Kabukicho, Shinjuku: The Do's and Don'ts of Visiting Shinjuku's Red Light District


Kabukicho Entrance

Visit Kabukicho at night. Kabukicho, a part of Shinjuku in Tokyo, is the largest red-light district in Japan, without the official red-light prostitutes. Instead, it is full of host and hostess clubs, bars, and love hotels. At night, all the fun starts.

Dress nicely. Kabukicho in Shinjuku is somewhat of a red light district, but it is also a nice place to hang out. It is a great place for both people traveling alone and in groups.

Bring lots of money – in cash. The Kabukicho area of Shinjuku is expensive. The most expensive places are, of course, the host and hostess clubs, where a couple drinks can easily add up to over 10,000 yen (about $120).

Ask the prices before you commit to something. Host and hostess clubs often have a table charge and other unexpected costs. If you only have a certain amount of money to spend, make sure you are careful.

Stroll through Kabukicho at night, admiring the lights, sounds, and people.

Go to any of the themed restaurants in Kabukicho, such as the Robot Restaurant, cabaret, or drag show.


Kabukicho cross section

Loiter around the shops. The people in the Kabukicho area of Shinjuku are trying to run a business; don't get in the way of that. Even if it is raining, don't try to hang out under the roof at the entrance of these clubs, especially if you are asked to leave.

Go into any of the host clubs, hostess clubs, love hotels, or bars unless you have enough cash. Most places in Kabukicho, Shinjuku do not accept credit cards. If you don't have any cash, ask upfront if they accept credit cards.

Allow yourself to get sucked into a club. The newest members of host and hostess clubs often have to stand outside, trying to encourage people to go inside the shop. Most of the younger members are fine, but some can be pushy.

Stay if you feel uncomfortable. If you are in a circumstance you don't like, or if you get tired, settle your bill quickly and go home. The Kabukicho part of Shinjuku is best enjoyed when you're happy.

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