Officially named Omoide Yokocho (Memory Alley), but more commonly referred to as Piss Alley, this is a classic low brow dining and drinking experience.

Step into the steaming alley and you’ll be greeted with infeasibly small yakitori shacks and izakaya sandwiched next to each other along a narrow and very greasy walkway. Once an illicit drinking quarter in the 40s, the narrow street was packed with hostess bars and bars, but no toilets. Forced to relieve themselves on the neighboring train tracks, drinkers gave the alley a lasting reputation.

Unfortunately, many of original spots as many were lost in a fire in 1999, but a close composite was rebuilt to maintain Shinjuku’s Piss Alley of yesteryear. If you’re heading down these days, you’ll want to start with beer, sake or shochu – check our guide to Japan’s classic drinks to get to grips with the options.

To line your stomach, Yakitori (grilled meat skewers) are the most popular drinking accompaniment here, along with nikomi (a beef tendon stew).

If you’re looking for some additional drinking alleys, check out Nomiya Yokocho or our guide to the best options in the city.

Other Shinjuku Attractions