Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -Alex Sim-Wise Explores Tokyo’s Smallest Bars! Golden Gai Mini-Bars! Japan’s Exotic Nightlife!! by John Rieber

Welcome to another of John Rieber’s travel posts and today one that illustrates the difference between night and day in the streets and alleys of Tokoyo… and the smallest bars that pop up after the lights to on……

Alex Sim-Wise Explores Tokyo’s Smallest Bars! Golden Gai Mini-Bars! Japan’s Exotic Nightlife!! by John Rieber

I love Tokyo!

Look at those lights – what a vibrant, exciting, uniquely original city! So many reasons to love Tokyo, but this post looks at one of the most unique areas of of the city: Golden Gai!

First, here is what Tokyo looks like in the daytime…this is from my hotel room on the 31st floor – looking out at the Shinjuku district of Tokyo…

At the bottom of the shot you can see Shinjuku’s train station – it is the world’s busiest subway – and it is also amazingly clean and quiet…really amazing when you look past my blurry shot of us stuffed on a train and check out these statistics!

Serving as the main connecting hub for rail traffic between central Tokyo and its western suburbs, the station was used by an average of 3.64 million people per day in 2007, making it, by far, the world’s busiest transport hub. It is registered with Guinness World Records. Including an underground arcade, there are over 200 exits.

What’s really amazing is how orderly things are – people actually wait in line to board trains. The station itself has 35 platforms, but if connected stations are included, this gives a total of 52 platforms. When you go to Tokyo, you will find yourself on the subways, among the best in the world.

Tokyo’s Bright Lights

You will also go out and explore Tokyo’s vibrant night life – and the Shinjuku neighborhood is one of the most exciting and colorful!

These are the lights you see everywhere you turn – Tokyo’s lights are the greatest in the world. I was lucky enough to film with a terrific group in Tokyo – with London Host Alex Sim-Wise. Here we are shooting in Kabucki-Cho, the party district of Shinjuku:

I have posted about this shoot before, so type “Alex Sim-Wise” on the search line and you will find that blog – more adventures in Tokyo with Alex’s unique POV…she was, of course, great to work with…we had a lot of fun filming in this area, especially when you are in one of the most unique places in all of Tokyo…

Tokyo’s Golden-Gai Bar District!

According to “”, “taking a walk through Tokyo’s Golden-Gai bar district is like stepping back in time to early post-war Japan when the area was filled with artists and radicals wanting to change the world. This historical area of dimly lit alleyways and buildings fronted by thin, wooden doors is making a comeback as people take advantage of falling rent — hit by Japan’s economic slump — to try their luck in the bar business.”

Here is the entrance in the daytime – you don’t even know this area exists – hidden away behind an obscure walkway:

Golden-gai, or golden district, is a patch of a land — 21,520 square feet in size — that borders the bustling Kabuki-cho entertainment area in downtown Tokyo. Here is another entrance on the right side of this picture….

Now that I have given you a taste of what is to come, please head over to John’s blog to delve deeper in to the alleys and small bars of Tokoyo.. and find out more about this nighttime transformation:

©John Rieber 2012

About John Rieber

I love great food, interesting books, fascinating travel, outrageous movies, and bacon, especially when it sits on top of a great cheeseburger! I work in entertainment – and I have been lucky enough to interview some really talented Artists – that guides my posts: interesting and provocative movies, music, social media and of course, food, since I believe strongly in the maxim, “everyone eats!”

Connect to John via his blog and social media


My thanks to John for sharing this snapshot of life after dark in Tokoyo and I do hope you head over and enjoy the entire post.

A new series of Posts from Your Archives will be starting after Easter.. A chance to showcase your writing skills, share posts from the past to a new audiences and promote your books, art, photography, music… and any other talent.  

5 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -Alex Sim-Wise Explores Tokyo’s Smallest Bars! Golden Gai Mini-Bars! Japan’s Exotic Nightlife!! by John Rieber

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