Tokyo Pub Crawl: Cheap Drinks and Crazy Times in Roppongi

Chris Mazzu

pic1Laughter filled the streets on this particularly warm Tokyo night. The occasional camera flash illuminated old friends and people meeting for the first time alike. Some of them have lived in Tokyo for years. Others arrived days – or merely hours – before.

“I now know a lot of people from different countries,” said Fernando Luna, a visitor from Mexico who arrived in Japan only four days prior. “God bless Japan.”

A few staff members held big “Tokyo Pub Crawl” signs and began to direct the group to the final stop of the night – Club ColoR. I tilted my head back as Rodney ‘Spidey’ Adams, a regular participant and helper at the TPC, poured complimentary vodka – straight from the bottle – down my throat. It burned so good.

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This is the Tokyo Pub Crawl – a bar tour that takes place in Roppongi every Friday and Saturday night. TPC is an affordable, fun way to meet new people, explore Tokyo’s nightlife and create lasting memories. For Brett Berghauer, co-founder of the TPC, memories are what it’s all about. “One time we had a couple that just got married. One time we had somebody who had just seen his brother for the first time in two years. We just want people to have a special memory that is more than just going out and getting drunk because, you know, you can do that a million times in a year. That’s the important thing,” said Berghauer.

Berghauer organized his first pub crawl in late 2009 and was later joined by Andrew Nguyen. The pub crawl frequency increased over the years to meet demand – a demand that solidified TPC as a business in May 2013. The goal – provide a comfortable environment for strangers to meet. “Tokyo is the world’s largest city and yet people still feel isolated. There aren’t a lot of places where complete strangers can feel comfortable hanging out and meeting new people, so we felt people could really benefit from such a venue,” said Berghauer.

With a bit of planning, a night out on the TPC can be pretty Cheapo friendly. Admission at the door is normally 3,000yen for men and 2,000yen for women. But, if you order online through Peatix, (accessed through Tokyo Pub Crawl’s website) you’ll receive a 500 yen discount for men and a 200 to 1,000 yen discount for the ladies. Additionally, if you share your Peatix info on Facebook, you’ll get another 10% discount.

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On Fridays, the pub crawl runs 19:30-23:30 and visits two bars and a club. On Saturday, it runs 18:30-23:30 and visits three bars and a club. You receive one free shot at each location, and free shots from a bottle-wielding staff member while moving to each location. Games and draws are held throughout the night for more free drinks.

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Berghauer and the rest of the staff have built relationships over the years with the many different bars in the area. The result – drink discounts, among other things. “We try to keep our maximum price at 500yen per drink, and we’re 99% successful at doing that. There are some specialty drinks that vary from bar to bar. Bars will charge more for them. We’re always trying to reduce the number of those types of drinks,” Berghauer said.  Add to that free club entry (normal cover charge for ColoR is 2,500-3,500yen) and you have a decent, cheap night out in Tokyo.

Bonus cheapo tip: If you celebrate your birthday with the TPC, you receive free entry and your guests will each get a 500yen discount.






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