Shinjuku Golden Gai is now becoming a hub of people from all around the world. This tiny corner, which accommodates hundreds of mini-bars once known in the past as salons for writers and artists, is now attracting booming curiosity among locals and travelers alike. The convenient location is a key here, too. It is only a short walk from Shinjuku Terminal, the busiest railway station in Japan. Sitting on a bullet train for three hours or a tiring car ride into the mountains is unnecessary. You can come by metro from your hotel in less than half an hour. The area that the Goldengai sits in is called Kabuki-cho. It has nothing to do with Kabuki as an art, but it was known for a long time as a dangerous night town.
You should still keep your alert high from wearing ties and bunny cuties who smile and wave to you on the street. Still, thanks to the severance of administrative control and police surveillance, it has become another kind of Disneyland, especially among youngsters and foreign tourists searching for fun or unusual “adventures.” It is a spot for anyone to come to meet and get to know you quickly since most of them come for the same reason as you: just to have a take look and have fun. Unlike most of the bars you encounter here, they welcome anyone and most probably speak English (Halleluja!).
This corner gets busier later in the night as many bars open from 8 PM. Each bar has a unique interior and its style and peculiarity. A couple of things to keep in mind before exploring: first, they charge you a table charge, not always, roughly about 1,000 each person; second, they mainly serve a drink and little food available, it is better to come after meals; third, it Cash only with some exceptions. Finally, as I mentioned earlier, this corner is becoming one of the top attractions among overseas travelers; it might be a perfect spot to collect tourist information and exchange traveling experiences. Outside here, you will not expect to see such a nice and friendly atmosphere that puts locals and travelers together into harmony, where you get to talk to strangers you have met for the first time, like someone you know from a long time ago.
There are some similar kinds of corners around Tokyo or somewhere else. Still, you will not find anything like this in its scale, friendliness, openness to foreign travelers, and comfort of conversing in English. So, if you are lost on what to do, just come here to find out, and it will give you a chance to make a kickstart in the days ahead! I have made some introductory articles about a few bars that I like and visit, so if you are lost about where to see, maybe it helps to give you an orientation.