5 Best Tokyo Bar Hopping Tours for an Exciting Night Out

By Ashley Owen
August 11, 2020
Updated: November 17, 2022

Japan’s nightlife is like no other, and going on a tour of Tokyo's gastropubs is one of the best ways to explore the city's vibrant and diverse bar scene. To avoid the overpriced and crowded tourist spots, why not join a Tokyo bar hopping tour? These allow you to connect with other travelers during your trip, and also experience Japanese dining culture and authentic izakaya cuisine with friendly locals. With a tour guide to facilitate smooth interactions and teach about Japanese drinking culture, it's guaranteed to be a fun night out!

5 Best Tokyo Bar Hopping Tours

Here are five of the best bar-hopping tours in Tokyo!

  1. The Midnight Diners: Tokyo Experience
  2. Tokyo Bar Hopping Tour: “Be a Local Tonight” in Shinjuku!
  3. Bar Hopping in Tokyo Like a Local
  4. Shinjuku Izakaya Bar Hopping Tour
  5. Shinjuku After Dark Izakaya Tour

1. The Midnight Diners: Tokyo Experience

If you’re a fan of the Netflix series Midnight Diners: Tokyo Stories, this is one Tokyo bar-hopping experience you'll definitely want to join during your Japan trip! 

On The Midnight Diners: Tokyo Experience you’ll spend four hours discovering some of the most eclectic izakaya in the popular neighborhood of Kichijoji. Your trilingual guide will take you to Harmonica Yokocho (Harmonica Alley), a winding maze of tiny bars and gastropubs with room for only a few guests at a time. Here you’ll encounter 1950s-themed pubs, record-scratching bartenders, and creative fare including horse meat cuisine and specialty cocktails like oolong tea shochu!

The intimate and exuberant character of these izakaya make them ideal for striking up conversations – and don't worry if you don’t speak Japanese, because your guide will be more than happy to interpret. So pull up a bar stool alongside the locals, grab a beer or cocktail, and soak up the friendly atmosphere! 

Book The Midnight Diners: Tokyo Experience >>

2. Tokyo Bar Hopping Tour: “Be a Local Tonight” in Shinjuku!

A couple having fun drinking on the streets of Shinjuku

Tokyo's Shinjuku district is so jam-packed with bars and pubs, it can be difficult to know where to begin – which is where the Tokyo Bar Hopping Tour: “Be a Local Tonight” in Shinjuku comes in! This is a true Tokyo local tour, stopping at two authentic Japanese izakaya pubs before rounding the night off with a delicious bowl of ramen noodles at a hidden restaurant.

On this Tokyo food tour, you’ll get an inside look at the variety of gastropubs in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district. The first izakaya is modern while the second one is traditional, showcasing the area's different styles. And of course, both are bursting with character, charm, and great deals! You can try some unique Japanese food – such as fugu pufferfish, sea cucumber sashimi, and chicken sashimi, as well as classic drinks like whisky highballs and umeshu plum wine; all while chatting with friendly locals and fellow travelers.

Book the Tokyo Bar Hopping Tour: “Be a Local Tonight” in Shinjuku! >>

3. Bar Hopping in Tokyo Like a Local

Grilled meat dishes at an izakaya

Navigate the Tokyo nightlife scene like a local on this lively gastropub adventure! Hit up the best spots that are only frequented by Tokyoites for flowing drinks and classic izakaya snacks, as you gain a deeper insight into Japanese drinking culture. 

Join the Bar Hopping in Tokyo Like a Local tour and your seasoned English-speaking guide will take you on a pub crawl to three unique and authentic venues that are firmly off the tourist track, in your choice of neighborhood (Ueno, Shinbashi or Ikebukuro). At each bar, you'll enjoy either one drink and two side dishes, or two drinks and one side dish, while sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with friendly local patrons. This gives you the opportunity to try a range of delicious appetizers, such as crunchy karaage fried chicken and potato salad, as well as top quality sake, on this Tokyo bar hopping adventure!

Book Bar Hopping in Tokyo Like a Local >>

4. Shinjuku Izakaya Bar Hopping Tour

Patrons sat in a bar in Shinjuku

Shinjuku is one of the busiest and most vibrant areas of Tokyo, and the nighttime is when this district really comes alive! On the Shinjuku Izakaya Bar Hopping Tour you’ll mingle with locals and fellow travelers to chat, eat, and drink the night away at some popular and authentic Japanese watering holes.

You’ll begin by enjoying a selection of sizzling grilled skewers in a yakitori alley, before moving on to a traditional Tokyo izakaya in the heart of lively Kabukicho for more drinks and snacks. This is a fantastic way to learn more about Japanese food culture and see a completely different side of the city. The night ends at a bar in the narrow lanes of the Golden Gai district, one of the most famous places to go drinking in Tokyo. Get ready to experience the very best of Shinjuku nightlife!

Book the Shinjuku Izakaya Bar Hopping Tour >>

5. Shinjuku After Dark Izakaya Tour

A group of young people drinking together

The sheer amount and variety of Shinjuku nightlife options is staggering, so why not join a friendly local guide on a Shinjuku After Dark Izakaya Tour? Go Tokyo bar hopping and discover the best late-night food and drinking spots, experiencing the city from a real resident’s perspective! 

On this pub crawl in Tokyo, you’ll spend the night in places only the locals know about, from traditional standing bars to authentic izakaya gastropubs. Avoid the tourist traps and instead indulge in delicious, grilled Japanese dishes that pair perfectly with beer or sake. You’ll visit the Kabukicho entertainment area first, then head to a unique drinking district that dates back to 1940 and has a mix of over 200 eclectic bars to try. Armed with your new knowledge of Shinjuku nightlife and Japanese drinking culture, after the tour you can keep exploring until the sun comes up!

Book the Shinjuku After Dark Izakaya Tour >>

Tokyo bar hopping is an unmissable experience during your stay in Japan's capital, highlighting the authentic and delicious cuisine and friendly izakaya atmosphere. From the cozy bars of Harmonica Yokocho and Shinjuku Golden Gai to the salaryman-packed izakaya pubs of Shinbashi, join a bar-hopping tour to eat and drink your way through Tokyo's most iconic, photogenic, and unique neighborhoods while meeting locals!

Looking for more things to do in Tokyo? Check out our best Tokyo food tours or browse our complete list of food experiences in Tokyo!

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan’s food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.
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Ashley Owen
Ashley is a freelance travel writer from the UK who spent the last two years living in Japan, and is about to embark on her next adventure to New Zealand. She's always on the lookout for exciting new vegan treats wherever she goes!
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