Easily located in Shinjuku (Photo: Peter Lin)

Dug Jazz Cafe & Bar

Authentic vintage jazz kissa in Shinjuku

Peter Lin   - 2 min read

Dug Jazz Cafe and Bar is a legendary jazz kissaten located in Shinjuku. Close to the East exit of Shinjuku Station and near Isetan Department store and the Golden Gai, Dug is open from noon to 11:30 p.m. every day and in the basement of a nondescript building on Yasukuni Dori. The cafe has an interesting 60 year history and is famous as a setting in Haruki Murakami's novel "Norwegian Wood." It first opened in 1961 and had changed locations a few times before settling in its current location in Shinjuku. Jazz kissa originally developed for fans dedicated to the communal listening and appreciation of jazz music in a space outside of the home and are a uniquely Japanese creation which started after World War II. There are hundreds of jazz kissa in Tokyo alone but Dug is one of the best known. The walls of the cafe are lovingly adorned with pictures of jazz musicians taken by the owner, Hozumi Nakadaira. and the music is played on high-end audio systems surrounded by vinyl records. The atmosphere is very cozy, quiet and cool. Conversation is in hushed tones and customers are intent on enjoying the music and the ambiance. During the day, Dug acts as a cafe but at night (after 6:30 p.m.), it becomes a bar. Smoking is allowed, and on the menu, there are cocktails as well as other drinks including whiskey and coffee drinks . Light fare including sandwiches, pizza toast and desserts are available as well. Dug makes for a nostalgic break from shopping at department stores in Shinjuku and is distinctly different from the more polished and minimalist tea salons or third wave coffee stops across Tokyo. Stop here from the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku for a truly unique Tokyo experience with a vintage yet classy ambiance..

Getting there

Exit Shinjuku Station from the My City Exit and it is 3 minutes walking distance. There is a neon sign in front of the cafe.

Peter Lin

Peter Lin @peter.lin

I first visited Japan in 2001 and since then have returned many times. With the efficiency and reliability of its transportation, the graciousness of the people, and the dedication to quality in food and service, Japan has been my standard for modern travel convenience. Every return has reminded...