Nothing is more humbling than running to the station at midnight, only to find it eerily quiet and the employees there packing up for the night. But now what? You’re going to be spending the next five hours biding time until the first train, and you don’t particularly feel like drinking anymore, especially not after that Olympic-level sprint you did. Once you’re done beating yourself up for not checking the time sooner, here are eight things you can do if you’ve missed the last train.
Sing It Up at Karaoke
This one is a classic and remains a staple for night owls for good reason. Many karaoke spots have a discounted set price until the morning. Drink some oolong tea, sing a couple of your favorite karaoke hits and snooze off to your friend’s off-tune rendition of “The Cruel Angel’s Thesis” from Evangelion without breaking the bank.
Catch Some Z’s at a Capsule Hotel
Thankfully, Tokyo has plenty of capsule hotels around, where you’ll get your own space to do the only thing you really want right now: get some quality sleep. The idea of a capsule hotel might be daunting if you’ve never stayed in one, but they’re actually quite pleasant and not as cramped as the word “capsule” might suggest, as long as you don’t have severe claustrophobia.
Relax Your Body and Soul at a Sento
Speaking of capsule hotels, many have wonderful communal spaces, including sento (public baths). There are also several baths that are open until the morning, such as Shinjuku’s Thermae-Yu or Tokyo Dome’s LaQua. If you’re headed for a smaller establishment, just make sure to do some preliminary research, as some facilities are for women only.
Fill up at a Late-Night Restaurant or Café
If you can’t get your energy from sleep, you might as well fuel up with some late-night dishes. Plenty of cafés and restaurants are open 24 hours, or at least until the wee hours of the morning. Hit up classics like coffee shops, ramen shops, Tsurutontan for some udon that’ll hit different at 3am, or Sushi Zanmai if you’re brave enough to have fresh fish in the middle of the night.
Catch up on Your Favorite Shows and Manga at an Internet Café
If you’re a fan of manga, you might have checked out a manga kissa (manga café) by now. They are also a great option for an overnight stay. At a manga or internet café, you’ll be given a private booth, often with a curtain or divider for privacy. These cafés are usually quiet places to surf the web and read, perfect for late nights.
Improve Your Pool and Darts Skills
You’ve probably seen a bunch of billiard and darts bars throughout Tokyo. These places are usually open quite late. There’s a broad range of different pool and darts places, from rowdy and classic “bar” vibes to quieter spots where you can get some serious practice in.
Hit the Club
If you meant to catch the last train home, you’re probably not in the mood to party. However, if you’re already out, why not? Clubs in Tokyo only get into the swing of things starting at midnight, so you’ll be right on time. Rally your friends to come dancing with you, particularly in the foreigner-friendly areas of Shibuya, Roppongi and Ginza.
Take a Cab Home
This one hurts, but if you live relatively centrally in the city, cabbing home might end up being cheaper than crashing at some establishment. Plus, sleeping in your own bed is priceless. Keep in mind that there’s a 20% surcharge between 10pm and 5am. Make sure you check how much it costs to get to your destination before hailing a taxi.