One of the best places to eat and revive oneself after an exhausting day of work is a restaurant bar. In Japan, we call restaurant bars as “Izakaya“. Izakaya, factually means the places or eateries in Japan where you can stay to drink alcoholic beverages which are also oftentimes served together with good food. What makes a typical Japanese restaurant bar or izakaya different from Western ones is the means clients remove their shoes, sit on tatami mats and dine on old Japanese tables. Folks typically go to izakayas by groups and sit on tables of 4 or more. Though solo goers are also welcome. Depending on the izakaya, non-traditional clients can also choose to dine with the usual Western-style table and chair. Izakayas are well-known all over Japan. But an urban city like Tokyo still has somewhat unique with its izakayas which make them renowned locally and globally because these are bars you won’t just see in a typical town. Here are 10 of the unique and rare izakayas in Tokyo which you would like to visit during your vacation in Japan.
Drink and dine with the Ninjas!
Visit this ninja-themed izakaya in present-day Tokyo which lets you experience feasting inside a ninja mansion, complete with the flawless Japanese ninja era atmosphere. The restaurant’s interior comprises cave-like passageways, bridges, ponds, and gardens. Appreciate not only their menu and alcoholic beverages but also the friendliness and good customer service of their attendants dressed in ninja attire. Every client will surely feel being back to the past centuries as the ninja waiters cater to their orders while role-playing as actual ninjas by the sides.
NINJA AKASAKA’s feature their signature ninja-inspired courses which include Shuriken star-blades grissini, Mont Blanc of vegetables, chicken fritter ninja-style, special stone-boiled soup, etc. Being popular for a very tourist-friendly eatery in Tokyo, they also have restricted courses such as vegetarian course, and pork and alcohol-free courses for clienteles who have restricted food choices but would still like to relish the ninja experience at NINJA AKASAKA.
Casual train-themed bar and restaurant!
Little TGV is yet another one of Tokyo’s exclusive restaurant bars with its train-themed interior and welcoming crew outfitted in cute train station staff costumes. These cute train staff attendants warmly welcome you as you arrive the premises of this uniquely themed izakaya which makes it a must-go for local and foreign travellers alike.
Little TGV features an eye-catching and lovely menu of food and drinks inspired by the colours and shapes of railroads and different trains all over the country. Some of them are the tamagoyaki (grilled egg rolls) formed as small little train cars with nori (dried seaweed) as accents to signify the train’s windows and doors. Also, inside Little TGV is a display of the N Scale model railway.
Experience dining inside a prison hospital!
Experience being in a jail hospital as policewomen in miniskirts capture you and put you in handcuffs, while being cherished by Moe (Japanese slang word referring to a fictional perfect young girl) and sexy nurses, only in Alcatraz Emergency Room/E.R. Also be entertained while watching the nightly live shows presenting the world’s legendary jail-breaking stories as you relish your glass of original alcoholic drink.
One of the themes which made Alcatraz E.R. very popular to local and distant travellers is its out-of-the-ordinary isolated rooms deliberately designed to look like medical rooms, ICUs, and morgues. These isolated rooms range in capacity from 4-50 people. Another exclusive feature to Alcatraz E.R. is their signature beverages which are served in glasses shaped like test tubes, beakers, syringes, and all other medical tools and apparatus. This bar is flawless for celebrations, birthday and victory parties, and the like.
Yurei Bar (Japanese ghost bar)
Be served food for the ghosts by ghost-waitresses!
Ever desired to try dining while enjoying some little scary moments? Yuurei Bar, one of those unusual restaurant bars exclusive to Japan might be the place you are looking for. “Yuurei” is a Japanese word which means “Japanese ghost”, or a “dead soul”. The restaurant’s idea is to offer chills and shocks to their clientele while having their tasty meals at a horror house-inspired interior. Part of their facilities is a small bell near your table which seemingly calls the attention of a ghost once rung. These ghosts are staff persons outfitted in Yuurei costumes who be there to the customer’s call, in a scary yet terrifyingly elegant way.
