A night out with Sapphire Slows, singer and producer.
“There’s thousands of hidden places to party in Tokyo, and the only way to find your favorites is to talk to people and explore. The JR Yamanote rail line takes you to all the main neighborhoods. Or you can bike or take a cab — though I recommend sharing a cab with friends, since they’re expensive. My friends and I like to go clubbing in Shibuya, where the city’s alternative culture was born. But before that, I’d start the night with a couple of beers at the record store Big Love (Houei Bldg. 3F-A, 2-31-3 Jingumae; 813-5775-1315), then go to a cheap izakaya like Yukari (1-21-12 Jingumae; 813-5785-4100) and have $3 beers or highballs and some fried chicken. And then the clubs: The mood and the crowd are always different at Dommune (Sunrise Bldg. B1F; 813-6427-4533), where only the first 50 people to register on their website can enter; it’s a very minimal, all-black atmosphere, and the DJs are known for their underground electronic music, which is all streamed online. Soup (B1, 3-9-10 Shimo-Ochiai), in the basement of an old Japanese public bath, is also weird and interesting. WWW (13-7 Udagawacho; 813-5458-7685) has an insane Funktion-One sound system and used to be a movie theater, so there’s a stage in front of the screen and you can dance on the stairs. And then just keep dancing to the house music and have $5 drinks at Oath (Aoyama Bldg. 1F, 4-5-9 Shibuya; 813-5888-5847), which can stay open until 6 or 7 a.m. Or, if you want people who are less loud and energetic, there’s the dimly lit Orbit (B1F, 5-28-9 Taishido), where you take your shoes off before you enter, sit on a cushion, and sip on great drinks like hot rum chai. At the end of the night, go get ramen — anywhere.”
Where she’d crash: “Capsule hotels are fun; there’s one really big one with a spa in Shinjuku called Green Plaza (from $38; hgpshinjuku.jp/en), about a 10-to-15-minute cab ride from Shibuya.”