Shinjuku Golden Gai
AIN SOPH. Soar IKEBUKURO
A typical day in the life of Shinjuku: skyscraper offices tower above while shoppers hustle in the high streets below, but come evening, a pocket of nightlife away from traditional party culture lies in the heart of the Golden Gai. A popular watering hole buried beneath the maze of department stores, restaurants, and arcades, the Golden Gai is made up of alleyways filled with tiny bars, boasting different themes. Each has just a few seats, maybe 6 or so, making drinking here an intimate experience where locals and tourists share stories over a glass of sake or beer. For those hankering for a late night feed, slurp some 24-hour ramen or snack on yakitori at the cozy izakayas of nearby Omoide Yokocho, a.k.a. “memory lane.” Suddenly feel like dancing? Head to the nightclubs of Kabukicho in Shinjuku’s red light district, or shamelessly sing your heart out at karaoke. Whether it’s starting the night out with a few casual drinks or sharing a heart-to-heart with a stranger before the first train, Shinjuku Golden Gai is the place to make new friends with a glass in hand. Hop through several bars or sit in the same one all night, the Golden Gai always promises a unique night out.
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