Shinjuku Golden Gai (新宿ゴールデン街) is a small area of Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, famous both as an area of architectural interest and for its nightlife.
It is composed of a network of six narrow alleys, connected by even narrower passageways which are just about wide enough for a single person to pass through.
Over 200 tiny shanty-style bars, clubs and eateries are squeezed into this area.
Golden Gai is a few minutes walk from the East Exit of Shinjuku Station, between the Shinjuku City Office and the Hanazono Shrine.
Its architectural importance is that it provides a view into the relatively recent past of Tokyo, when large parts of the city resembled present-day Golden Gai, particularly in terms of the extremely narrow lanes and the tiny two-story buildings.
Bars in Golden Gai are known in particular for the artistic affinities of their patrons. Golden Gai is well known as a meeting place for musicians, artists, directors, writers, academics and actors, including many celebrities.
Many of the bars only welcome regular customers, who initially should be introduced by an existing patron, although many others welcome non-regulars, some even making efforts to attract overseas tourists by displaying signs and price lists in English.
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