Shinjuku Golden Gai, Tokyo

Shinjuku Golden Gai, Tokyo (must see)

Shinjuku Golden Gai is a small area of Tokyo, famous both as an area of architectural interest and for its nightlife. It is composed of a network of six narrow alleys, connected by even narrower passageways which are just about wide enough for a single person to pass through. Over 200 tiny shanty-style bars, clubs and eateries are squeezed into this area.

Shinjuku Golden Gai was known for prostitution before 1958, when prostitution became illegal. Since then it has developed as a drinking area. In the 1980s, many buildings in Tokyo were set on fire by gangs of organized criminals, so the land could be bought up by developers, but Shinjuku Golden Gai survived because its residents took turns to guard the area at night.

The alleys in the area are private roads and shooting photographs and video for all purposes on the street is prohibited without permission of the area's business promotion association.

Bars in Shinjuku Golden Gai are known in particular for the artistic affinities of their patrons. Shinjuku Golden Gai is well known as a meeting place for creative types such musicians, artists, directors, writers, academics and actors. Many of the bars only welcome regular customers, who initially should be introduced by an existing patron, although many others welcome non-regulars, some even making efforts to attract overseas tourists by displaying signs and price lists in English.

Many of the bars have a particular theme, such as jazz, R&B, karaoke, punk rock, or flamenco, and their ramshackle walls are sometimes liberally plastered with movie, film and concert posters. Others cater to customers with a particular interest, such as go, exploitation films, or horse racing. Most of the bars don't open until 9 or 10pm, so the area is very quiet during the day and early evening.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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Shinjuku Golden Gai on Map

Sight Name: Shinjuku Golden Gai
Sight Location: Tokyo, Japan (See walking tours in Tokyo)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Tokyo, Japan

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