Shinbashi: The Secret Nightlife of Tokyo’s Salarymen

By The byFood Team
Updated: December 19, 2023

By day, Tokyo is restrained, polite, and immaculate. But by night, especially in Tokyo's rowdy Shinbashi district, it’s a totally different story as the locals and salarymen let loose, boisterous personalities emerging more and more with each kanpai!

Shinbashi or Shimbashi, known for izakayas and nightlife, hostess clubs and bars, is a haven where Japanese salarymen and OLs (“office ladies”) can spend their precious few off-work hours. Neon lights splash onto the streets, karaoke bars offer rooms where stress can be belted out into a microphone, and capsule hotels are readily available for those few stragglers who miss their last trains home.

Shinbashi: The Secret Nightlife of Tokyo’s Salarymen

Exploring the backstreets of Shinbashi can be a bonding experience for co-workers, as well as the setting for some gentle hazing of salarymen by their bosses. But generally, the atmosphere is rowdy and uninhibited, making Shinbashi the perfect place for salarymen to relax after work, and for visitors to meet locals when they are at their merriest and most outgoing.

Recently, byFood joined forces with the Best Ever Food Review Show, to bring you along on the most incredible food tours in Tokyo. In this video, Sonny explores Shinbashi's popular salarymen haunts with tour guide Satoru! Watch as they bar-hop their way through Tokyo’s Shinbashi food scene, starting at a standing sushi bar, before graduating to raw horse meat, then off to an izakaya making crispy and tender fried chicken skin from a top-secret recipe.

In the end, though, it’s not really about the drinking, or even the food (though, let’s be honest, the food looks good). The most valuable takeaway is connecting with local people through food and drink, sharing laughs and stories, and clinking glasses and shouting “kanpai!” with new friends.

Eat and Drink Like a Japanese Salaryman

Experiencing the food culture unique to Shinbashi is a must if you're visiting Tokyo for the first time and want to have a taste of the city's nightlife. Not sure where to start? Sign up for a Shinbashi food tour and let a knowledgeable guide lead the way:

So, how many izakaya can you hit in one visit?

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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The byFood Team
Sharing our love of Japanese cuisine and culture, with the mission of spreading happiness through food.
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