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Published on 06.03.2016
Shinjuku is the one of biggest shopping and entertainment towns in Tokyo.
While a dozen of department stores selling sophisticated goods and millions of neon signs glittering in the night, one corner of Shinjuku remains relatively dark and run down. That is Golden-Gai where you can experience Tokyo of an older era.
Around 300 tiny bars are crammed into this small area. Only 7 to 13 people can have a seat in each bar, therefore it’s easy to break the ice with other bar goers. Each has a unique theme, such as photography, films and music.
This shantytown was formed after the Second Wold War as two black markets. Most of stalls were established to serve drinks by 1950, and at around 1970, this place became a magnet to creative people, such as novelists, film makers, stage directors and photographers. Because of its complicated ownership, Golden-gai has miraculously survived today, albeit dwarfed by high rise developments all around.
Many young owners have joined in recent years with their innovative ideas. Golden-gai has now become busier than ever with newcomers, old patrons and tourists today.
Here are the details of the bars which Doga TV recommended in this video.
A fashionable bar with glistening chandeliers. It has an art gallery upstairs.
Address: 5th avenue 1-1-7 Kabukicho Shinjuku Tokyo
Opens: 19.00-5.00 everyday
Specialises in rock, blues, and soul music.
Address: 1-1-6-2F Kabukicho Shinjuku Tokyo
Open: Sun-Thurs 18.00-24.00, Fri-Sat 18.00-5.00
Happy hour: 18.00-20.00
Closed: New year’s day
*You need to obtain permission and pay a fee to take photos and videos at Golden-gai. A permit is issued at Sanko office and the fee for a photo shoot is 5000yen.
Address: 1-1-6 Kabukicho Shinjuku Tokyo
Open: Mon, Tue, Fri 1300-19.00, Wed, Thurs 14.00-20.00
*You have to pay table charge at around 800yen in most bars. Best to stay longer in one bar and get to know the owner and customers; that’s the joy of Golden-gai.
*Many bars don’t accept credit card.
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