As the premier jazz venue in Tokyo, the Blue Note is the place to hear some of the world's greatest jazz musicians. Tied in with other clubs in such cities as New York and Milan, Blue Note is able to attract such names as Natalie Cole, Oscar Peterson and Taj Mahal. Arrive early for dinner and enjoy a wide ranging menu offering everything from steaks to seafood. A rustic, elegant setting provides the perfect vibe to enjoy dinner and music and is a must-visit for jazz lovers while in Tokyo.
This Shibuya hot spot is not only popular with the local youngsters, but also foreigners and tourists from all over. If you want a venue that is brimming with energy with live musical performances, theme nights and an overcrowded dance floor, this is the place to be. Enjoy spectacular live gigs and have a gala time with your friends at Club Asia.
A must for beer lovers, Bashamichi Taproom is one of several outlets for Baird Beer, a small brewery dedicated to making flavorsome beers using traditional malted barley, whole flower hops and soft Numazu water. The three-story Taproom has a long bar on the ground floor, a large room with bar and table seating on the second floor and a rooftop beer garden. The range of beers on tap include brown ale, pale ale, IPAs, a lager, a stout, and amber ale, as well as seasonal choices and a guest ale. The food menu offers authentic American style BBQ with beef, pork and chicken. There is also pizza, salad, macaroni cheese and Texas chili. A big-screen TV and regular music events help to create an inviting atmosphere. -AH
Oriental Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental hotel is a great location for those looking for an evening of leisure, good live music, and some pampering. The views of the city from the 38th-floor glass paned windows are breathtaking and is just one of the features that makes this a fine place to spend an evening. Whether you want to enjoy a delicious cocktail in the evening or have a sumptuous breakfast, the lounge has everything. Whether it is the sun-soaked city or the twinkling lights of skyline, the lounge is open from morning to night at your service. There is also a cigar cellar right near the hotel's reception desk, or for those looking for a special afternoon treat, try the afternoon tea service.
Where else but in Tokyo could you find two Beatles-themed bars just down the road from one-another? Featuring Japanese look-a-like Beatles cover bands, the embers of original Beatlemania still burn bright almost nightly at Abbey Road. With a cover and two-drink minimum, this is not a cheap night out, but then again, when will you ever get another chance to catch the Fab Four? Never. So, while it may seem like a kitsch thing to do, these musicians, as well as the venue staff and owner, are serious about keeping the mop-tops' tunes alive and kicking. Eat, drink, scream, shake, rattle, and roll to all your favorites and all the classics!
Bahaus, housed in the Imperial Building, is the place to be for all the metal heads in the city. The extraordinary lineup of both local as well as touring rock and heavy metal bands performing at the vibrant spot is a crowd-puller. Visiting this live music bar is a must if downing drinks, enjoying live concerts and meeting new people is your idea of fun. Bahaus has been the prime rock venue in the city since 1981.
Tokyo's Cotton Club, an offshoot of the legendary Cotton Club in New York, hosts the creme de la creme of jazz talent - Martha Reeves, Lena Horne, Delfonics; these are just some of the huge names that have played to Cotton Club's crowd of passionate jazz fans. Tickets aren't cheap but tickets for the best rarely are; reservations are recommended. Opening times vary according to programming.
The Marunouchi area of Tokyo is not know for its fun and frivolity, but that is just what some local restauranteurs wagered on when they opened the Mucho Mexican resto-bar - to inject some colorful flavor into this reserved part of town. They have succeeded. Akin to a more resort-like, Mexican resto, Mucho Modern Mexicano brings the smells, tastes and colors of Mexico alive. The place is lively and fun. It is affordable and tasty. Not to mention, the food is made in front of you, guacamole fresh, and the drinks are spirited. You could do worse than taking the time to fiesta here, so why not pop in and see what Mexico can be all about? Reservations recommended. -Stephen Lebovits
Mandarin Bar, located on the 37th floor of the Mandarin Oriental hotel, features live music every night, in an enticingly stylish and sophisticated atmosphere. Balancing minimalism and glamour, the interiors exude elegance and the breathtaking views of the dazzling city below are an addition to the exquisite vibe. It is great as a pre-dinner or post-dinner hangout with a good selection of spirits, wines, and cocktails and an appetizing menu to pair your drink with . Looking to start the night with a decadent treat? Have a seat and enjoy one of the many fine cigars on offer. Relish the views and the cocktails in style at one of the best bars in the city.
With two other very successful locations around Tokyo, Xex is becoming somewhat of a late-night empire. The location in Tokyo's Nihonbashi district ties together a cocktail bar, an Italian kitchen, karaoke, and golf. Their private room offers a golf simulator, perfect for wooing a business client or for taking the edge of a day's worth of work. Oozing the same class as its sister locations, Xex Nihonbashi completes the triumvirate of the upscale, '80s-inspired lounges. Fashionably dressed women with elegantly attired men add to the already slick decor, where ten percent service charges and JPY1000 music charges are par for the course. This is no ordinary pub - this a dress-for-success establishment catering to those who have money to spend. -Stephen Lebovits