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Japan Travel Guide

Entertainment in Tokyo: Live music, film and cultural events

Tokyo has cultural abundance, maybe the language can be a difficulty when it comes to performance arts. Tokyo may not seem the obvious place to seek out a classical concert or Shakespearean play - tickets are expensive and often hard to get hold of.

But, main international orchestras and theatre groups often pass through on their tours and the city now boasts many top-class performance halls.
  • Acaraje Tropicana: B-1 Edge Building, 1-1-1 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku Tokyo, Tokyo 106-0031. Phone: +81 3 3479 4690.
    Description: Step out of Tokyo and enter Brazil. It is just as easy as that, when you discover the Brazilian home cooking and warm and friendly atmosphere. All you can eat mixed churrasco (JPY2,500 set on Thursdays with a live bossa nova band), tender BBQ pork, chicken or beef, as well as filling stews and salads round out the menu.

  • Black Sheep (The): 1-7-12 Higashi-Ikebukuro Toshima-ku Tokyo, Tokyo Prefecture 170-0013. Phone: +81 (0)3 3987 2289.
    Description: With affordable drinks, congenial staff and Kilkenny and Guinness on tap, this is one of the few international pubs in Ikebukuro. No expense has been spared to make a comfortable atmosphere. Live bands play late on Wednesday to Saturday. They serve one part of the best pub food available in Ikebukuro.

  • Cave: 34-6 Udagawacho Tokyo, 150-0031. Phone: +81 3 5779 0887.
    Description: You will find everyone from sober professionals, lame teenagers to Saturday night party animals here. You can down few drinks, shake a leg, or simply socialize with the local crowd. Enjoy the loud music and the live performances and party the night away!

  • Club Asia: 1-8 Maruyamacho Tokyo, 150-0044. Phone: +81 3 5458 2551.
    Description: Club Asia is not like any other sleazy nightclub. This Shibuya hot-spot is not only popular with the local youngsters, but also foreigners and tourists from all over. If you like to enjoy your drink in a peaceful ambiance with soothing music, then this place should not appear on your list.

  • Fiesta International Karaoke: 6-7-14 Roppongi Minato-ku Tokyo, Tokyo Prefecture 106-0032. Phone: +81 (0)3 5410 3008.
    Description: Fiesta is a good place if you have ever had aspirations to be a singer but know that it will never happen. Here, you can sing you heart out and if you come with friends you can all act like fools together. With over 6,000 English songs in stock, Fiesta is one of the better-stocked karaoke bars in Tokyo.

  • Jirokichi: 2-3-4 Koenji Kita, Koenji Building B-1 Suginami-ku Tokyo, 166-0002. Phone: +81 3 3339 2727.
    Description: Jirokichi is the longest running live music house in Tokyo, making it, some say, the best rock venue in all of Japan. Some of the greatest Japanese and foreign musicians have graced its stage, as evidenced by the long list of names autographed on the surrounding walls. Prices are relatively cheap but expect heftier cover charges for bigger name acts.

  • Little Rooster Café: Inoue Building, B-1 5-16-15 Ogikubo, Suginami-ku Tokyo, Tokyo Prefecture 167-0051. Phone: +81 (0)3 5347 7369.
    Description: With a scene reflective of live houses in Chicago, the 'Rooster' in Ogikubo, is not very big but still manages to put on a good show with big-time sound. Whether it is the blues, rock, jazz or even bossa nova, visitors here can get it all. With cover charges and prices on the cheap side, this is a great place to check out new talent and tomorrow's music stars.
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