Get locked up in a prison cell!
In the LockUp, you will experience being cuffed by sexy space cops who will assist you to your prison cell. There you will be locked-up and served the meal you order. The LockUp’s menu features a lot of fascinating prison cell-themed food and alcoholic beverages offered in glass syringes, test tubes, beakers, and the like. The atmosphere inside the bar is scary at the same time too due to the disturbing designs of the doors, corridors, and some sideshows (A monument of a man in an electric chair) which will make every client feel the atmosphere of being a prisoner in jail.
Zauo Fishing Bar and Restaurant
Catch your own fish on-the-spot and dine!
Ever tried catching your own fish, having it prepared, then consuming it right on the spot where you caught it? At Zauo Fishing Bar and Restaurant, you would be given a chance to catch your own fish fresh from the water. Clients sit on chairs and tables boarded on a large boat enclosed by water, and of course, fish.
Zauo restaurant is well-known for fish made into sashimi or raw slices of fish in order to take advantage of catching them fresh. Upon entrance to the restaurant, you will be given the menu and the charges of the fish you can catch. Once you’ve decided, attendants will give you a fishing rod and some bait which also comes at a distinct price from the fish itself. They have lobsters, shrimps, horse mackerel, shellfish, eel, sea bream, Japanese sea snail, and more of your preferred seafood delights.
Akabane Reien Bar
Haunted house-themed bar and restaurant!
Yes, a spooky house restaurant as it is, Akabane Reien Bar. Get the chills and be amazed by freshly severed head falling off from the ceiling (they are not real heads though, of course), travelling monsters and ghosts, extra scary wall designs, furniture, and accents. But Akabane Reien Bar features more than chilling restaurant interior and horror-themed menu and drinks.
As a haunted house itself, expect surprises all the time as you relish your little snack for you don’t know when these ghost outbreaks will happen. They also offer infinite beer and other alcoholic beverage services. This out-of-the-ordinary eatery is perfect for people who are fond of getting scares and enjoying the moment with their friends and loved ones.
Sengoku Buyuden (The legend of the brave)
Travel back to ancient Japan!
Experience Japan during the Sengoku period in Sengoku Buyuden restaurant where samurai warriors are the key attraction. The restaurant features a couple of secluded rooms where customers dine. The prehistoric interior design and atmosphere in these secluded rooms aim to give the patrons an idea of the samurai way of living in Japan during the primaeval times. Different kinds of copy armour, family crests, flags, and a whole lot more of early Japan can also be seen exclusively in the restaurant.
As a special offer, overseas tourist clients get to receive a ninja sword as a memento from the restaurant itself. Foreign travellers who are specifically interested in these kinds of souvenirs should definitely not miss the chance.
Japanese style hotpot restaurant!
If you still can’t get enough of Japanese legends, then Namahage Ginzaten is an izakaya recommendation for you. “Namahage” is a demon in the ancient Japanese folklore. By the name itself, it shows the ancient Japanese folklore, mainly the Namahage as its core theme. The restaurant is based inside an old-style Japanese hut with a thatched roof which gives off that ancient Japanese feeling to their clientele. The restaurant bar also features live Namahage shows for their clientele to relish while dining and drinking their good cup of sake (Japanese wine).
Awa Odori Restaurant
Dine and have fun with live dance performances!
Awa Odori restaurant concentrates in Tokushima cuisine. Tokushima is a town in Shikoku isle popular for its Awa Odori (a local Japanese dance festival). The restaurant features live Awa Odori acts, different dance forms and performing groups from all over Japan.
Dropping by the usual restaurant bars do get the job done but paying a special visit to one or two of the 10 themed izakayas mentioned above will give you a fresher experience when it comes to after-work relaxation and tension emission. Not only do izakayas offer the locals with alcoholic refreshments, but also the holidaymakers who would want to experience high-quality and unique bar experience in Japan.