As the sun sets behind Mt Fuji, the neon lights of Tokyo flicker to life: izakayas, restaurants and bars fill; beer, umeshu, highballs, chuhai and sake are raised to cheers of ‘kanpai!’, and the scent and sounds of nightlife fill the air. Tokyo’s night scene – outside of the reserved, hallowed dining establishments – is fun, boisterous and lively. This is where locals shake off a long day, often staying out till the last trains leave the city.
Late-night Tokyo is your guide through the night, from the lamp-lit streets into paper menu plastered walls, where a Japanese smorgasbord is on offer: sake and beer snacks (think burdock chips and grilled ginkgo nuts) to sashimi and sake- or saikyo miso–grilled fish, karaage (fried chicken), yakitori and gyusuji nikomi (beef tendon stew). Start with a beverage and head out to stall-lined alleyways, with bubbling pots of soy glaze, or the tachigui with their sushi and barbecued meat, and enjoy a final stop with a train station’s udon or a libation at a tucked away bar till the wee hours.
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