7 Top Retro Bar Alleys in Tokyo

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Written by Editorial department

While Tokyo continues to lean into the future, there are still plenty of retro alleys and cityscapes that keep the classic vibes of old-world Tokyo.
Many are filled with cozy, quaint little pubs that draw people in close for a chummy chat or chance to share a drink with friends that no longer feel like strangers.
In this roundup will introduce 7 different bar alleys that are serving up plenty of irresistible, retro flair across the Tokyo night scene!

1. Golden Gai (Shinjuku)

Golden Gai sits in Shinjuku’s night life center, Kabukicho and his home to about 300 different shops!
Many of the spots inside feature retro, wooden builds that give the area its authentic old-world feel.
Many business men like to top off their day by stopping in for a drink on their way home, but end up bar hopping across a number of spots until the night is out.

Golden Gai
Golden Gai

2. Omoide Yokocho (Shinjuku)

This pub alley is just outside the West Exit of Shinjuku Station.
It was originally an open air market that opened in a lot burned down in WW2.
Inside you’ll find 80 some shops, many of which serve up yakitori and motsuyaki (grilled horumon) skewers.

Omoide Yokocho
Omoide Yokocho

3. Nonbei Yokocho (Shibuya)

Shibuya is often chalked up to the younger crowd, but don’t be fooled by the full retro throwback that awaits you at Nonbei Yokocho. Inside you’ll find quirky little pubs and eateries that draw an eclectic crowd from all around. It’s just by the JR train underpass when you exit Shibuya Station.

Nonbei Yokocho
Nonbei Yokocho

4. Harmonica Yokocho (Kichijoji)

This pub-crawl alley is located just outside the north exit of Kichijoji Station. The narrow street packs approx. 100 different stalls.
The lineup of tiny storefronts almost looks like the holes along the side of a harmonica, thus lending the name of Harmonica Yokocho.
Inside you’ll find veteran shops opened for decades, as well as some chic new spots to mix it up.

Harmonica Yokocho
Harmonica Yokocho

5. Ebisu Yokocho (Ebisu)

Take a 2 min. walk from Ebisu’s East Exit to find Ebisu Yokocho.
It’s located inside a building, making for an easy pub crawl, rain or shine!
You’ll find plenty of fare from steak sushi to yakitori and fish, all paired with plenty of drinks to go around!

Ebisu Yokocho Entrance Sign
Ebisu Yokocho Entrance Sign
Address
1-7-4 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

6. Hoppi Street (Asakusa)

Asakusa, a quintessential Tokyo tourist town is also home to the cozy Hoppi Street alley.
It’s especially popular as a place to stop in for a drink from midday into the evening.
We recommend trying just a bit at each spot before making your way through the area.

Hoppi Street
Hoppi Street
Address
2-3-19 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo

7. Under Shimbashi Guard (Shimbashi)

The drinking alley in Shimbashi, the mecca of Tokyo’s salarymen.
The area just under the train tracks of Shimbashi Station is an easy place to stop in for a drink and easily hop back on the train to head home. You are sure to find plenty of the business crowd letting loose here after a day on the job!

Under Shimbashi Guard
Under Shimbashi Guard
Address
3-25 Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo