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
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??
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.
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.
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.