10 Best Bar Hopping Tours in Tokyo
From Izakayas to World-Famous Markets: Tokyo's Ultimate Bar Hopping Guide
Tokyo, a sprawling metropolis known for its towering skyscrapers and neon lights, holds a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered by intrepid travelers.
While the city’s day charms are countless, its nocturnal allure is an equally mesmerizing experience that should not be missed. Bar hopping tours offer international visitors a rare glimpse into the heart of Tokyo’s vibrant nightlife, seamlessly blending traditional customs with modern-day revelry. It’s more than just drinking; it’s a cultural immersion. From sake tasting in quaint izakayas to mingling with locals in hidden alleyway bars, embarking on such a tour is an essential, authentic Tokyo experience every visitor should savor at least once.
Here is our list of the 10 best bar hopping tours in Tokyo.
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What are Bar Hopping Tours?
Bar hopping has rapidly emerged as one of Tokyo’s most popular nightlife activities. For foreign visitors, it offers a fresh and exciting insight into Japan’s authentic drinking culture. While tourists might see it as a novel experience, for Tokyo’s locals and salarymen, hopping from one Izakaya (a type of Japanese bar) to another after work is commonplace. It’s not unusual for them to visit 3-4 Izakayas in a single night, enjoying drinks and accompanying snacks at each stop.
Tokyo boasts several renowned drinking districts. Omoide Yokocho in Shinjuku, Niku Yokocho in Shibuya, and Hoppy Street in Asakusa stand out as must-visit areas. Traditional Japanese Izakayas, characterized by their smoky ambiance and iconic red lanterns, are a visual treat, making them prime photo spots. However, for first-time visitors, entering a local Izakaya can be a bit intimidating. If you’re keen to immerse yourself in the genuine nightlife of Japan, eating and drinking as the locals do, consider joining a bar-hopping tour. Guided by knowledgeable locals, these tours will lead you to unique and hidden drinking spots that might otherwise elude you. Here are three top-recommended bar hopping tours in Tokyo’s premier drinking neighborhoods.
1. Asakusa Local Food and Bar Hopping Tour
Asakusa is a haven of tradition, showcasing a blend of shops, eateries, shrines, and temples. Among its myriad attractions, Hoppy Street shines as a beacon for both locals and tourists. This vibrant lane, lined with enticing izakayas and bars, offers an authentic glimpse into Tokyo’s dynamic bar scene.
The Asakusa Local Food and Bar Hopping Tour amplifies this experience. Participants are introduced to Japan’s rich bar culture within Asakusa’s local venues, guided through scenic routes featuring the brilliantly illuminated Asakusa Sensoji Temple, and enriched with insights into Japanese culinary traditions by a well-informed guide. Moreover, an expert guide not only assists in placing orders but also ensures that participants choose the finest dishes and beverages to savor a genuine taste of Tokyo.
2. Tokyo Bars and Mixology with Whisky, Sake, and Food Pairings
Next on our list is the Tokyo Bars and Mixology with Whisky, Sake, and Food Pairings tour.
Wander the bustling streets of Shinbashi, Tokyo’s salarymen capital, renowned for its lively pubs and izakayas. Here, working professionals unwind, sharing tales over beers and grilled delicacies. Transition to the upscale district of Ginza, where skilled bartenders craft unique concoctions of Japanese sake, cocktails, and whisky using traditional ingredients. These exceptional drinks are paired with delectable local dishes and snacks, offering a taste of Japan’s finest micro-brewed beers.
3. Shinjuku Bar Hopping Tour
Dive into Tokyo’s vibrant nightlife with the Shinjuku Bar Hopping Tour: Experience Tokyo’s Nightlife in Izakaya. Rather than settling at one spot, savor the thrill of hopping between diverse izakayas in Shinjuku, Tokyo’s prime drinking district.
Wander through its quaint, narrow alleys brimming with bars and discover authentic local favorites from yakitori and karaage to edamame and sake. This tour promises not just a culinary journey but a cultural immersion, letting you drink and revel just as the locals do.
4. Shinjuku Golden Gai Bar-Hopping Experience in Tokyo
The next bar hopping tour is also in Shinjuku, but this time, it is focused on a more specific area. Shinjuku Golden Gai Bar-Hopping Experience is a tour where you can immerse yourself in Tokyo’s iconic nightlife.
