Shibuya is the center of youth culture in Tokyo. Shibuya Station is a major transportation hub served by numerous rail lines, with hordes of people visiting every day. It's arguably the most vibrant area in Tokyo.

Shibuya is also a constantly evolving city. In particular, a major redevelopment project dubbed the "redevelopment of the century" is currently underway in various parts of the city. The historic scenery of Shibuya intermingles in a mosaic pattern with the latest trends, giving birth to new trendsetting spots one after another as the city continues to transform.

Shibuya's famous Scramble Crossing is known as "the world's busiest intersection", with around 3,000 people crossing during each light cycle. Nearby is the statue of Hachiko, the famous loyal dog, which serves as a popular meeting spot for youths.

With its art museums, live music venues, and clubs, Shibuya has an artistic and musical side as well. It's currently popular as the setting for many anime series. Given the concentration of people, it's no surprise that Shibuya also boasts a wealth of izakaya pubs and bars where people can enjoy alcoholic drinks, another of its defining traits.

I will introduce the Magical Night Trip tour that allows you to experience the allure of Shibuya at night. 

As someone born and raised in Shibuya, a true "Shibuya local", I'm excited to share the appeal of this Magical Trip tour from a local's perspective, showcasing Shibuya's charms.

Drinking Culture in Japan

While the Japanese don't typically consume large quantities in one sitting, drinking alcohol isn't limited to special occasions or celebrations. It's common for people to have one or two drinks nearly every day.  

Despite the diligent salaryman stereotype, many Japanese office workers visit izakaya pubs or bars after work to eat and drink before heading home. Some even do this daily, which is why Japan has such a wide variety of izakaya and bars.  

Affordable establishments where you can casually grab a drink or two are popular, and some partake in “hashigo” (bar-hopping) by moving from one izakaya to the next. Areas lined with rows of compact izakaya are called ”yokocho”, offering a quintessential taste of Japan's unique drinking culture.

As a hub for nightlife among Japan's youth as well as after-work drinking for office workers in the area, Shibuya encapsulates the essence of Japan's drinking culture and nightlife scenes. Joining a Shibuya izakaya and bar tour with a guide allows you to delve deep into the hidden side of Shibuya.

What is the Magical Trip Tour?

On the Magical Trip tour of Shibuya, you'll visit various izakaya (Japanese-style pubs) with a knowledgeable local English-speaking guide. From the array of small pubs and bars offering different foods and drinks, the tour takes you to specially selected recommended establishments.

The tour includes a set 3-4 dishes of classic Japanese izakaya cuisine and 3-4 drinks. From a menu of over 30 options, you can choose your preferred dishes like teppanyaki, meat sushi, and “washoku” (traditional Japanese cuisine), as well as beverages like sake, Japanese whisky, and beer.  

Since the food and drinks are included in the tour price, you can join empty-handed. Vegetarian and allergy-friendly options are available, so feel free to inquire. The guide will also email you photos taken during the tour afterward.

Even Famous YouTubers Were Delighted!

Popular food content creators and YouTubers Simon and Martina from the "Eatyourkimichi Studio" channel, with 1.18 million subscribers spanning Asia and the English-speaking world, joined the "Shibuya Bar Hopping Night Tour in Tokyo" offered by Magical Trip.  

They documented their experience in the video "A Night of Meat and Magic in Shibuya", garnering over 460,000 views and 14,000 likes, sparking international interest in Shibuya's izakaya and Japan's drinking culture.

Watch the YouTube video here >>

Highlights of the Magical Trip Tour

Take Photos at Shibuya's Iconic Scramble Crossing

Photo at Scramble Crossing

The Magical Trip tour is packed with Shibuya's must-see sights, starting at the lively Shibuya Scramble Crossing.  

Known as "the world's busiest intersection", this crossing features 10 lanes intersecting with 5 pedestrian crosswalks. When all pedestrian signals turn green simultaneously, 3000 people cross at once, creating a mesmerizing scene of organized chaos that embodies the energy of Japan's urban centers.

Photography is allowed, but be mindful of your surroundings and cross quickly once the lights start blinking. Your guide will share tips for capturing the best shots too.

Access Hidden Local Izakaya and Bars Missed by Tourists

Shibuya is brimming with countless izakaya pubs and bars. On this tour, you'll visit unique local favorites and hidden gems that tourists rarely discover. Unlike some tour companies that receive kickbacks from featured establishments, Magical Trip accepts no such compensation, ensuring you experience genuine local hotspots.

Depending on the day, you may even visit the "Shibuya Hyakkendana" area, once the heart of Shibuya's town center lined with drinking establishments that remain lively yet off-the-beaten-path for tourists today. With this tour, you can safely explore Shibuya's deep-rooted yet obscure nightlife spots.  

