Large Group Weekend Trip in Tokyo

HI All,

I’m traveling in with a group of 15 friends to Tokyo for a weekend this month and want to get your advice on how to navigate heading out on the town with such a big group.

Most of the group has not been to Japan before, so keep that in mind. We also have one Japanese speaker in the group (his Japanese is okay). How would you approach trying to go out for beers with a group this big? We’d prefer not to go to nightclubs in Roppongi, etc. Any recommendations on neighbourhoods or bars? We’re staying near Shinjuku.

We do have a couple of dinner reservations that should be good, but just worried about our ability to get a group that big into pubs or bars.



Hi Mark,
You should be fine, but you’ll just have to choose larger places. Areas like Omoide Yokocho and Golden Gai will be out of the question unless you split into smaller groups.
The big chain izakaya like Warawara, Uotami and Shirokiya are good bets. Around Shinjuku, a couple of other big izakaya are Yamato in Nishi-Shinjuku and Alps in Kabukicho. The nearby Oslo batting center is also good fun with a big group.
I’d recommend bookings at any izakaya. A warning though, they can be slightly smoky. If you want to get the full experience, you’ll probably have to put up with it. If you want to keep to yourselves, ask for a “koshitsu” - a private room. They’re not always available - especially if you just turn up.
For other pubs and bars, British/Irish style places (Hub, Dubliners etc.) or craft beer bars are your best bets. Craft Beer Market is the biggest but also the hardest to wander into - most people book ahead. Baird Beer Taprooms, Devilcraft (both multiple branches) are awesome. Also Good Beer Faucets, Two Dogs and Jolly’s are great.
Hope that helps!

Hi Mark

I second that booking an izakaya would make life easier (you can go there after your reserved dinner). In addition, bear in mind that trains usually finish shortly after midnight, so maybe hanging out within walking distance of your hotel is a safe bet.
splitting into small groups of 5 also means you can share stories /experiences after

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