skirts who speak English, Shibuya is still your place.
Now, where to go…
Cafes in Shibuya
While there are cafes everywhere, there are really only 2 that I strongly recommend for meeting women.
While most any Startbucks, Doutour, or Tully’s will do, the Starbucks on the 2nd floor of the Tsutaya right on Shibuya crossing is hands down the best spot because…one more time…VOLUME!
There are more girls passing through that Starbucks for a coffee after work, a coffee before work, killing time between shopping, waiting for friends, etc than any other Starbucks in Japan. The seating is close together, so it’s easy to interact with nearby tables so you don’t even have to work very hard on the initial approach.
The multi-floor Tsutaya video/DVD rental/sales means that in addition to the Starbucks there are any number of women browsing the store as well that you can meet and easily bounce for coffee too. It’s open until at least 2am so you can go there at almost any hour and find something you like.
If that’s not enough, on the 8th floor where all the girly magazines are, is a trendy cafe/restaurant called Wired Cafe. You can bring your laptop and get to work while also taking advantage of the many girls that come to have a bite to eat or want a more sophisticated and relaxed cafe experience than the Starbucks downstairs offers.
Better girls frequent the smoking section, than the non-smoking section, so choose your seating according to your priorities!
Bars and Clubs in Shibuya
Shibuya is more of a club than a bar area (barring Japanese style “izakayas,” of course) but there is one bar that opened just a few months ago that is quite worth going to. If you’ve read this article in previous editions or if you read the Roppongi section above you’ll not be surprised at the name of this recommended establishment…
THE HUB! Yup, late last year, they opened a brand new, big location just across “center-gai” from the Tsutaya/Starbucks on Roppongi crossing. It was amazingly crowded when I went there and the crowd was very similar to the Roppongi Hub. A lot of non-Japanese and Japanese University students were there to mix and mingle. It’s well lit, so you can see what you’re getting yourself into.
Very friendly, and easy to chat up girls there. If you want to party harder than that though, you’ll need to hit up one of Shibuya’s many, many clubs, though.
There are more clubs in Shibuya than any other part of the city. So many in fact that I haven’t been to all of them but from what I know and the word on the street, if it’s women you’re looking for there are only a few best options.
My personal favorite is Camelot. There’s not much to say except that the large mingle areas in front of the bars on each of the two floors mean that it’s quiet and spacious enough that you can talk easily without getting jostled every few seconds. It’s largely Japanese and the guys are really pretty aggressive so don’t hesitate as the vultures are swarming. Camelot tends to attract girl in their early 20s, say 22-24.
- Shibuya: have your cake and eat it, too!
More Recently, though, T2, has hit the scene. It’s been open for about a year now, and I’ve been a few times and it may be the new hot spot for clubs in Shibuya. I’d say that this if for the less hard core music and club fan and more of your, “average person on a night out” kind of place. More “salarymen” and “office ladies” here than at the other clubs, but still a pretty young crowd going from early to mid 20s.
If you drop by, you can tell DJ Vivid that you heard about it from me!
Another good choice is Club Atom which is slightly more youthful than Camelot with more girls in the 20yo range which means that it’s higher energy. I’m not a big fan because it’s darker and louder than Camelot, but if you are into EDM and laser lights and prefer meeting girls while dancing, Atom may be your spot. The quality of the girls is definitely up to speed.
If you’re a hip-hop music fan, or just a fan of “b-girls”, then Harlem is your place. It’s right next to Atom and has a huge dance floor brimming with girls getting down. It’s almost the same crowd as Atom with lots of focus on dancing and getting your party on. Once again the darkness of the place makes it not my favorite but still a good choice.
Shibuya is much more Japanese than foreigner friendly Roppongi where girls are going knowing they’ll meet foreigners. Having said that though, many of the girls in Shibuya will be plenty happy to meet a non-Japanese guy. You’ll find that girls in Shibuya will be much more uncomfortable on average interacting with foreigners and many of them have never met a foreigner before.
The youth level means that most of them have yet to travel overseas as well so they really have far less experience and exposure to foreigners and foreign culture. Keep that in mind if you decide to wander over to Shibuya to see the best that Japan has to offer.
Shinjuku is another one of Tokyo’s iconic neighborhoods. Located just three stations from Shibuya on the Yamanote “loop” line, it is a straight shot to Roppongi on the Oedo line.
It’s most famous for it’s famous red light district, Kabuki-cho, which is great for a stroll and to check out the scene but not so great for meeting real women. (It’s not great for meeting any women, really, because Japan doesn’t allow foreigners to participate in most of the entertainment that the ladies of the night have to offer).
However, there is one bar that is decent for meeting women though not that much volume in my experience, and if you’ve been reading this, you can guess the name of it…THE HUB! It’s a few buildings down from the big Don Quijote on the corner.
While there are a lot of places for dates in Shinjuku, the nightlife doesn’t have many options for a young guy on the make and it has a lot more open spaces making it one of the best choices in the warmer months when the weather is good.
My favorite spot, is what’s called, the Shinjuku South Terrace which is just across the street from the JR South exit. There is a wide promenade with a heavily trafficked Starbucks that has plenty of seating outdoors. When the weather is nice, there are loads of people (and Japanese women, especially) lining the walls on either side of the promenade too.
Further down, there is a large Krispy Kreme and a Franc Franc interior store that always has at least a handful of attractive women browsing the store looking for the latest thing to spruce up their room. All of the various gadgets and items make for great conversation pieces too.
To be continued…