8-Bit Cafe


Location: Japan, 〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Shinjuku, 3 Chome−8−9 新宿Qビル5F

What’s There: Part video game-playing space, part video game bar, all awesome. This 5th floor tiny cove of retro gaming and drinking respite spot is quite a walk from the Shinjuku station.

But it’s worth the trek because it’s just cozy and gives you the fuzzies. You can enjoy drinks like the Dr. Mario below while admiring the decor and gaming setup. Just beware; it gets packed later in the evenings and during the weekends.


Price Range: US$7 or so plus a US$5 cover charge. You can only hang around for an hour and half unless you order more; space is limited after all.

The Whales of August


Location: Shibuya area, 28-13 Udagawachō, Shibuya City, Tōkyō-to 150-0042, Japan

What’s There: Movie-themed drinks, made by bartenders who know their stuff. The drink below is fashioned after the Sony Pictures film Venom…


While the one below is Ghostbusters…


All in all, it’s best to bring friends so that you can take turns sampling each other’s funky and creative concoctions.

Price Range: It’s a classy place, so expect to fork over US$10 at the minimum for your specialized cocktails. Plus, there’s a US$5 cover charge to enter.



Location: Any spot in Tokyo; there’s usually one a stone’s throw away from your hotel or nearest train station.

What’s There? Cheap food and alcohol. And also the best fried chicken in Tokyo that won’t kill your wallet. We’re dead serious; they’re open 24/7 and can sort out your munchies past 10pm. Whether it’s highballs or vodka-laced chuhis, or that Final Fantasy-themed fried chicken promo, Lawson’s got it all.

Price Range: US$5 or less.

Snacks (To Pack Up Or Bring Back)

Hokkaido White Chocolate Biscuits


Price range: US$10 to US$30+

What can we say except these tins of chocolate goodness will make you love Japan in your mouth in sweet-ass form. Unless you’re going to Sapporo or Hokkaido anytime soon, you’ll have to get these chocolate-filled biscuits of delectable succulence from gift shops, chains like Yodobashi and Bic Camera, and airport duty-free spots.

Top image credit: Airpano

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