From the outside, the Shinjuku Building looks a bit dilapidated like there probably isn’t anything interesting inside. You’d never expect that it’s a treasure trove of eccentric bars and cafes catering to the LGBT community and its allies. Everything you need for a night of bar hopping is here under one roof.
Step inside for burritos, art galleries, smooth R&B tunes and more!
Tokyo’s coolest gayborhood, Shinjuku Ni-chome,is only a few steps away, making the Shinjuku Building a perfect place to start or end a night out. It’s separated into two parts — Building No. 1 on the left side and Building No. 2 on the right.
Let’s check out Building No. 2, as this is where a lot of the action is.
Ken Nakahashi Gallery
Your first stop is the Ken Nakahashi Gallery up on the fifth floor. Browse avant-garde exhibitions from a rotating lineup of international artists. Occasionally, the cozy gallery hosts opening parties and other events.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head back downstairs to start your bar hopping.
- 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Closed Sundays and Mondays)
Bar Mama Panic
On the second floor is Bar Mama Panic, whose tagline “peace, sake, and udon” is exactly what you’ll find inside. Featuring sleek wooden decor and a disco ball, the bar hosts Saturday night dance parties, pole dancing shows and more!
- ¥500 entry fee per person. Udon course available by reservation only for ¥4000 a person (up to six people). Call 090-1773-4846 for reservations. (Japanese skills required)
- Tuesday to Thursday 6 p.m. to midnight; Friday 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday opens at 6 p.m. closing time varies; Sunday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Rainbow Burritos Doumo
The answer to all your Mexican food cravings is one floor up at Rainbow Burritos Doumo.Stop in for deliciously authentic Mexican-American-style cuisine along with some originals — tacorritos anyone?
Expect a cozy atmosphere highlighted by a gorgeous stained-glass mural of Frida Kahlo in the window, and a good selection of cocktails. Friendly manager Mamiko-san invites customers to hook up their own music to the sound system, so be sure to bring some tunes!
- 7 p.m. to midnight daily
- One drink minimum required
Despite being just across the stairwell, opening the door to Bar 3R will lead you into what feels like another universe — think low-lit ambiance, cozy furniture, and a funky playlist.
Bartender and chef Aki Tazawa runs a tight show, offering a top-notch food menu that defies regional classification. The R&B, soul, and rare Japanese rock tracks she spins from her impressive vinyl collection are as smooth as the liquor she pours.
While these are only the highlights, there are many more gems to be unearthed inside. Take your time exploring everything the Shinjuku Building has to offer.