Region
Kanto
Island
Honshu
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Tokyo
Population
12,059,237

New Sazae

Boogie on down at this intimate disco club in Shinjuku. 🕺

New Sazae in Shinjuku’s LGBT hub Ni-chome is a living, breathing time capsule back into the 70s, when disco balls and bell-bottom pants reigned supreme. The living room-sized disco club is stayin’ alive in it’s own beautifully strange universe, seemingly cut off from the rest of the world.

The club was a favorite hangout for the legendary Freddie Mercury and Queen during their visits to Japan.

For a trip down memory lane into the disco heyday, stop by New Sazae on your next night out in Shinjuku. Don’t forget your dancing shoes!

Authentic disco vibes

Photo by: brian.world Let’s groove tonight.

The vibe inside New Sazae has stayed almost exactly the same as when it opened back in 1966. The walls of the club read like Tokyo’s LGBT family genealogy, a monument to the culture’s long and often overlooked history.

Another disco bar??

A mishmash of old event posters covers the walls, with celebrities’ signatures peeking out through exposed patches. The room is so dimly lit, though, it’s nearly impossible to make out the inscriptions.

We do know that the club was a favorite hangout for the legendary Freddie Mercury and Queen during their visits to Japan. Tokyo-based actress and designer Kiko Mizuhara is also a frequent guest.

New Sazae’s legacy

Until his passing in mid-2018, the owner Shion presided over this disco palace all night long — and we do mean all night, as the club doesn’t close until 7 a.m.

Born in Nagasaki, Shion spent some of his early years in Lyon, France with his grandfather before moving back to Japan and working as a fashion model and radio host.

Shion from New Sazae in Shinjuku Ni-chome

Photo by: far___near Owner Shion was the king of this disco until his unfortunate passing in mid-2018.

After falling in love with Tokyo’s artsy theatre crowd, he and his friends would spend endless nights at disco club Sazae, which eventually led to him working behind the bar and later owning it.

The club has only changed locations once in its 53-year history, which was when “New” was added to the name.

How to find it

New Sazae isn’t easy to find but is well worth the effort. It’s located on the second floor of a building complex right in the heart of Ni-chome. Once you spot the subtle “New Sazae” sign buzzing in the window, head up the stairs and push open the heavy doors.

There are no fancy gimmicks here, just good old fashioned disco.

The outlines of the diverse crowd grooving to 70s and 80s disco classics blasting over towering speaker stacks will let you know you’re in the right place.

New Sazae Disco bar in Shunjuku Ni-chome

Photo by: Lucy Dayman This is a good sign.

There are no special promotional events, exclusive parties, or fancy gimmicks here, just good old fashioned disco. Built on a foundation of fun, inclusivity, and infectious music,  it’s one of Shinjuku’s — maybe even Tokyo’s — oldest running nightclubs, and a rich LGBT artifact.

And the beat goes on.

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Trivia

Another disco bar??

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Things To Know

Hours and fees

The club is open Friday and Saturday nights only, from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Entry costs ¥1000 but includes a free drink.

How To Get There

Address

Japan, 〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Shinjuku, 2 Chome−18−5 石川ビル2F

By train

The closest station in Shinjuku San-chome Station which is only a one-minute walk away. 

By foot

You can also get there on foot from Shinjuku Station in about 10 minutes, or Shinjuku Gyoem-mae Station in about five minutes.

Where To Stay

City Hotel Lonestar
  • Shinjuku 2-12-12 Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo 160-0022
  • 7.6/10
  • 0.0 km
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Hotel Rocks
  • Shinjuku 2-10-4 Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo 160-0022
  • 7.1/10
  • 0.1 km
Powered by Booking.com
  • 7.5/10
  • 0.2 km
Powered by Booking.com
  • 7.5/10
  • 0.2 km
Powered by Booking.com