Japan’s love affair with the bizarre extends to its restaurants too. Where else in the world can you find a restaurant where you are served by trained ninjas, or experience a maid cafe? These weird restaurants in Japan will not disappoint if you’re on the hunt for the unusual. Turn your normal dining experiences into something completely new!
1. The LockUp
A horror prison themed restaurant, The LockUp is not for the fainthearted. A dining experience here first involves getting handcuffed and led to your table in a cell. Once the elevator door opens, follow the almost pitch dark path reverberating with drilling noises and torturous screams.
Order from items like ‘Life Imprisonment’ and ‘Medusa’s Eyeball’, and don’t get too comfortable. Three times a night, the restaurant experiences a blackout. All kinds of ‘monsters’ will be running past your cell, and try not to knock over your drinks when they come give you a fright!
2. Ninja Akasaka
This weird dining experience begins once you arrive at the front desk. There you will wait for your ninjas to arrive and escort you to your table. Going through dim mysterious corridors with a number of surprises, you’ll finally arrive into your private ninja lair.
The overall dining experience has some humor and magic tricks mixed in, and you can tell the amount of effort and time put into the restaurant’s theme. In no way does it overshadow the food though. Enjoy high-quality Japanese cuisine crafted by top notch Japanese chefs, while fire, smoke and other surprises make this dining experience one-of-a-kind.
3. mipig cafe
Dog and cat cafes are so cliche. For something different, mipig cafe is the first and only place in Japan where you can cuddle adorable miniature pigs! Unlike some Western countries where pigs have become popular as pets, pigs are still seen as livestock in Japan. mipig wants to help people become more familiar with the animal. They are intelligent, curious and adorable and some may even describe them as dog-like cats.
There is a minimum order of at least one drink per person when you come here. If you get peckish, mipig cafe also serves a selection of pastries and desserts.
What’s so weird about noodles? Well, nothing really, except in Hirobun they’re served in a way that makes dining much more fun. For one, these nagashi somen are not served out of a bowl. Nagashi means “flow”, and nagashi somen is an eating style where you “catch” your noodles with chopsticks. This is the reason why we just had to include them in this weird restaurants in Japan list!
The somen are all handmade in house, cooked to perfection before they come to you down the bamboo shoot in a stream of cool flowing water. Nagashi somen is only available in summer, and you are seated in front of a small waterfall which really adds to the ambience and helps curb the heat.
5. Maidreamin Café
There are maid themed cafes all over Japan, but Maidreamin is one of the most popular maid cafes in all of Japan. The atmosphere is very bubbly and lively, and there are also singing and dancing performances.
With 15 different locations in Japan, these cafes are very accessible, and they also have an English menu for those not fluent in Japanese. The maids will also address you as ‘master’ or ‘princess’ which can feel rather weird at first, but the royal treatment is all part of the experience!
6. Vampire Café
Hidden in the dark of the lively Ginza district is an unusual dining spot with red velvet walls, candles, blood cell carpet, and vampires. For a nice glass of ‘blood’, cross-shaped bites and other yummy themed items, Vampire Café offers a taste of the morbid and macabre.
From the decor to the dishes, every last detail shapes the eerie dining landscape. The atmosphere is enough to transport diners into another world, and make them forget all about the flagship stores and shopping streets.