Feature StoryTokyo

Japan after dark

We’re all adults here (or at least I would assume) and with being an adult comes adult responsibilities, like going out and/or socially drinking. While this wasn’t a huge part of our SJMC study abroad trip, it was still a thing, and we found that Japan offered a variety of happening spots to hang out at when the sun went down.

Japan is full of entertainment and lively neighborhoods. Some districts like Shinjuku and Shibuya are completely lit up at night. It’s true that the neon lights of Tokyo are a spectacle to witness in person. As we walked through the streets, there was always something turning our heads and sights we felt the need to capture.


Photo by Melody Martinez

In Akihabara, there are entire buildings with multiple floors of arcade games to try out. Luckily for the gamers in our class, this district was walking distance from our hotel in Tokyo. A group of us went out to the arcades one night and had a blast trying out a variety of games, most of them unique to Japan. It was okay that we lost track of time because the arcade centers are open pretty late.

Tokyo nightlife

One Friday night, a small group of us ventured to a local nightclub named A-life in the Nishi-Azabu district. It is one of the more high-end clubs, but luckily, we got a nice deal on the entry fee, and it included a free drink (America would never). Due to less square footage, a lot of the buildings in Tokyo are multi-storied, as it was for this club. Once we walked inside, we discovered there were three levels to the establishment, with DJs mixing music and full bars located on every floor. It only got busier by the night.

Having so many different cultures in one room and all being able to vibe to the same music together was an experience.

The staff was very friendly to us and people were loving the music. Throughout the night, they played many familiar American pop and hip-hop hits. We ended up meeting a few other foreigners who spoke English and had a nice time dancing the night away.

Despite language barriers while ordering an Uber, we eventually made it safely back to the hotel. Overall, this was a more-than-ideal nightlife experience.

Karaoke in Kyoto

Some students decided to try out a local karaoke bar close to our hotel in Kyoto. Once we walked in, we discovered that two of the entire walls were covered in projector screens where the lyrics were displayed. We took turns queuing up some songs and sang to our hearts’ content. Luckily there were two mics so a few duets were performed as well. As far as drinks, a flat rate was paid for unlimited service all night.

Japan definitely showed out when it got dark out. It was refreshing to see options for nights spent out at a multitude of places other than a bar.

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