1. Karaoke Kan
Famed as the location of Bill Murray's singing session in Lost in Translation (aim for rooms 601 and 602 if you're on a pilgrimage), the crowd at this Shibuya karaoke hub tends to be young and partial to a few too many drinks. Groups of 10 or more will find their rooms swathed in disco lights and luminous paint, and with booming sound systems, while smaller rooms are standard fare – leather benches and plain walls push the focus towards the central television. Order drinks – and tambourines – via the intercom.
• 30-8 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, +81 3 3462 0785, , other locations throughout the capital. Open 11am-6am
2. Big Echo Karaoke
The Ginza branch of this popular karaoke chain is perpetually popular, with rooms designed for everyone from singing couples right through to 20-strong groups. Look out for the Hello Kitty-themed room and extremely drunk salarymen on weekdays, often found wandering from booth to booth, looking for company. (The staff seem to have noticed the correlation between the number of songs sung and their guests' lubrication: all-you-can-drink deals can be negotiated.) Thousands of songs are available for butchering, but don't expect much in the way of contemporary western stuff – the English menu is Genesis-heavy.
• 4-2-14 Ginza, Chuo-ku, +81 3 3563 5100, , other locations throughout the capital. Open Sat-Thurs noon-5am, Fri noon-6am
A karaoke monster, with parlours accommodating groups of up to 40. The booths are a little classier than most, with leather armchairs and neon lighting in place of the standard uncomfortable bench and 70s wallpaper. But most don't linger in this branch, starting the night here before venturing into Roppongi, a bar-riddled district that has been attracting party people since the 1970s, when locals and amorous American soldiers from the nearby barracks would collide into the small hours. These days expect hustlers looking to push the gullible into their bars and for alpha-male expat executives with money to burn.
• 5-2-4 Roppongi, Minato-ku, +81 3 5474 1122, , other locations throughout the city
4. Love Net
Home to Tokyo's most surreal booths, Lovenet is a Roppongi favourite offering karaoke with a twist. Need a room for 100 people? They've got one. Feel like singing while submerged in a hot tub? They've got that too. Other rooms include Heaven, complete with crystals underneath a glass floor and brilliant white decor reminiscent of the Milk Bar in Kubrick's Clockwork Orange; Attic, with an elevated platform from which to take photos; and Monaco, where the decor and stage resemble a set from a David Lynch movie. Be warned: such novelty doesn't come cheap: it's about £220 for an hour of karaoke in the bath, or £350 for you and 40 friends to recreate your favourite Lynchian moment.
• Hotel Ibis 3F-4F, 7-14-4 Roppongi, Minato-ku, +81 3 5771 5511,. Open Mon-Wed 6pm-11pm, Thurs-Sat 6pm-2am
5. Shinjuku 8bit Cafe
A shrine to the golden age of Japanese gaming, when Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog ruled. The concept is gloriously simple: allow customers to play Sega Mega Drives and Nintendo Famicoms while getting drunk. The walls feature artwork from popular titles, game guides dot the bookshelves and, from time to time, DJs pop in to play music from iconic games. There is a table charge of around £4.50 for unlimited gaming, and the crowd is refreshingly mixed – the central location, coupled with the enduring popularity of 80s games in Japan, mean this isn't an exclusively otaku enclave.
• Q Building 5F, 3-8-9 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, +81 3 3358 0407,. Open Wed-Mon 7pm-midnight
6. Butlers Cafe
Hostess bars – where men pay an extortionate amount of money to sit and chat with attractive women – are not hard to come by in Tokyo. Host bars, however, are a little thin on the ground. Butlers Cafe in Shibuya is a relatively recent arrival, where handsome foreign men ("hand picked graduates from butlers' universities from across the world", according to the owners) in waistcoats and bow ties wait hand and foot (often literally) on the generally female crowd. Expect to pay around £13 for Italian food and to be treated like royalty, waiters kneeling beneath guests while looking up with doleful eyes, inquiring as to what "princess" requires.
• Udagawa KK Building 5F, 11-6 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, +81 3 3780 6883,
7. Polka Dots
apan's affection for US folk music of the Vietnam war era is the main pull at Polka Dots, run by a Japanese Bob Dylan impersonator who performs for his punters once a week. The bar is in a basement, fits around 40, and the pictures and memorabilia on the wall emphasise that this is a shrine to Dylan. Food is available, beer is on tap and there are plenty of stronger drinks for those wishing to discuss the finer points of the American legend's career in broken English – it's welcoming to all, but will be most rewarding to those who know their Blonde on Blonde from their 4 Non Blondes.
• Umemoto Building B1, 3-29-3 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, +81 3 3666 2122, . Occasional admission fee for live events
Kagaya might just be the world's weirdest restaurant. Mark Kagaya, the izakaya's owner, waits on the tables in a manner that is difficult to describe: part performance and part, well, something else. His glove puppets will ask customers what they would like to drink and orders, once selected from the nonsensical, hand-written menu, will be presented as part of a performance in fancy dress. And trinkets and toys are regularly delivered to the tables for customers to play with between courses. Unsurprisingly, it's wildly popular. Book ahead.
• Hanasada Building B1, 2-15-12 Shinbashi, Minato-ku, +81 3 3591 2347, . Open Mon-Sat 6pm-midnight, booking essential
9. Drop Kick
A professional wrestling bar where fans of mixed martial arts congregate, Drop Kick capitalises on Japan's passion for sports entertainment. A large widescreen television broadcasts major K-1 kickboxing events, as well as WWE and other mixed martial arts favourites to a bar that holds fewer than 30, with reruns of popular fights shown on a regular basis. The decor is minimal, and beyond the fights, hard drinking is the focus. Expect locals with encyclopedic knowledge of their sport of choice and, occasionally, the odd Japanese professional fighter mingling with guests.
• Tokyo Building 21, 1-14-6 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, , +81 3 6278 9230,; Open Tues-Sat 7pm-5am, Sun 6pm-11pm
10. The Lockup
A themed bar and restaurant offering customers the opportunity to experience a night out in jail. On entry, customers are met by wardens, handcuffed and led to their cells through dark hallways to a soundtrack of recorded screams. Imagine having dinner in the London Dungeon. Once at your table, staff bring cocktails named after the reason you might be behind bars – Drug Addiction, Bad Loan and Human Experiment feature on the menu.
• Shibuya Grand Tokyo Building B2F, 33-1 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku +81 3 5728 7731, , other locations throughout the city. Open Mon-Thurs 5pm-1am, Fri-Sat 5pm-5am, Sun 5pm-midnight