The top 10 things to see and do, as well as a few things to avoid while visiting the Kabukicho District, are listed below:
- Visit the Robot Restaurant
- Grab a drink at Golden Gai
- Visit the Godzilla statue
- See 800 Years’ Worth of History at the Samurai Museum
- Get lost in “Piss Alley.”
- Take a nightcap at Lockup
- Try your luck at a Pachinko Parlor
- Spend the night in a Love Hotel
- Visit Hanazono Shrine
- Visit Don Quijote
- Avoid Street Hawkers and Restaurant Promoters
- Avoid Kyabakura and Host Clubs
Continue reading to learn more about the top 10 things to see and do in the Kabukicho district, as well as a few things to avoid to ensure you make your trip safe and enjoyable.
Visit the Robot Restaurant
For the last three decades, Japan has presented an image of over-the-top, futuristic glitz and glam to the rest of the globe, and the robot restaurant is no exception. The Robot Restaurant is for you if you enjoy Japan’s strange and surreal side.
It blends the over-the-top pomp of Japanese festivals with a near-convulsive neon light show, all accompanied by robots, of course.
The Robot Restaurant is not cheap, with an admission price of 8500 yen, but it is a highly memorable experience. The restaurant is open every day from 3:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with concerts every two hours starting at 3:30 p.m.
Grab a Drink at Golden Gai
At Golden Gai, one of Kabukicho’s most popular drinking venues, the only expenses you’ll have to worry about are the entry fees so that you can relax.
There are around 300 options crammed into these lanes so that you may enjoy your walk as much as your beverages.
Albatross and Hair of the Dog are two favorites, the latter of which is a rock bar with no cover charge that plays concert videos on demand.
A bar crawl is a far more exciting idea than your typical encounter because each establishment has its unique style and vibe.
Seating fees are indicated on doors, as are those that say Japanese only, which is more about maintaining regular customers’ seats than being rude, and you may look in to see if it appeals to you.
Since Golden Gai has grown quite famous in recent years, you may wish to hire a local guide to walk you around and show you the best drinking locations.
Visit the Godzilla Statue
Kabukicho’s official local ambassador, the gigantic Godzilla, is now a permanent presence and will occasionally light up and roar, which is always exciting.
He can be seen from afar and serves as an excellent gathering point because he is located in the heart of Kabukicho.
You may rent a hotel room or apartment with a view of his face or take a journey up to the roof to see him up close.
See 800 Years’ Worth of History at the Samurai Museum
The Samurai Museum, which spans 800 years of Japanese history and is pretty much the only family-friendly choice in the neighborhood, features an outstanding collection of costumes, swords, and all things samurai to admire.
Although the museum is modest, the staff is informed and always eager to answer guests’ queries in English. There are demonstrations by skilled actors and the opportunity to try on various costumes.
There are guided tours available, which are a fantastic alternative for in-depth explanations of all the components. Tickets start at $20.14 for adults and $8.95 for children.
Get Lost in “Piss Alley”
This is the grimier, darker, food-oriented variant of Golden Gai, often known as Piss Alley. Consider it the constantly drunk drop-out cousin; you know you’ll have a good time, but you never know where you’ll wind up.
Squeeze between the salarymen and point to whatever tickles your fancy, then ask for “nama-biiru,” which will get you a draft beer, and you’re on your way.
The vendors all feature a variety of unknown meat on a skewer, and if you can identify it, don’t think too hard about it.
Take a Nightcap at Lockup
Lockup is a beautiful and terrorizing theme restaurant in Shinjuku to start your night of supposed craziness if you want eyeballs in your cocktails and brains for a gruesome meal (not real brains).
From the moment you walk into the corridors with sirens and alarms, to the prison-cell seats, to the zombies and monsters serving your meals, the theme is unrelenting.
Enjoy your meal but keep your wits about you because mangled freaks are on their way to terrorize you.
If you or someone you know purchases a birthday cake, be prepared for loud screaming when it arrives. Prices are comparable to those of a conventional izakaya, and everything is presented uniquely, whether in a test tube or a skull.
Try your Luck at a Pachinko Parlor
Pachinko is a favorite pastime in this local region, and it’s as near to gambling as Japan gets. There are more parlors than you count. Now, good luck if you want to grasp this game. The screams that erupt from these lighted passageways are quite terrifying every time a door opens, but you can give it a shot.
Since people tend to spend ridiculous amounts of money for lengthy periods, security is fast to kick you out due to privacy concerns, so go in confidently and sit down right away to prove you aren’t simply gawking.
Avoid nearly vacant parlors, as they are likely to have a reputation for low payouts. If you’re serious, look at the statistics on the top of each machine to see which one has the highest probability of paying out.
Spend the Night in a Love Hotel
Spend a night at a love hotel for a night to remember. Whether you select for a whole night’s stay or rest, you’ll be exposed to a wide range of strangeness and may or may not catch any shuteye.
You may have your own private Jacuzzi, costumes, in-room light displays, and much more, depending on your budget. While some are depressing, the more upscale establishments, such as Bali Hotel and Resort or Hotel Moana, are interesting.
Alternatively, you might go to the Kabukicho Love Hotel’s movie-famous Hotel Atlas, which discounts women groups. Although many may be booked online using standard booking services, it’s a love hotel if the two costs are stated outside.
Visit Hanazono Shrine
To locate a modest, get away from the crowded streets, look for the narrow opening between tall buildings and go through the crimson torii gate.
If you’re thirsty after that, take the route to the left of the complex, which will take you right to Golden Gai.
Visit Don Quijote
Don Quijote is similar to a Japanese Walmart in that it is open 24 hours a day, offers a large assortment of items, and has several locations around Japan.
It also acts as an excellent position marker for Kabukicho’s main entrance.
Things to Avoid When Visiting the Kabukicho District
Avoid Street Hawkers and Restaurant Promoters
Even though street hawking has been illegal for a few years, promoters regularly approach people on the sidewalks of Kabukicho with promises of cheap drinks, attractive ladies, and other offers.
Frequently, the information disseminated by these persons is either false or deceptive. If you are contacted by these kinds of promoters on the street, politely decline or simply ignore them and continue going.
Avoid Kyabakura and Host Clubs
Despite the lighthearted representations of host and hostess clubs in popular manga and anime, these places can lead to a highly exspensive evening.
While some may say that hostesses are modern-day geisha with attentive attitudes and attractiveness, their innocent manner hides their true motivation: profit.
It is prevalent for hostesses to pressure their clients into buying one expensive drink after another, resulting in an exorbitant bill for what is simply a few libations and a discussion.
Hosts are similar. They will urge ladies to drink throughout the night in the spirit of having a good time, resulting in a very costly evening.