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I'm attending a conference in Tokyo (Bunkyo-ku district) in June. However, the hotel was full for the last night. That means after the conference and networking is finished, I will have a night to spend until 6 AM, at which time the airport bus service departs to the airport. My flight after that will take almost 12 hours, so I will have enough time to catch sleep.

There are a few options I can think of to do in this time:

  • Get another hotel for those few hours.
  • Try to get to the airport in the evening, and sleep at the airport.
  • Enjoy the Tokyo nightlife until 6 AM.

The last one seems most attractive. However, as a foreigner who does not speak Japanese, how would I go about doing this?

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    All-night karaoke! (assuming you find people to sing with, it's not fun on your own) It's surprisingly cheap and at most places, unlimited drinks are part of the deal. it's a common refuge of Tokyoites who miss the last train home. Or if you want a quiet one, there are all-night anime cafes (can't remember what they're called) where you can slump in a booth for very low prices, then sleep and/or watch baffling anime. – user568458 Apr 24 '15 at 8:11
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    Anime and manga are not baffling. They are one of the best Japanese things :) – Ayesh K Apr 24 '15 at 9:10
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    I was thinking from the point of view of someone who doesn't speak Japanese watching non-subtitled anime at 4am :-) – user568458 Apr 24 '15 at 14:08
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The best option is to make some Japanese friends at the conference and get them to take you out.

If that doesn't work out and you're on your own, go to Tokyo's premier foreigner-friendly watering hole Roppongi and pick an interesting-sounding drinking spot from the Wikivoyage list, there's something there for most tastes. Do not let the street touts steer you into bars, and try to remain somewhat skeptical if an attractive sudden acquaintance wants to drag you into an obscure bar tucked away deep inside a building.

Also, instead of drinking all night, you can catch a taxi to the Tsukiji fish market (it's not very far away) around 4 AM and go eat some primo sushi.

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    It's worth mentioning that Roppongi has a bit of a reputation for being largely geared around parting Americans with their money in a variety of ways (some wanted, some not...) - other areas like shinjuku, shibuya, harajuku etc are worth considering if you want to be less on your guard – user568458 Apr 24 '15 at 8:14
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    Roppongi isn't nearly as bad as its reputation if you follow the basic rules above (and as it happens I'm there right now!), but the primary reason I'm recommending it is that it's where English-speakers hang out. All other nightlife areas in Tokyo are much more hit and miss. That said, if you can rustle up a few locals, going out in the "real" Tokyo will be more fun/different. – jpatokal Apr 24 '15 at 12:55

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