Top three places to see neon lights in Tokyo

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First-timers to Tokyo expecting towering skyscrapers, cutting-edge technology and neon lights will not be disappointed. The dazzling vertical shop signs alongside striking adverts vying for attention have become attractions in their own right.

So where are the best places to find them?

1. Shinjuku – Kabukicho

Bright lights and signs in Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Japan

From an early evening in the gaudy cabaret extravaganza that is the Robot Restaurant, to early hours spent in a backstreet network of bars, gaming arcades and hotels, red (and neon) light district Kabukicho never sleeps. If the bright lights big city becomes too much, duck into one of the tiny bars at Golden Gai where the occasional hanging lantern and single storeys will give your eyes a rest.

2. Shibuya

The busy crossing in Shibuya, Japan at night
Shuo Huang Photography

Shibuya is famed for a zebra crossing, which is more exciting than it sounds. Every time the light turns green, a swarm of people flood the crossing from four sides. It’s actually quite hypnotic when witnessed from afar – even more so at night when there’s a head banging array of flashy graphics and noisy adverts (selling anything from girl band gig tickets to cat adoption). When watching a zebra crossing gets old, head to Center Gai Street for a thoroughfare of illuminated shops and eateries.

3. Akihabara

Akihabara, Japan brightly lit by night

A haven for gamers and electronics aficionados, it’s unsurprising that Akihabara is home to many of Tokyo’s neon sci-fi style city lights. At night the area glows with overhead adverts and as an ever-evolving district, the skyline just keeps getting brighter.


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