Countdown to the Year of the Dragon at Club Dragon (1F Stork Nagasaki, 2-11-4 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku; 03-3341-0606), Ni-Chome’s spacious gay lounge staffed with friendly English-speaking waiters dressed in hot pants like go-go-boys. Not only are they foreigner-friendly, female entry is also allowed—though ladies may not get the same great deals as the men. Drinks are a bargain Fri-Sun, as beer and cocktails are all-you-can-drink (¥1,000) during happy hour and other drinks are ¥200 off between 6-9pm.
For Antipodean wines galore, visit Wineya (7-20-16 Nishi-Shinjuku, www.gordianwines66.com), a specialty shop and bar that negotiates with small and medium-sized wineries, and directly imports New World vino still undiscovered in Japan. That’s how they keep the prices of their wine (from ¥330/glass & ¥1,880/bottle), beer (from ¥580), and sangria (¥580) low. Match your glass with top-class Iberico ham (¥780), assorted cheese (¥750), or other tapas from the menu.
Nostalgic highball bar Modern Times 1923 (3-20-9 Akasaka, Minato-ku; http://meturl.com/moderntimes1923), features a five-tap “highball tower” that dispenses high pressure carbonated soda, each premixed with Kakubin, and lovely aged varieties of Yamazaki, Hakushu, Macallan, and JD. There are also highballs from homemade ginger (¥450) to seasonal fruit (¥630), and everything in between. Get 30 percent more each drink by getting a copper mug etched with your name (¥2,000), to be kept at the bar.