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January 20, 2013 11:22 PM   Subscribe

Help me show my drink/party-loving friend who is visiting Tokyo a memorable time!

My friend will be coming to Japan this week. He will stay with me in Tokyo for a few days, then go to visit another friend for the 2nd part of his trip.

He's an old college buddy, and has always been more of a party dude than I am - enjoys being the life of the party and all that jazz. I tend to be more introverted, and am perfectly happy with one crazy night out every week or so; if he is anything like I remember him, he will be expecting to get shitfaced every night that he is in Japan. He's always been a good friend so I am happy to oblige, but I am not sure where to take him!

To make the long story short: I know what kinds of things he needs to see on the tourist end of things, but I want to make sure he is able to get his drunk on as well in a memorable fashion.

So far I've been thinking of taking him to bars, izakayas, karaoke, etc. He won't be around during the weekend. All of the places I am thinking of, though, are not conducive to socializing, and he seems to have a lot of fun making friends with strangers when he is drunk. I am not a huge fan of clubs but would be willing to go if he wanted to (but I don't know any to recommend! I heard Ageha is good?).

TL;DR: Please suggest to me some Tokyo-based drinking joints that will allow my friend to wake up the next afternoon saying "Woah, that was such a crazy place you showed me, I am so hungover - what a night!"

We will be staying in Shinjuku around the Kabuki-cho area, so please keep that in mind.

Thanks in advance!
posted by Kamelot123 to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
All of the places I am thinking of, though, are not conducive to socializing, and he seems to have a lot of fun making friends with strangers when he is drunk.

In my experience, that is exactly what izakaya are for. I made one of my best friends in Japan just that way.
posted by Tanizaki at 6:49 AM on January 21, 2013

Thanks for the reply, Tanizaki! Any Izakayas in particular you would happen to recommend?
posted by Kamelot123 at 7:48 AM on January 21, 2013

I do not have any Tokyo recommendations since I lived in Kansai and don't know the city very well. However, if you're still in Shinjuku, that place is crawling with izakaya. Here is a listing of Shinjuku izakaya from Tabelog. (these izakaya are on the cheaper side, which I find is the best type for meeting new people)

I don't know how good your Japanese is, but this one might be a nice choice. I noted that it has a large tatami dining room, which is really conducive to meeting your neighbors.
posted by Tanizaki at 1:09 PM on January 21, 2013

I recall proper izakayas being a place for getting 'faced with your own friends rather than meeting others...we'd get seated at a table or in a private room and stay there.

Dare I suggest Roppongi? Gas Panic? Not quite clubs but more social than izakaya...
posted by Holidayalltheway at 9:19 PM on January 21, 2013

Ok, I was prodded to post by the suggestion of Gas Panic, which frightened me unless you are 22 yrs old. And I think it closed a few months ago (the Roppongi one, anyway). So, in the interest of more random thoughts, here goes: if you are near Kabukicho, you are near Golden Gai. Some of those bars are amazingly fun, and all are small enough to facilitate meeting strangers. I always liked one called "Love & Peace" but YMMV. Outside of Shinjuku, there are some very fun bar-type places in Shibuya, Azabu Juban, and so on. In Shibuya, if you can find it, there is a bizarre Irish style pub run by a mohawked Japanese guy that is called Tullamore Dew and is absurdly fun on the right night. Lots of soccer on the TV. In Azabu Juban, if you get off the Shotengai and go towards Ninohashi there are a host of bars on street and upper levels, and many of them are the right size and atmosphere for what you want, I think. Small enough to meet everyone by the end of the night. And certainly pushing me to hangover far too many times. But I mean -- izakaya for food, random bar for drinks, karaoke and more drinking. Almost 100% chance of blurry morning after and need for painkillers.
posted by Vcholerae at 2:28 AM on January 22, 2013

"we'd get seated at a table or in a private room and stay there."

I guess we just had different experiences. Izakaya that have an open floor plan tatami room make it really conducive to meeting your neighbors. Ditto for sitting at the counter. Even when I've been in booths, I've talked and met with people in the adjacent booth. That's how I met the friend mentioned in my previous comment. YMMV.
posted by Tanizaki at 6:38 AM on January 23, 2013

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