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Aug 28, 2007 07:21 PM

Tokyo Birthday Recommendation

I am moving to Tokyo next week. I am a student and don't have a lot of money, but my birthday is two days after I arrive and so I am planning to take myself somewhere a bit nice and exciting. I won't know anyone, so if you can recommend somewhere where I won't feel really weird being alone, that would be great too.

Thank you.

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  1. There's a bar next to the Grand Hyatt. It's expat central i believe. Some kind of brewery. Just try surfing around and you'll find it. Expats in asia are all extremely friendly. Judging by your name Calliope1, you appear to be female. I would just go to that bar and just start talking to a few expats and tell them it's your birthday. From my experience expats are extremely welcoming as we all know what it's like to move to a foreign country and not know anyone. When i went to Osaka, i went to the local expat bar and a couple really nice english teachers showed me around the clubs...I of course paid for their drinks in return..but had a memorable experience and an experience I would not have had otherwise.

    1. Rather than going to a noisy pickup bar like Heartland (next to the Grand Hyatt), you might want to try someplace with good food and a counter where you can sit comfortably by yourself and enjoy the atmosphere.

      Gompachi ( has a pretty lively atmosphere and lots of counter space. I haven't been since they've remodeled, but if you can get a seat at the bar, Cardenas Charcoal Grill might be another good choice (

      Or, if you can still get a reservation and don't mind spending Y15,000 or so, Tapas Molecular Bar ( is definitely a special-occasion food-focused spot, and the staff are very interactive (since there are only seven seats, and new courses arrive every five minutes or so).

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robb S

        I totally echo Robb's sentiment on Heartland. I was actually going to suggest Gompachi as well. Another place you might like is Jackpot in Ebisu (, which has counter seating in front of an open kitchen, an eclectic menu, and a good atmosphere. It's in a good neighborhood as well, with lots of cozy bars for after your meal. They've got an English menu and reasonable prices... As a student, you might enjoy going to Shimo-Kitazawa, which is a buzzing student neighborhood not far from Shinjuku and Shibuya. There's a fun, lively seafood restaurant there called "Uoshin" ( . The last time I was in the neighborhood, friends took me to a good, fairly large izakaya called "Shirube". ( The kitchen is a large sunken island, with a counter almost all the way around it. They staff was college-aged and really nice....In Shibuya, "Kaikaya" gets a lot of mentions on CH as a good place...None of these places are particularly upscale, but they might be fun and not too costly for a solo diner...If you're interested in something more mature and refined, you might be interested in a place like "Ogawa"- ( ).

        1. re: Silverjay

          Jackpot is insanely crowded and they always have some very noisy parties going on. The foreigners there are usually with their g/f so no one will be that friendly. Its really hard to pick a place to eat alone and you won't be able to read the menu (??) of many of the good places. So I suggest talking to your orientation people etc and mentioning that its your birthday to see if anyone would want to get together with you.

      2. Tokyo is pretty big overall, do you know exactly where you'll be staying?
        That might help us give you some advice.

        Especially if your only 2 days new to Japan.

        3 Replies
        1. re: lost squirrel

          I will be staying in the Roppongi area for a few days, and the moving to an apartment near Shibuya. But I am fine going anyway--I am from New York, so the subway is something I am fine navigating.

          1. re: Calliope1

            If you'll be in Roppongi for your birthday you could always try Chinese Cafe Eight.

            Everytime I go, I end up making friends with other people around the table. It's pretty conducive to talking, especially with the giant genitalia hanging on the ceiling.

            1. re: Calliope1

              I just realized I'm too late aren't I? So, did you move here yet? Where did you go?