Late-Night Tokyo! Live Music! Potatoes And Bacon! A Golden Gai Tokyo Adventure!

Tokyo late night neon

It’s An Electrified Tokyo Night!

I have shared many of my Tokyo adventures with you, but our last night was without a doubt the most memorable, thanks to this:

Golden Gai Tokyo bar music live

Introducing Golden Gai’s Musical Maestro!

Meet Yuko Yamazaki! He’s a great singer/songwriter from Japan… this great musician lives in Tokyo, and also happens to work at one of Golden Gai’s best mini-bars!

Golden Gai nightlife

Welcome To Golden Gai!

Golden Gai is a great area in Tokyo that houses 275 bars in a three block radius – each one holding 6-10 people! Here is an aerial view at night, which I found online:


Tokyo Golden Gai bar district

Here is what it looks like after dark – note that each bar has a narrow stairway next to it that leads to a second floor bar that is equally as small…it’s a great place to explore:

Golden Gai bar district Tokyo

Golden Gai is a great Tokyo nightspot – staying open well into the night for tourists and locals alike. Some bars are less friendly to foreigners, but for the most part, signs make it clear that you are welcome to come in for a beer, whiskey or sake…which of course we did…


I have been to this bar district four times previously to this Tokyo trip, filming some great stories. Here’s the adventure we filmed with Host Alex Sim-Wise for G4 – the night she and her friend Rachel jumped behind the counter at Golden Gai’s anime bar:

As you can see, the night lights of Kabuki-cho were ready for us:

kabukicho panorama

Golden Gai is just a few blocks from the famed nightlife district known as Kabuki-cho, and we met there for our last night to Tokyo fun! Kabuki-Chi is full of nightclubs, bars, restaurants and crazy people…

Golden Gai team 2016

“Um, What Time Do You Open Anyway”?

I told you that my son Jeff and his friend Chris were with us, and I wanted my son Jeff and Alex to see Golden Gai up close – but my first effort was a bit of a failure:

Us in Golden Gai

That’s right, it’s best to head out to party after dark – Golden Gai at 5p is a bit quiet! After dark however, things pick up and the musical fun begins!

Jeff and Chris at Golden Gai

Golden Gai nightlife Tokyo

Introducing Yuko Yamasaki!

My son Jeff found a great bar that had an eclectic mix of music, and since it only sat six people, the four of us almost filled it – and I got to meet the great Tokyo musician Yuko Yamasaki!

Yuko Yamazaki musician Tokyo

Yoko worked in the bar, serving drinks, playing music, and greeting us warmly – even though he spoke no english!

We got some drinks while Yuko put some classic Creedence Clearwater Revival on the CD player, and then surprised us by disappearing behind a short wall for a minute –

Golden Gai bars and food

Yoko’s “Surprise” Potatoes And Bacon!

That’s right, in a small corner of the bar, Yuko whipped up a small plate of food for Alex!

After having a few beers, a bit of Japanese whiskey and lots of conversation, Yuko grabbed his guitar…

Golden Gai bar music

It turns out Jeff had been to this bar alone a few nights earlier and befriended Yuko, discovering that he was an incredible musician – and once he had his guitar tuned, he played us an original tune:

It was such a great night, and we ended up staying at Yuko’s bar for more than two hours!

last night at cocos

Getting’ Your Tonkatsu On!

To end the night, we all poured into Coco Curry, a Tokyo institution, where they serve pork “tonkatsu”, a deep fried breaded pork cutlet served over rice and smothered in curry sauce…

us eating coco Tokyo fast food

It was an amazing musical adventure, and a delicious end to a great Tokyo adventure…of course, the entire trip was full of amazing food adventures like this one:

sea urchin tempura

Of course, we ate our way through some amazing meals in Tokyo, including this sea urchin tempura…see more here:

Also on the menu was a terrific “eel” bowl…

eel bowl

You can find out what an “eel waiting room” is by clicking on my story here:

We also enjoyed “sushi for breakfast”, a unique experience that is about to change forever…

Tokyo breakfast sushi 2016 Tsukiji fish market closing

Here is my look at Tokyo’s legendary fish market, which is about to be re-located…some cool behind-the-scenes video is here:

I also took the time to eat a burger in Tokyo – I mean, who am I, right?

unique cheeseburger products plasticised in Tokyo

I also bought myself a triple decker burger – plasticized! Check that out here:

Finally,, I showed Alex how to enjoy Tokyo’s legendary vending machines:

Tokyo vending machines

Did we eat creamed corn out of a vending machine? Well, here is a look at all of the unique items for sale:

Let me know if you’ve experience the magic of Tokyo!

Tokyo late night neon

Categories: Art, Books / Media, Cult Movies, Exotic Travel, Food, food blog, Food Review, Japan, Memoirs, Music, Obscure Music, Recipes, Restaurants, Talent/Celebrities, Technology, Tokyo!, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, TV Show, Uncategorized, Wacky Food

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9 replies

  1. Reblogged this on johnrieber and commented:

    #Throwback Thursday of an amazing night in Tokyo…


  2. Pete suggested I check out your blog. You and I have similar interests! Nice post.


  3. A great way to end the trip, John. That guy really went for it with that song too.
    Best wishes, Pete.



  1. Japan’s Delicious “Ayu” Grilled Fish! Our Ginza Kojyu Three Michelin-Star Tokyo Food Feast! – johnrieber
  2. Tokyo’s Iconic Park Hyatt Hotel! Lost In The “Translation” Bar! Views of Tokyo 2016! – johnrieber
  3. Meet These “Tokyo Idols”! Tokyo’s Dancelicious “Pop Idol” Dance Phenomenon! – johnrieber
  4. Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing! The World’s Busiest Intersection! Tokyo’s Amazing Subways! – johnrieber
  5. Our “Tokyo Idols” Encounter! We Stumble Upon The Dancelicious “Pop Idol” Dance Phenomenon! – johnrieber

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