Harlem Shibuya Reviews
Partying N.Y.C. style in Tokyo. Nov 10, 2007
I can't pass up a good party here in the United States, no matter where it is -- but with that being said, I prefer these days not to party too hard... unless of course I'm traveling. :) There are tons of clubs in the United States that I love for the music, ambiance, and crowd but few of these places really cater to an international type scene. The first time I'd really been into Tokyo's 'club' scene I was left relatively unimpressed -- bars more than clubs, and clubs that played trance more than anything rhythmic leaving crowds mingling more than dancing. I ended up growing to love the live houses in Tokyo more than the rhythmic beats that I so loved in the U.S., but I really wanted to experience a little bit of home away from home at least once while I was in the city.
My childhood friends in Tokyo (all 20-somethings like me) typically hit the Roppongi/Omotesando area for nightlife, but after a conversation with one of the guys he suggested we all make the trek to Shibuya to see Harlem.
"You'll feel like we're in New York. Trust me."
A crowd of about 8 of us were quietly ushered in (though honestly, I thought we'd get turned away because I'm foreign -- supposedly Harlem had some rules banning foreigners in the past) and smile just grew right across my face. Definitely heavy rhythms similar to hip-hop in the U.S. with a sort of 'lighter' Japanese flair and people that were actually *dancing*. There's two floors of great music and DJs and live acts that offer a uniquely Tokyo style of hip-hop.
The cover for the night was around 2,000 yen, (about $20 USD -- so not much different from the U.S.) and drinks varied in prices -- usually upwards of 700 yen (typical of the nightclub scene). It's definitely the kind of outing you shouldn't miss.
I think the only con (for guys) would be that in order to enter you'd have to have a girl along. We had a friend who had difficulty entering because he came alone and the guy at the door said he had to have at least a girl with him. I have no idea whether this had to do with the fact he was a foreigner -- either way he was allowed to enter once he had one of my female friends come to the rescue. From what I've heard, they don't typically allow groups of foreign males in without at least female escort. (When I looked at the website it also confirmed this.)
If you're looking for a good night of dancing and hip-hop, this is definitely the place to be.
Part of the Entries from Trips Around the World travel blog
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