Golden Gai at Kabukicho

I always recommend my friends who visit in Tokyo check out Golden Gai, which is a cluster of over 200 bars squeezed in Kabukicho. Bars are super tiny, usually allowing 4-8 people per seat. It’s a pretty touristy area, which means that the bartenders generally speak some form of English, and locals there are also quite willing and eager to speak to foreigners.

This time around, we went there with two newfound friends, Virginia and Valerio. We actually met in Hiroshima, where we were both waiting in line at a restaurant, and exchanged contact addresses. When they came down to Tokyo, we decided to take a walk through Kabukicho and see what Golden Gai had to offer.

At the very entrance, there’s a map of all the bars in the area.
I peeked into many little bars as I walked through.
Alleys are pretty small.
So many bars!
Tourists checking out their choices.
A rare moment where no one was on the street.
Bars are all brightly lit, trying to entice customers to get in.
Aha! This door was open. This is a pretty typical setup of a bar in Golden Gai.
Bars are also located upstairs, often with tiny, narrow staircases.
This one is a friendly bar, doesn’t charge a table fee.
Poked my head into yet another bar.
A dodgy alley, because why not?
A lot of bars had their doors open, so I took as many pictures as I could.
When in a bar, you’re probably going to end up speaking to everyone in the bar, because it’s so tiny!
This bar wasn’t so popular, oh dear 🙁
OK, this bar was worst off.
This is Kenzo’s bar. He’s leopard print crazy and wants to talk to you (as you might be able to tell from the sign)
Kenzo in his signature leopard print.
Our new friends. An English couple, and three locals. The guy on the right was crazy and announced very loudly that he was Shinzo Abe’s son. (He’s not.)
The bar is very small, so everyone’s packed together.
Kenzo tried taking a photo of all of us. This is literally the size of the bar!

Here’s the Google Map link!

For more of Foodventures, click here. I’m also currently working on a Tokyo Guide of the best restaurants to go to (with tons of restaurants that haven’t been featured on the blog!) If you’d like a free sample copy once it’s ready, just subscribe to us and you’ll get a sneak peek!

Ann Jie

Loves good conversations and hates small talk. Finds people fascinating and wonders why meanies exist. Loves writing violent, graphic short stories but finds horror movies too scary to watch. Follow me on Instagram @annjieslices or tweet me a slice of YOUR life at @annjieslices!

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