Everything you need to know about Shinjuku’s ‘Kabuku‘ bar-hopping festival

Arakicho and Sugidaimon are located in a part of Shinjuku loved by Tokyo knowledgeable gourmets who also like a good drink. However, it’s often difficult for tourists and newcomers to know where to go and the table charge system can be confusing. On October 13, you can explore the town more easily thanks to a special event called ‘Kabuku’. Read on to get all the necessary information!

2018-10-26   Arakicho, Festivals & Events, Araki-Cho,

What’s Shinjuku’s Kabuku?

Happy participants to last year’s edition (under the name ‘Bar Hop Night’)

 It’s a special bar hopping event located in the Arakicho and Sugidaimon areas. This neighborhood used to be the residence of an important samurai then a geisha town, and is nowadays one of the best places to eat and drink in Tokyo*. More than 300 hundreds bars and restaurants can be found there, and each has a strong personality, often reflected in its decorum. The competition among the different shops is fierce, resulting in high quality everywhere. It is well known among connoisseurs and celebrities, but it’s not too touristy (yet)!

Kabuku is an event organized to invite new people to discover this unique area and have fun there! It can sometimes be intimidating to push the local bars’ doors and the table charge fee system can be confusing, especially for tourists. Kabuku makes things easier by erasing the table charges and providing easy access to a glimpse of what each place has to offer for drinks and food through special 500 yen menus. It also organizes a lottery with some nice prizes to win. All you need to join the fun is to get your ticket and follow a few simple rules.

Some members of the Tadaima Japan team will be there to give you information, and others will participate to report it live!

*You can read more about this area’s history in our article: Let’s explore Arakicho, a feudal residence that became a gourmet town

How to participate

List of prizes

The lottery prizes for kabuku are:

  • A stay of 2 days and 1 night at Oiso Prince Hotel for two people (Oiso, Kanagawa) – 1 winner
  • A stay of 2 days and 1 night at the Tadaima Japan Shinjuku Ryokan for two people – 1 winner
  • 2 packs or Sri Lanka style curry – 10 winners

Warning: Please read before you go

The event’s map

Click here to download the map for Kabuku 2018

List of the participating bars and restaurants

Click here to download the list of participating bars and restaurants for Kabuku 2018

Some of the shops will also install booths during the day for you to taste a bit of their drinks and food before the night event starts.

Each shop will display a poster near the entrance with the shop number and other information for the event:

Click here for a sample of the Kabuku Shop Poster

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Writer / Translator

I’m French but I’ve been living in Tokyo for many years during which I had a lot of meaningful and thrilling experiences. I’m curious and I love learning new things. My hobbies are kick boxing, scuba diving, Japanese traditional painting, etc… As a writer, I’d like to share information about less touristic, more authentic places. I will also write about all the fun and cultural activities unique to Japan.