There are plenty of high-class restaurants and gorgeous shops in Shibuya, located in the centre of Tokyo. But if you are so used to this city and want to explore more, let’s go to Nonbei Alley!
If you dive deep in Tokyo’s night, it is very likely that you can feel the warm atmosphere where people are hospitable and sincere. Nonbei Alley in Shibuya is exactly such a locality you can have a deep look at people. We are also going to introduce you the events where you can enjoy delicious beer!
Shibuya: the forefront of fashion, food and entertainment
Looking for places to visit in Tokyo? Shibuya is one of the most popular tourist spots, where you may get trendy clothes, take a sip of the newest taste of coffee, watch popular movies, dance at clubs throughout the night, etc… It is such a lively and vigorous town best for young people. Shibuya is perfect for you if you want to check the most recent updates of everything in Tokyo. On the other hand, Shibuya never disappoints tradition lovers too! Check out this article: The highlights of Shibuya: shopping paradise, traditional performing arts and more…
This time, we are going to introduce a different Shibuya from what you knew. Let’s go to Nonbei Alley to enjoy the night in Shibuya!
Your journey starts here!
Sightseeing in Shibuya generally starts at Shibuya station. There are eight railway lines at Shibuya station, the biggest terminal station in Tokyo. You can get to Shibuya easily from anywhere in Tokyo. If you take Yamanote line, which runs in a circle connecting the urban centres of Tokyo, it is about 25 minutes from Tokyo station to Shibuya station. If you use Metro line, it takes you even shorter – 20 minutes only. There are so many ways you can get to Shibuya, so be careful when you are looking at the complicated map. Try not to get lost!
The area we introduce this time, Nonbei Alley, is just one minute from the station by walk. Make sure you start from the Hachiko exit. There are almost 30 exits at Shibuya station!
There are usually crowds of people leaving at the Hachiko exit, especially in rush hours. Right outside the exit, there is a bronze statue of a dog, Hachiko. There are always full of people around the Hachiko bronze statue as it is the most well-known meet up place for people to wait for their friends. Ask the story of Hachiko if you are interested!
Walk for one minute from there, and you will reach Nonbei Alley. It is kind of a hidden area, so don’t overlook the entrance!
About 40 bars in Nonbei alley – each has its own style!
Passing through the pedestrian road under an elevated railroad, you will see many old-fashioned signboards lining the area. Most of the shops there open in evening. When the shops light up at sunset, the warmth colours the scenery and creates an archaic atmosphere.
Nonbei Alley is undoubtedly just a small area, while there is a line-up of almost 40 shops. All of them are so tiny that each can contain no more than 10 people. But that is exactly why Nonbei Alley is so interesting and attractive… every single shop is so unique! There are shops operating over three generations, French restaurants, soccer collection shops, etc… and none of them are identical!
Pick one and walk in when feeling indecisive!
Wondering which bar to walk in when there are too many choices? Wander around the area and go straight into the bar that somehow arouses your interests, get some drinks and then enter another bar! Keep doing so and such behaviour is called “Hashigo zake” in Japanese. With so many bars gathering within a small area, Nonbei alley is such a perfect place to do “Hashigo zake”!
People in Nonbei Alley are usually open-minded and enthusiastic. So you can probably enjoy beer and sake with them without any embarrassment. Under the effect of alcohol, no one cares about languages! Just have fun!
Chance to meet musicians!
When are you drinking in Nonbei Alley, you may chance to meet some musicians playing music with guitars in the bars. Those musicians are called “Nagashi” and are willing to play specific songs upon request! You can even ask them to play music for you to sing a song! This is really a rare chance to have interactions with musicians, as people tend to enjoy in Karaoke nowadays. Wish you good luck to meet them!
It generally costs 500 yen to request for a song. Don’t miss the chance to request for some songs!
Music and beer! Have fun in the festival in October
There is a “Shibuya Nonbei Alley Festival” in October every year. It gathers the concept of traditional Japanese festivals with drinking in Nonbei Alley. Bars and restaurants offer special menus while musicians play live shows in the festival. Nonbei Alley will be a lot more energetic than usual when having the festival. You can still enjoy the atmosphere, not staying in any bars if you don’t want to drink. Put Nonbei Alley on your bucket list!
Enjoy an advanced level of sightseeing in Shibuya
Shibuya is often said to be a town for young people, but Nonbei Alley is simply wonderful for everyone. People who works there age from 20 to 90, so as long as you want to enjoy alcohol, everybody is welcome! Have a memorable night at Nonbei Alley, escape from common tourists, and feel cool! Book air tickets at best price on Giamso Tours.
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