Japan is known to be a lover of many weird and exotic things. A living testimony to this claim is the existence of an area in Shinjuku that offers its travelers an experience they will never forget. This place is called Kabukicho and despite it being more popularly known to be the district for adult entertainment in Shinjuku, it is actually a place that offers plenty of other attractions to the tourists that visit it.
Kabukicho, Tokyo: The Travel Guide and Map
Kabukicho is filled with people both night and day. Before heading into discussions of what attractions people enjoy there at night, the day attractions should be put in the spotlight. Kabukicho is rich in day time attractions as it is with night time attractions. There is a wide variety of interesting things you can find in this district during the day. A perfect example of such attractions is the Samurai Museum.
The Samurai Museum is found on the 1st floor of the Kabukicho Eiwa Dariroku Bldg. Amazingly, this place was ranked 3rd out of the 322 things worth doing in Shinjuku by previous customers. The tour offered here is free and you leave this museum with the added knowledge of using a sword because they teach this during the said tour. This would be especially attractive to those interested in the historic times when the samurai held the power of Japan because this museum holds some very impressive collections of authentic samurai equipment.
If samurais aren’t interesting for you, you might find this next establishment more appealing. It is the Ninja Trick House in Tokyo that can be found on the 4th floor of the 1st Wako Bldg in Kabukicho. This isn’t actually a museum for ninjas but it does share information about the history of the ninjas like how their lifestyle was back in the day. Along with the information you get, you also get to sample some of the training they used to do so you can say that this place is very interactive. It a great place to bond with your kids so if you get the chance to go, do it because you will surely not regret it.
Another daytime attraction tourists enjoy in this area is the Cat Café Calico Shinjuku. This café is found on the 6th floor of the Fuji Bldg in Kabukicho. As its name suggests, this is a café wherein the customers are amused and entertained by the numerous cats that are taken care of here. These cats must be very accommodating to the customers that come because previous customers of this establishment ranked this café to be the 4th best place to go when looking for fun and games.
The Toho Cinemas makes this list because it has become an icon in this district because of the Godzilla that rests atop this structure. It isn’t only the Godzilla that makes this a popular destination to go to in Kabukicho. The cinema itself provides great quality service so tourists and local really enjoy spending time here to watch movies, shop, and eat. If you end up watching a movie here, it would be very important to know that they wait until the very end of the credits before the lights go back on and people start to stand and leave the cinema. This is done out of respect for those who contributed in making the movie and it is a practice that should be respected by both local and foreign people.
If you are a gamer or a lover of video games, there is an establishment that you will definitely want to go to. It is called the Taito Station found very near Kabukicho. To be specific, it is located in the Sashida building in Shinjuku and is a 5-minute walk from Kabukicho. It has 5 floors and each floor offers a different type of gaming. From racing games to simulation games to fighting games, you would notice that this place has it all and more. The 5th floor of this building was even made specifically to tend to an adult gamer’s interests so one could say that it caters to a very large age demographic.
There are many other daytime tourist attractions to be found in this district that might interest you so if the options above don’t interest you enough, feel free to search on your own. Moving on to the nightlife attractions to be found in this district, some obvious establishments would be the bars and different drinking spots that you and your friends can enjoy when the sun goes down.
The tricky thing about choosing which bars to drink in is that there are bars in this area that are tourist traps. This means that the prices of drinks in these particular tourist trap bars are overpriced. They rip off customers by giving them a “padded bill”. This can easily be avoided by researching ahead of time though. Here are some tried and tested drinking spots that you should definitely visit.
A safe and very fun place to spend the night drinking and having a good time would be the Magic Bar Tejinaya Shinjuku. This bar is located on the 7th floor of the Kawashin building in Kabukicho. As its name states, it is a bar where magic is performed to entertain the customers. It is ranked the 4th out of the 13 performance bars found in Shinjuku.
