"Shinjuku PIT INN" is a noted live music club with a long history.
It's just a five minute walk from the Isetan Shinjuku Store. Established by a young man, "Shinjuku PIT INN" is a wonderful place to truly enjoy live music.
There are many places you can go to listen to jazz, such as live music clubs, restaurants, and jazz cafes. But did you know you can find a jazz club with a long history very close to the Isetan Shinjuku Store?
Head east on "Shinjuku-dori" in front of the Isetan Shinjuku Main Building, then cross the "Shinjuku Nichome" intersection. Head north on "Shinjuku Yanagi-dori," then enter the second alley. You'll see the "Shinjuku PIT INN" sign on the left.
"Shinjuku PIT INN" was established in 1965. Although it was originally opened as a cafe for car enthusiasts, Japan was in the middle of a jazz boom at the time, and eventually the number of customers who came simply to listen to jazz music outnumbered the car enthusiasts.
There were some young jazz musicians among the customers, so the owner began offering the club as a place where musicians with few other opportunities to perform could play. "Shinjuku PIT INN" continued to develop as a live music club, and today is well-known as a great place to listen to bands play.
Yoshitake Sato was only 20 years old when he opened "Shinjuku PIT INN." He was very thorough when it came to audio equipment and the acoustic environment, in order to get the best acoustics possible. All seats face the stage, and are arranged so that customers can concentrate on enjoying pure music. When asked of the simple and unadorned interior, Mr. Sato explained that his intention was for the club to be steeped in the world of musicians. He also focused on selecting the best audio equipment so that PIT INN would have the absolute best sound, and poured his efforts into creating an environment in which customers could truly enjoy live music.
Customers are required to purchase at least one drink from a menu that includes beer, whiskey, wine, and cocktails.
Live performances are held twice daily--once during the day and once at night--making it easy to enjoy some live music no matter what your schedule is like. We attended the day performance featuring The Watanabe Masahiko GROUP. We enjoyed a wide range of music, from up-tempo songs to music with a calmer melody.
One great thing about "Shinjuku PIT INN" is how close the seats are to the stage. You can really feel the impact that only live music delivers. The beautiful tones coming from the vibraphone, piano, bass, and drums reverberate throughout the club, and their beautiful harmony makes your heart jump.
A variety of companies including the Isetan Shinjuku Store held the "Shinjuku PIT INN 50th Anniversary Shinjuku Jazz Festival" in December 2015. "Shinjuku PIT INN" also sells their own 50th anniversary T-shirts--perfect as a souvenir to commemorate your visit!
The fact that "Shinjuku PIT INN" has remained a popular spot for over 50 years probably has something to do with Mr. Sato's insistence on creating the perfect environment to listen to live music. This is why the location is treasured as a place to experience the pure sound of jazz--right in the middle of Shinjuku.