The lifetime prevalence of social anxiety disorder (SAD) is high at 3–13%, but there have been only limited reports investigating the clinical features of this disorder in a large number of Japanese patients. The authors have conducted a retrospective, chart review study of 52 patients with SAD and obtained the following results. (i) The proportion of SAD in first visit outpatients at the Department of Psychiatry, Niigata University Medical and Dental Hospital, Niigata, Japan, was 1.04%. The male: female ratio was 1:0.73, so male patients appeared to be more common in the sample. (ii) With regard to subtype, generalized type (73% of the patients) was more common than non-generalized type (27%). (iii) The mean age of onset was 18.6 ± 7.8 years, and there was a trend towards onset of disease at a younger age in the generalized type compared to the non-generalized type. (iv) The most common chief complaint was anxiety and tension in front of others (40.4%). (v) Pharmacotherapy resulted in improvement in 63.5% of the patients. Treatment by fluvoxamine and alprazolam resulted in high response rates of more than 70%.