Golden Gai, nestled in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district, is a maze of six alleys boasting over 200 unique, snug bars. With a local bar-hopping expert by your side, explore two of these intimate establishments, savoring drinks and traditional Japanese bar fare. Dive deep into the rich ambiance that only Golden Gai’s retro bars can provide. Let the guide lead the way, ensuring you eat, drink, and revel in genuine Shinjuku style, laughing and chatting the night away in this historical heart of Tokyo.
5. Sake All-You-Can-Drink Experience in Tokyo
Next, we have the Sake All-You-Can-Drink Experience in Tokyo. This is an exclusive treat reserved just for visitors.
Dive into a 5-hour tasting session where you can personally select from a chock-full refrigerator housing over 100 sake varieties sourced from across Japan. If you’re unsure of your pick, our passionate sake aficionados are always ready with top recommendations. The allure of this experience? A blend of endless sake sips, the freedom to bring your own food (with a supermarket nearby), and its extended duration.
6. Shibuya Bar Hopping Night Tour in Tokyo
Immerse yourself in Tokyo’s vibrant nightlife with the Shibuya Bar Hopping Night Tour.
Begin at the iconic Shibuya Crossing, the world’s most bustling pedestrian spot, showcasing Shibuya’s glowing skyline. Guided by a friendly expert, navigate Shibuya’s vivacious streets, discovering three hidden izakayas. Along the way, share tables with locals, savoring recommended drinks and foods. This all-inclusive tour ensures you arrive empty-handed, yet leave with a full heart and stomach, having experienced Tokyo’s nightlife at its finest.
7. 3 Hours Walking Tour in Tokyo – Sake Experience
The 3 Hours Walking Tour in Tokyo – Sake Experience is a private tour led by a knowledgeable local host.
Traverse Tokyo, visiting three distinct bars offering an array of sake brews, each complemented by delectable small plates. Dive deep into the nuances of sake, from tasting variations across Japan’s regions to understanding serving temperatures and distinguishing between Honjozo-shu and Daiginjo-shu. Your host will unravel the rich history and etiquette of Japan’s cherished liquor. Whether you’re sampling from 100 options at specialty bars like KURAND or mingling with locals at the lively Nemoto Liquor Store, you’ll be treated to delightful appetizers such as edamame and yakitori chicken skewers.
8. The Midnight Diners: Tokyo Experience at Kichijoji
Experience the essence of Tokyo’s nightlife with The Midnight Diners: Tokyo Experience, a 4-hour bar hopping journey in Harmonica Yokocho, Kichijoji.
Drawing inspiration from the beloved Netflix series “Midnight Diners: Tokyo Stories,” this tour plunges you into the heart of local Tokyo, introducing you to its unique drinking culture and etiquette. Savor signature Japanese cocktails like oolong-shu, whisky highballs, and umeshu plum wine, all while mingling with locals and fellow travelers in the vibrant backdrop of Kichijoji’s hidden bars and gastropubs. Your expert guide ensures a memorable night of laughter, camaraderie, and authentic Tokyo tales.
9. Tokyo Food and Drink Tour at Tsukiji and Asakusa
Embark on a gastronomic journey with the Tokyo Food and Drink Tour @Tsukiji and Asakusa. Dive deep into the heart of Tokyo’s culinary landscape, guided by a friendly expert through Tsukiji’s renowned fish market and Asakusa’s historic streets.
Revel in the vibrant atmosphere of Tsukiji, affectionately known as ‘The Kitchen of Tokyo,’ where a melange of high-quality foods awaits. Transition to Asakusa, where the majestic Sensoji temple and iconic Kaminarimon Gate transport you to the Samurai era, with breathtaking views, including the Tokyo Skytree. Throughout this adventure, savor a curated selection of Japanese delicacies, from appetizers to matcha-infused desserts.
10. Local Bar Hopping in Tokyo
And lastly, we have the Local Bar Hopping in Tokyo tour. Guided by spirited experts, immerse yourself in the city’s genuine after-hours scene, frequenting local favorites untouched by tourist footprints. Dive deep into the heart of Tokyo, savoring cherished Japanese brews and bites at iconic ‘Izakaya’ bars. As the Japanese unwind after bustling days, you’ll gain intimate insights into their cherished drinking traditions. Experience Tokyo like a true local!
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