Going out is always fun when you're in a large, bustling city. The combination of friends, novelty, excitement, and eagerness makes for some sure-to-be great times and unforgettable moments. Tokyo, much like other cities around the world, has a vibrant nightlife culture. However, unlike some of the more familiar places in the world, Tokyo may seem to pose a challenge for those new to the culture yet still eager to explore the night and party in Asia. Lucky for you, though, I've had my fair share of nocturnal excursions thus far in the city, so here are some tips to consider before making your moves for the night.
1. Know your route
This may be really basic, but it's imperative. Sometimes addresses are not entirely accurate on your map app and you may get lost. It's always best to see if the venue or place you're going to has an official website or is listed somewhere with a correct address. Knowing this and having this written somewhere can save you time and help you better plan your commute to and from your destination. Mapping out exactly which station the club you want to go to may be crucial for that return home commute in the morning, or it could just help save money when planning how to best and most efficiently get to and fro.
2. Travel lightly
Don't carry too much if you're going to go out in general, but especially if you're planning to go all out in a city like Tokyo. You might be out all night or for a few hours, but regardless you won't want to be carrying shopping bags with you into the club (backpacks, on the other hand, are a statement). In the event that you do have an abundance of belongings, Japan--luckily for you--has an abundance of storage lockers in stations and by many public places where you can store your things for anywhere between 300 and 700 yen. When going out though, be sure to bring the most essential things you'd need like wallet, keys, water, contact lenses (and your case if you're gonna crash somewhere), and money-- duh.
3. Prepare yourself
Eat dinner, have a nice day, and hydrate-- not that you shouldn't be doing those things anyways. Also, get quality sleep beforehand if you plan on going all the way out. The train systems here stop running at midnight and don't resume until around 4:30 in the morning, so if you're going out past midnight, be ready to either crash somewhere or rally throughout the night until the first morning train. That said, pace yourself always and take care of yourself accordingly. Nightlife doesn't really pick up until after midnight, so sometimes it's as if you just have to go out all night long. It's fun, but definitely tiring. If you're the type who can't go all night long, you should be aware of this beforehand. Unless you want to pay ridiculously expensive taxi fares, be prepared to go out all night and see the sun rise by the time you get home.
Tokyo is definitely one of the more fun cities I've visited in my life thus far. With such an array of people, sights, bars, clubs, and restaurants, there's never an end to what one can do in this city. The nocturnal lifestyle here is even more exciting than you'd think. It's not for everyone, but for those who want to get a more intimate feel for this great city, checking out the nightlife is definitely worth it. Regardless, it's always important to know a bit about how the city operates beforehand and how to best prepare for a night out. In the end, take care of yourself and, of course, have fun!
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<p>Hi, I'm Alex. I'm a junior at Columbia University majoring in Urban Studies and dabbling in other areas of interest like race & ethnicity studies. Outside of school, I like to eat, cook, take pictures, shop, have long conversations, and travel. Food, fashion, culture, literature, and music are all things I love. Black and gold are my favorite colors. Having lived in New York City for two years now, I feel quite at home. However, living in Japan is something I have wanted to do all my life, so I'm quite excited to finally live out that dream. From the local culture to the food to the fashion, I'm pumped to engage with it all during my semester abroad.</p>