You might also visit a cozy sake bar specializing in labels from across Japan. Sake is a traditional Japanese rice-based fermented beverage with a wide range of varieties, flavors, and serving styles.

Discover your favorite izakaya, dishes, and drinks as you immerse yourself in the hidden depths of Shibuya's nightlife with Magical Trip.  

Savor a Meal at Shibuya's "Niku Yokocho" Meat Alley

Food at izakaya

A highlight of the Magical Trip tour is enjoying a meal at Shibuya's "Niku Yokocho" (Meat Alley), a meat-themed paradise.

Located within the historic "Chitose Kaikan" izakaya building, a local landmark I frequented in my youth, Niku Yokocho houses around 30 meat-centric eateries. Your guide will take you to one of the standout establishments in this compact yokocho-style alley, where you may rub elbows with locals at the tightly-spaced counters.

On the tour, you can sample signature izakaya dishes and drinks! Delicacies may include wagyu beef prepared sushi-style or melt-in-your-mouth Kobe beef, one of Japan's prized branded beef varieties. Vegetarian options are also available.

Recommended points of tour

All-Inclusive, No Need to Carry Cash

One of the key advantages of this Magical Trip tour is that it's an all-inclusive bar-hopping experience. The cost of food and drinks at the featured establishments is included in the tour price, so you can join empty-handed – a major convenience.

Popular dining spots can get crowded, making it difficult to snag a seat. However, on this tour, your local guide will have secured reservations, ensuring you can be seated without hassle. Just note that there may occasionally be a wait for your meal or drinks to be served, depending on the timing.

Open to Ages 15+

While this is a bar-hopping tour, non-alcoholic soft drink options are available, making it open to participants aged 15 and above. None of the featured establishments prohibit minors from entering. So you can enjoy Shibuya's nightlife as a family too!  

However, Japanese law prohibits alcohol consumption for those under 20. Additionally, since you'll be visiting compact izakaya-style venues, strollers and wheelchairs cannot be accommodated on this particular tour.

The tour lasts approximately 3 hours, but if you wish to continue at the final izakaya after the tour ends, you're welcome to do so.

Extensive Menu Variety

Another recommended point of this tour is the extensive variety of food options available at the izakaya. In addition to meat dishes, you'll find vegetable-based options and seafood items among the recommended menus. If you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, inform your guide, who can recommend suitable menu items.

The tour especially showcases Japan's exquisite beef dishes and sake. Feel free to consult your guide in choosing your personal favorites from the curated menu offerings.  

Please note that while the tour does its best to accommodate requests, it cannot guarantee strict adherence to allergy or dietary requirements, as the dishes are prepared at each individual establishment. If you have any specific needs, kindly mention them when making your reservation.

Intimate Groups for Local Interaction

With a maximum of 6 participants, this small-group Magical Trip tour allows everyone to bond over the shared experience of savoring local food and drinks, immersing you in Japan's drinking culture.

Your knowledgeable local English-speaking guide is well-versed not just in the culinary aspects but also Shibuya's culture, history, and way of life, enriching your experience.

The cozy nature of the izakaya and bars, with customers seated close together, may provide opportunities to interact with locals as well.  

While the Japanese can be shy around foreigners, the lively izakaya atmosphere encourages openness. By being respectful of local patrons and establishments, you may have invaluable cross-cultural exchanges during your night on the town.

Enjoying Shibuya's Nightlife

The tour typically concludes around 10 or 10:30 pm, at which point you're free to remain at the final izakaya if you wish.

As a city that never sleeps, Shibuya offers numerous late-night and 24-hour establishments. You could continue bar-hopping, visit nightclubs, or simply explore other izakaya in the area.

Game centers are also open late, and fun activity is commemorating your night out with “purikura” (print club) photo stickers from the booths inside. Give it a try and get creative with the decorative editing options!

If using public transportation, most rail lines in the area operate until just after midnight, so check the final train times when planning your evening's itinerary.

Perpetually evolving Shibuya sits at the heart of Japan's vibrant youth culture. I provided an overview of the Magical Trip tour, offering a taste of Shibuya's iconic nightlife.  

Accompanied by knowledgeable local guides, you'll visit off-the-beaten-path izakaya and bars rarely experienced by tourists, immersing yourself in Japan's unique drinking culture. Your English-speaking guide will happily share insights into the local way of life, culture, and history too. With over 30 menu items to choose from and meals included, this tour ensures a hassle-free, memorable experience.

If you wish to revel in Shibuya's nightlife or delve deep into its allures, join this tour for an unforgettable adventure. Bookings can be made at the following link: