Tokyo: Motown House – Roppongi Nightlife

Motown - Tokyo

I don’t know how long Motown has been around, but it seems like forever! Located one stair up in an anonymous-looking building on the busy street Gaien-higashi-dōri, Motown 1 is one of the only places in Roppongi, which is always crowded in the weekends.

My first encounter with Motown was back in 2003, and not much has changed since then. As a matter of fact, Motown 1 is like a time capsule that takes you back to the late 90’s and early 00’s so expect to hear a lot of Bon Jovi and Britney Spears during a night out at this legendary spot. Around midnight, when Chumbawamba’s Tubthumping is playing for god knows what time, the tiny dance floor is usually so crowded that all movements, except for nodding your head, are virtually impossible.

For many years Motown was infamous for attracting a lot of “working girls”, but last time I was there, it seemed like they had cleaned up the place a little. However, on the general sleaziness-scale, Motown still delivers and the bar isn’t for the faint-hearted.

On weekends, the clientele is a diverse crowd of businessmen (mostly expats),English teachers and ladies of the night and most of them are in their 30s/40s/50s. During weekdays, the crowd is mostly lost tourists, sad-looking expat males and “working girls”. This may not sound too promising, and some of you will probably hate this place, but come with an open mind , go there on a Friday and I’m sure you’ll have a fun night.

• You can request songs by writing the name of the track you want to hear on a small piece of paper, which you then pass to the DJ along with a couple of yens.

• Motown is not a fancy place, and people dress, as they please (some come straight from work).

• Drinks are 800 JPY and up.

Motown, Com Roppongi 2F, 3-11-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Hours: Mon-Sun:18:00-5:00, Tel: +81(0)3-5474-4605 Address in Japanese: 東京都港区六本木3-12-6

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