Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Party Peoples

Welcome to the real Tokyo party. While most foreigners get suckered by the Roppongi hustle into the usual dives like Gas Panic and 911, I head to the city's youthful heart, Shibuya, where hipster meets cool underground hip hop. Here are my three favorite clubs in Tokyo:

1. Aoyama Hachi - This three-level night club is host to a monthly Jazzy Sport event called Escapade which is one of the hottest parties in town. Packed from wall to wall the two dance floors each have their own DJ who offer up the finest in jazz, hip hop, and home-grown Japanese hip hop. If you're in the mood just to chill head to the top floor lounge and grab a cocktail while relaxing on the plush couches. With libations, dancing AND lounging Hachi is easily my favorite place to hang on a Friday or Saturday night.

2. JZ Brat - Ultra-posh and located in a five star hotel the JZ Brat jazz club has an array of events happening every month from live performances to DJs spinning records. When I head there for hip hop parties I enjoy the eclectic mix of people who come out to play, including, hardcore hip hop heads rockin' kangols, trendy socialites in designer wear, reggae heads in dreads and jazz-tap dancers clacking away on the floor. At JZ Brat you'll find nothing but people ready to feel the hot beats pumping out the speakers and forget their weekday office nightmares. And with a large bar area and an attentive staff its not hard to wet your lips with a Cassis Orange or a dry Martini. Chic atmosphere, friendly crowd and cool music JZ Brat is a must when in Tokyo.

3. Neo - Affiliated with Club Asia and a few doors down from the legendary Club Harlem, nothing says lounge more than Neo. Unlike a lot of the cramped bars and clubs in Tokyo, Neo brings a more open feel with its high ceiling and lighting that projects a heavenly sky above. The walls are lined with cushioned benches and there is an arrangement of tables in the back where you can sit, chill, talk and view people vibing out to the music on the spacious floor. When I'm at Neo I like to meander my way to the comfy couches upstairs above the bar and checkout the view of the club below. With cocktail in hand its a great place to talk story with your posse or spit game to the beautiful people sitting next to you. Though this is generally the place to be for a mellow night out with your peeps make sure to check the schedule before going because Neo also hosts a wide range to events every month.

Other Noteworthy Clubs

Ageha - Down near the Tokyo Bay waterfront this is probably the biggest club in Tokyo. Ageha takes up about two warehouses and boasts 3 to 4 dance floors, an outside deck with a pool and food vendors serving up hot noodles for late night munchies. Expensive and far from downtown but worth the effort.

Unit - Another large club (by Japanese standards) with plenty of room for dancing and a stage for live performances. Connected to the club is a late night eatery to satisfy your cravings.

The Room - An old standby for me down in Shibuya. Small and a little hard to find (especially if your drunk) but loads of fun. The Room brings in bumpin' DJs every week that will have you getting your swerve-on until sunrise.

Family - The best part of this club is probably the fact that its so small! When I saw Jeru the Damaja perform here the walls were literally dripping with sweat and the records kept slipping. The high energy crowd made Jeru's show the best live performance I've ever seen.



Blogger MosSteph said...

Neo was a cool place. I got a compliment on my Japanese and met the "too much information" guy and his girlfriend. However, jz brat with its "jazzy tap dancers" was easily the best. plus we heard dj kacchi nasty play. he's got some dirty-butt twitching- head bobbing beats.

4:59 PM  
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