Reviews for this place praise a number of things. One of these things is the staff for giving their customers a very warm welcome. Another is the group of magicians that do their act in this bar every night. These magicians are very skilled but more importantly, they have unique charisma in their act and that is what makes their acts so memorable. This place is still a hidden gem in this area so large crowds should not be a problem when you visit.
If you want to enjoy sake in Kabukicho, there is a bar rated 10th out of the 45 nightlife attractions in Shinjuku. It is called the Sake Bar A Tika and it is found in the Miyata building. It is a place that is highly recommended by a lot of its previous customers. The great tasting drinks and the fair prices for those tasty drinks contribute a lot to why people, both local and foreign, talk about this place with such high regard.
Another reason why this place is famous is because of its generous owner. Every time you buy a drink in this sake bar, the owner gives you something to eat and the types of food that he gives out are nothing short of delicious. Some squid, some vegetables, peanuts, and hot pockets are just some examples of the free food the owner gives generously to his customers.
Much like the daytime attractions, there are many more night time attractions to be discovered in Kabukicho aside from those mentioned above. Places like the Golden Gai are examples of destinations that weren’t discussed but should be included on your list of nightlife destinations because of the amount and quality of drinking bars found in that area alone. Wherever you decide to party, making sure that where you go isn’t a tourist trap would instantly assure you of a good time.
Kabukicho’s Unique Attractions: The Love Hotels and Robot Restaurant
Aside from the multiple attractions found in Kabukicho that have already been discussed, there are two more that you should definitely know about. The first of the two is the Robot Restaurant found in B2F Kabukicho. It is open from 3 PM to 11 PM and it is a place to eat and be entertained.
The food served in this place is sold at a fair price and also tastes delicious but it isn’t why it is talked about as much as it is being talked about. This restaurant offers its customers the unique experience of witnessing a robot show while you dine in their establishment. The details of the show will not be discussed to preserve the mystery of the show but you should know that the robot show tickets would cost around $70 and above. Prices vary because of the promos and the discounts available at the time of purchase but essentially, $70 and you’re good.
The second unique attraction are the love hotels found throughout the district of Kabukicho and there are also some found in Osaka. These are legitimate hotel businesses but they have a twist in the service they provide. They lean towards providing the essentials to have some intimate and erotic quality time with a special someone. Here is how they do it.
They are able to provide this service by giving couples the privacy they need in the rooms found in the love hotel. The designs of the room also help a lot in setting the mood for couples because of its unusual, yet very comfy, interior design. These designs change depending on the type of room you get but all rooms give the ambiance needed for a great romantic night.
Aside from the room, the things found in the room as complimentary items also contribute to the love making that happens in these establishments. Usually, hotels give out free toothbrushes, shampoos, and other toiletries. In a love hotel, the items given are massage oils, condoms, and even a vibrator.
These hotels are found all over Kabukicho and a defining symbol for a love hotel is usually a heart found on the sign of their establishment. If you have a special someone and both of you are up for an experience that you won’t get anywhere else, this place might be something you would want to try to spice up your romantic night.
Information on Kabukicho’s Hostess and Host Clubs
When it comes to hostess and host clubs, there isn’t really a specific establishment that stands above the rest. This is so because each club caters to a possible type that customers have so what other may consider the best hostess or host club might not have the same appeal to you.
It is also important to know that these establishments of the water trade are not involved in prostitution or any type of business that involves exchanging cash for sex or sexual favors. These clubs provide only the service of drinks and good company. The ladies and gentlemen that work in their respective clubs are tasked to make their customers feel good through conversation and flirting. Hostess clubs are filled with women who cater to male customers while host clubs are filled with men who cater to female customers. With this being said, if you and your buddies looking to interact with attractive people of the opposite gender, then these establishments would highly interest you.
You should know though that the company and full attention of these hosts and hostesses come at very steep prices. Some clubs are also tourist traps that add a hidden cost to your bill so to be safe, research for a list of tried and tested clubs in the Kabukicho area to avoid getting scammed.