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Japan Adventures: Tokyo's themed restaurants

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Who doesn't like a good meal, amiright?

The metropolis of Tokyo, capital of the "land of the rising sun". In many ways Tokyo is a different country altogether. With its crazy fashion movements, technology, and curious (and sometimes slightly dysfunctional) futuristic services such as touch-screen vending machines and capsule hotels, Tokyo is the perfect place to go out on adventures and explore places for the hell of it. A university project had a few classmates and I running around Tokyo’s busy streets looking for funky themed restaurants, and we found some pretty fun stuff. So today, ladies and gents, I’d like to point four of them out to you, in case you’re planning a trip to Tokyo and would like to find a cool spot to sit down for a meal.

舞踏の国のアリス

Futou no Kuni no Arisu
Alice in Dancing Land
Address: 〒150-0042 東京都渋谷区宇田川町16番9号 ゼロゲート 地下1F
Opening hours: Lunch 11:00~16:00 (Last order at 15:30). Dinner 17:00~23:30 (last order at 23:00)

Our first stop is none other than Shibuya. This one of the various restaurants with an Alice in Wonderland theme you can find in Tokyo. There’s another one in Shinjuku called 魔法の国のアリス (Mahou no Kuni no Alice, Alice in Magical land) that I always see when I leave through the West Exit to head to my dance class, but I haven’t had the chance to visit that one yet. I also know there’s another one in Ginza and another in Ikebukuro—If you’re interested in them you can check out their official webpage here!
Alice in Dancing Land’s restaurant is 3 minutes away on foot from the JR Shibuya station (Hachiko exit) and the decoration is themed on dancing (hence the name, duh). Disney music plays in the background as you sit at one of the slots of the merry-go-round and order your cute Alice in wonderland inspired dishes. Unfortunately the merry-go-round doesn't actually move, but the atmosphere was great and the waitresses wear Alice’s signature blue dress!

Next stop: Ginza! This one’s a little bit trickier to find.

Vampire Café

Address: La Paix BUILDING 7F 6-7-6 GINZA CHUOU-KU TOKYO
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 17:00 – 23:00 (Last order at 22:00)

The Vampire Café… (queue dramatic organ piece). This café is the perfect spot to enjoy a bone-chilling meal. Here you’ll find yourself with an 18th century castle decoration with an overuse of red, where each table is separated by a curtain and becomes a little private room. On the menu you’ll be finding murderous items such as the EVIL HOT CHIKEN, and deathly drinks such as THE FULL MOON’S DESTINY. There’s food for all, and you can even enjoy a good old classy glass of BLOOD OF THE SACRIFICED (i.e. red wine) like any real vampire would.
My only complaints about this place is that you have to pay 500 yen to enter and you MUST order a drink. But other than that, it was as good as all the others, and the menu was absolutely hilarious. It’s about 10-15 minutes away from the Ginza station if you take the C2 exit.

Next stop: Kichijouji!

遊麗(ユウレイ)居酒屋

Yurei Izakaya
Address: 1B 1-8-11, Minamimachi, Kichijouji, Musashino City
Opening hours: 17:00 – the last train of the day.

Spooky spooky… 18th century vampire castles are good and all, but you’re in Japan! It’s time to immerse yourself in Japanese ghost stories at the Yurei Izakaya in Kichijouji.
The Yurei Izakaya is much like any other Izakaya in Japan: you can still order your usual all-you-can-drink (nomihoudai) and the menu is similar to all the others. Food items, unlike the other restaurants on this post, aren’t really themed (though their names on the menu are). This “restaurant’s” strongest selling point is its decoration. Remember that school festival anime episode with the haunted house? That’s what you’re in for, but a bit more sophisticated and believable. And if you come with a group of friends you’ll be invited to play a game of Russian roulette where whoever ends up eating the wasabi-filled meatball will become a ghost and be given proper garments to wear!
The only thing to keep in mind here is that, unlike the other places, the Yurei Izakaya’s menu isn’t in English. In fact, since the items all have funky weird names, even if you can read it you’ll have no clue what you’re ordering. Still, probably the best spot for celebrations and casual drinking while still enjoying the spooky ambience, 3 minutes away from Kichijouji station!

We’re onto the final stop, where we’ll find my favourite restaurant on this list: Akasaka.

Ninja Akasaka

Address: 〒100-0014 東京都千代田区永田町2-14-3 赤坂東急プラザ1F
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 17:00 - 25: 00 (door closes at 22:30). Sundays, 17:00 - 23:00 (door closes at 21:45)

If youkai and obake aren't your thing, worry not. There's another restaurant you can head to with a theme you'll only be finding in Japan: the ninja restaurant in Akasaka.
Yes, you read that right. Ninjas. This whole restaurant is a ninja village, and you even get guided through a secret passage to enter. Reservations are the usual deal around here, but if you arrive early and they're open you can easily get a table. Despite it's crazy theme, this is a very high-class restaurant, and thus it's quite expensive (wallets, beware). But they have English speaking staff and an English menu, so that's a big plus. In addition to all the crazy themed food items you can order, the waiters and waitresses are dressed as ninjas, and depending on what you order you might have it prepared epically by your table. But food making isn't the only show they have around: a ninja will visit your table and perform some ninjutsu (i.e. magic tricks) for you and your friends, and trust me, it'll do your head in.
Though the most expensive out of the lot, this was by far my favourite restaurant. Be sure to leave Nagatachou station through exit 8, because it's right beneath it!

So my pretties, hope you'll find this information useful if you ever visit Tokyo! If you ever do decide to have a meal at one of these restaurants or have gone before, do write down your opinions and thoughts for others to read!



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