A Salaryman's Saturday Night Out

Tokyo, Japan

5 places

Eugenia Dorozhkina

Salaryman is the hero of modern Japan – the one who works for a big corporation till 11 pm every day, sees his family only during the holidays and goes wild during the weekend. Try walking in his shoes: you are a salaryman, it's Saturday and you have a great route with yummy food, music drunk locals and lots of sake.

Inokashira Park

The entire city loves this park – it offers plenty of stuff to do – you can ride a swan-boat or a plain one (700 or 300 yens for 30 minutes), taste Thai food in Peppermint Café or explore the miracles in Cafe du Lievre, visit a temple, watch animals in the Zoo, admire animation in Ghibli museum and, if you're lucky, buy something on a Sunday market.


A five-minute ride from Shibuya, this neighborhood, however, it a completely different story – it's like a small world of narrow streets, hippy thrifts, cozy cafés, semi-underground theaters, vinyl shops and cheap bars staging concerts of local rockers.

Village Vanguard Diner

Yummilicious burgers (check those with avocado) and a wide choice of American beer for Tokyo. The spot boasts a wide choice of American beer, a rare thing for Tokyo, lovely homely atmosphere, a unique selection of music as well as extremely polite waiters – a great example of Western place adjusted to local tastes, which makes it so popular. Tables for a big company should be booked in advance.

Big Echo Shinjuku

Big Echo is one of the most popular karaoke chains with really odd effects like delayed sound or voice modification. They have songs for loners and big companies, the interior is somewhat The Fifth Element – acid colors help to relax and sing. By the way, in Japan you can eat and drink in karaoke – the food is mostly junk but who cares and in terms of drinking – they offer the entire range of drinks.

Golden Gai

Golden Gai is a small district in Shinjuku with pre-economic miracle buildings – narrow streets and densely constructed houses that have all become bars. Some are really tiny and can only seat four, however all offer great atmosphere – flamenco, rock’n’roll, disco, horrors. Some are frequenters-only but all feel like home. You can easily become friends with the owner or ask to play your song. Entrance is usually between Y 500 and 1000 but sometimes foreigners are let in for free. Look out for the sign.


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