Dogenzaka in Shibuya:
Tokyo's Hippest Entertainment District Scene



Dogenzaka in Shibuya:
Tokyo's Hippest Entertainment District

Ruby Room
Dogenzaka 2-25-17 (Kasumi Bldg.), Shibuya-ku

     This longtime establishment was started by a group of Americans. A convenient base from which to launch your evening because it opens at 7 p.m. It offers a relaxed lounge atmosphere where you can listen to house and break beats. It shares a convenient location just north of Dogenzaka with its sister establishment, the Sonoma Restaurant which opens from lunch until midnight (4 a.m. on weekends) and serves up California cuisine. The Ruby Room closes at 5 a.m. (when the subways resume).

2-11 Sarugaku (B2 Hikaru Bldg), Shibuya-ku

     This good-sized club has established itself as the slickest, most progressive techno and deep/garage house in the up-and-coming Daikanyama district of Shibuya. The ambience is hi-tech but user-friendly. The 3,000-yen cover charge includes one drink, with additional drinks starting at 600 yen. An added convenience is that it's located two floors below a stylish fusion restaurant called Frames which stays open until 5 a.m. on weekends.

One of the live bands that can be found performing at Club Asia in Shibuya ward's lively Dogenzaka district.


2-28-5 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku

     As izakayas (Japanese pubs) go, Hatago is more stylish than most. More importantly, it provides English menus for those not fluent in written Japanese. Features tasty entrees like baked miso eggplant for about 650 yen. A beer is 630 yen. There's a table charge of 250 yen. It's conveniently located about a half block past the 109 Building on Dogenzaka.

Doma Doma
1-22-10 Kounan, Shibuya-ku

     This izakaya serves up jazz along with an extensive menu of convenience foods ranging from sashimi to kushiyaki to Corean (Korean) barbecue. Cocktails and drinks range $4-5. Various skewered barbecues cost $3-6. Good place to start because it opens at 5 p.m. Also a good place to end your night because it stays open until 5 a.m.

La Mama
1-15-3 Dogenzaka (next to Primera Restaurant), Shibuya-ku

     This club cultivates the look and feel of old-fashioned American live houses, maybe one in Greenwich Village. It features good live bands, mostly rock along with some disco and techno. It occupies a long narrow space, giving most guests a good view of the stage. The only drawback is the paucity of tables except a few long ones toward the back. Starts up at 10 p.m. and closes at 5 a.m. on weekends.

1-13-3 Ebisu Nishi, Shibuya-ku

     Milk is a multi-level club with a good dance floor featuring hip hop, house and reggage. Its capacity is only about 400 but draws good crowds of locals from the Daikanyama-Ebisu district. The admission is 3,000 yen and the music starts up at 10 p.m. and stays open until 5 a.m. Best to get off at the Ebisu-Nishi exit of the Hibiya line.

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“This club cultivates the look and feel of old-fashioned American live houses, maybe one in Greenwich Village.”

Club Air is one of the most popular techno houses in Shinjuku's up-and-coming Daikanyama district.


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