A new Japanese company, Libra Inc, has launched the Tokyo Bar Hopping Tour, taking solo travellers around alleys in Shinjuku and Shibuya where locals usually go to have drinks in Tokyo.
Yasuhiro Suzuki, CEO of Libra Inc, said the idea for the tours came about quite by accident.
Soon after Libra Inc started hiring people from different parts of the world, it became apparent that these foreign colleagues never went out by themselves at night, despite valuing interactions with locals and enjoying nomikai (after-work parties) at izakayas (taverns). Common concerns were if pubs were for regular customers only, language barrier and safety.
When Libra Inc realised there was a lack of groups, tours and meet-ups that could help ease its foreign friends into the drinking culture, it pursued its new tour idea and target audience.
“There just wasn’t enough offers focusing on nightlife for solo travellers that can live up to capturing Japan’s unique drinking culture. At night the local people become so friendly and outgoing even though they are relatively shy in the daytime,” said Iwase Ryosuke, marketer at Libra Inc.
Today, the mission of Tokyo Bar Hopping is to help travellers experience a night out like the locals do.
In the near future, the Japanese company – which recently launched tour booking website Magical Trip – hopes to become a platform for connecting solo travellers with locals.