Although Japan doesn’t celebrate Halloween with deeper meaning like other countries (they don’t honor the deceased nor have a pagan history), Halloween is still a big thing for this country. And as Japan being Japan, you know how grand the parties will be. One of the most famous is the wild Shibuya Crossing Street party.
My girl friends and I planned to go there unfortunately, it didn’t push through because of some reasons. So, we just decided to go to a theme cafe in Tokyo few days after Halloween. Its name itself is intriguing, The lock up Tokyo – a prison themed restaurant.
We looked online for reservation for the place, which is a thing in Japan to do. We came a cross on this website and it said the reservation fee is 1,000Yen (450php / 6$) per person! Can you imagine? We were 4 so we will cost around 4,000Yen (1,800php / 27$)! We decided to call them only to find out, the reservation is FREE. Yes, it’s FREE.
We realized the website we saw is a tourist trap. Please, never sign up for any website other than the official one and PLEASE call them no matter how you can’t speak Japanese. If you can’t call just walk in.
EXTRA TIP: Reservation in Japanese is “Yuyakushimasu”. Just say that and tell them how many you are and what time will be fine.
The restaurant is situated in Shibuya, Tokyo. I think it’s around 5 minutes from the station and if you’re familiar with 109 Mall (Women), it’s 3 minutes from there because we started navigating from the building haha
It’s in the basement so expect no high signal to none.
Ambiance and Experience
It was dim of course for the effect of the restaurant. I tried video taping the entrance but failed so bad because it was too dark. We got a bit jumpy because there were stuff there that will give you a surprise welcome. It was also like a maze as you come in.
So this is the main entrance to it. We waited a little bit to get accommodated even if we had a reservation. We didn’t mind. We were so hyped by the ambiance.
As I said earlier, it was dim. This was at the waiting area with so many led lights.
As soon as we were allowed to come in, a waitress came out and asked us, “Who is the bad person in your group?” We were a bit confused when she said it. Don’t get me wrong, we understand Japanese but the question was puzzling. However, I pointed my friend Yuko and the waitress just handcuffed her before leading us in. What a way to welcome us! haha
So inside, as it is a prison themed, looked like cells. This was ours:
The only problem I had with our cell was, it’s quite small. The door was smaller than me and not so much space inside. I’m 5’2 and never had the problem of entering any room but I had a bit of discomfort there. Inside the room, it was a bit dim as well.
Once we entered, the waiter suddenly popped in and asked for our drinks. We said we haven’t thought about it but he said there will be a show in a few minutes so we needed to. Hurriedly and in a bit of panic, we ordered one of each cocktails and then he was gone.
After a while, the lights went out, only a LED light on. There were sounds on a speaker in Japanese but a bit scary. Then suddenly the show started, a siren blasted an d there were noises and monsters came to disrupt us. The first show frightened us and I stuck my self near the wall just to be safe but some monsters came inside our cell that made us scream. The second show though was not scary anymore so we asked for photos haha these photos were taken with FLASH.
And just to put this here, the toilet have some neon painted lights too that illuminates
Food and Drinks
Now, you see, The Lock Up is more popular for its drinks and less of the food. We knew it from the start so we didn’t have high expectations of it. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the food. I don’t have a lot of photos but we ordered Taco rice (I liked it a lot!), cheese rice (something like that), Fried chicken (which is really good!) and some chicken cartilage we made a mistake ordering (mistaken for chicken meat).
They don’t have any English menu but there were pictures and we can read Japanese. I mean, my friends can mostly. haha Prices were reasonable but to be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to the price.
Now.. for the drinks! We spent minutes taking photos because they’re so cool and different!
L-R: The blue one was actually vodka (it’s my drink). It came with those slim bottles of yellow, pink, blue and green. You mix them together in a beaker so the vodka will be less strong. Next, a cherry cocktail (Yuko’s), The one in the dextrose was actually red wine (Ayumi’s) and last a mojito in a beaker (Kitz’)
The cocktails did taste good. Although I had a mistake in using mine. I thought the little liquid in the glasses (colorful) were alcohol and the blue was not. Totally the other way around haha
I can’t remember this drink’s name but I liked it most. It’s sweet with spirit in it. The eye-ball was a gum – Yes! You can actually eat it. Yuko did. We all ate one of each of the red “veins”.
Now, these pills they called “Bakudan” or in English “Bomb” because well… it’s 70% alcohol. We got one for each at 100Yen (70Cents in $ and 45php). It smelled like rubbing alcohol to be honest. I spilled mine and went into my wounded finger and it hurt. haha
Over all Experience
We loved it! It’s unique, it’s different. Our total bill was reasonable. We liked what we drunk, we liked the show, the ambiance, the staff were accommodating, they serve fast! We would go back if we could and we highly recommend!
Cafes like this, I couldn’t help but say: it’s only in Japan! so if you happen to visit, this is a must to go to!