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02James “Mr OK Jazz” Catchpole is Jazz on the Tube’s official Tokyo correspondent

Tokyo’s Top Jazz Spots for Tourists

The sprawling Tokyo Metropolitan area can confuse even the most experienced travelers. Here’s a quick rundown of some centrally located joints that jazz fans won’t want to miss while in town. Those with more time (or more courage to navigate the trains and explore some outer neighborhoods) should check Tokyo Jazz Site for a full directory of the cities plentiful jazz spots.

James’ top Tokyo picks

Shinjuku Pit Inn

Often described as Japan’s ‘Village Vanguard’. It has the history, the authenticity and the feel of a classic jazz club from the past. Live music nightly from the best local musicians.

Address: Shinjuku 2-12-4, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo, 160-0022
Phone number: 03-3354-2024


Intimate bar with nightly live music; perfect spot for a nightcap as is open until 4am after the live music ends around midnight.

Address: 5F Hama-Roppongi Bldg 5F, Roppongi 6-2-35, Minato-Ku, 106-0030
Phone number: 03-3479-2037

Body & Soul

A Tokyo jazz institution open since 1974. Nightly live music by both local and visiting groups, and often a hang out for touring jazz musicians after their gigs finish elsewhere. Mostly straight ahead bands with vocalists.

Address: 6-13-9 Minami Aoyama, Minato-Ku, Tokyo, 107-0062
Phone number: 03-5466-3348

The Room

Tokyo’s hippest spot for club jazz, funk & soul fans. Nightly DJ & live events.

Address: Daihachi-Toto Bld. B1, 15-19 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku, 150-0031
Phone number: 81 3-3461-7167


A classic Japanese jazz ‘kissaten’ (cafe) open since 1967. Still maintains a ‘no talking’ policy during afternoon coffee time, the focus is on the music coming from their superb sound system.

Address: Horinaka Bldg B1, Yotsuya 1-8, Shinjuku-Ku
Phone number: 03-3357-9857


A mind-melting mix of jazz, underground leftist culture of 1960s Shinjuku, contemporary Japanese nationalism, and 2000 ‘lucky cat’ figurines. One of the most unique jazz spots in the world. Look out for Alain Delon on the front door.

Address: Mori Bldg 5F, Shinjuku 3-35-5, Shinjuku-Ku, 160-0022
Phone number: 03-3341-0383

JBS(Jazz, Blues, Soul)

12,000+ records in cabinets from floor to ceiling. A place to listen to one great album after another from master Kobayashi-san’s incredible collection.

Address: 1-17-10 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-Ku.
Phone number: 03-3461-7788


Open since 1956, a must visit during a day trip to Yokohama. No conversation in here, the music is loud, the lighting dark. Classic Japanese jazz cafe.

Address: Miyamoto Bldg; 2F, Hanasakicho 1-43, Naka-Ku, Yokohama
Phone number: 045-241-6167


James “Mr OK Jazz” Catchpole is Jazz on the Tube’s official Tokyo correspondent

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James “Mr OK Jazz” Catchpole is Jazz on the Tube’s official Tokyo correspondent

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