Monday, December 10, 2012

Alcatraz ER: Tokyo

Once upon a time in Tokyo, my then-partner took me to a place which was described to me as "interesting." At that point, I had already been in Tokyo off and on for the past three years, so I was not about to get all giggly and surprised over some cheesy Japanese tourist experience. I told my partner that I had seen a lot of "interesting" stuff in Japan, so this better exceed expectations.

We called together a groups of friends to meet at this restaurant in Shibuya. About half of us met at Hachiko (the famous dog statue outside of Shibuya station) and walked together.  I can't even describe how we got there. Street names, addresses and landmarks are all meaningless in this neck of the woods.

After we arrived another friend called from the station asking for directions. I handed the phone to a Japanese friend who stayed on the line for a minute before hanging up and somehow my friend arrived at the restaurant in five minutes. Unbelievable. There is nothing I could have said that would have gotten her here.

as cheesy as you wanna be

Actually, there is probably one thing I could have said: Alcatraz ER. That's the name of the place, and it is legendary in Tokyo. The space is set up like a jail, with cells and handcuffs, but there staff are all doctors and nurses, so that's where the ER theme comes in. Strange combo, a little goofy, a little sexist, but a whole lot of fun.

Upon entering, you must input your blood type, which is really so Japanese. Most Americans  probably don't even know their own blood type. After that you are greeted by two sexy nurses, who will give you a fake shot (like a vaccination, not a drink) before handcuffing you and leading you into a cell.


dining area

While in the cell, everyone is seated on the floor, which is pretty normal for Japanese people, but can get uncomfortable for a westerner. The cell is fully enclosed to give the illusion that you are in a jail, but it's not locked (uh, that would be a fire hazard). To order, you must bang your stick on the bars on of the cell just like in old prison movies.  Every hour, the power goes out and there is a "prison break" where one crazy inmate escapes and tries to climb into your cell and scare you.

typical cell for two

The cast

Rounding up the inmates

The long hallway

The best part about this place though, it the menu. When I first went here years ago, they had a very limited food menu, but have since improved. The highlight of the experince, however, is their wacky drink selection.

All the drinks are really something unique in presentation. Some come in a baby bottle, others are served to you in a test tubes. The downside is, as with all cocktails in Japan, they are weak as shit. I have to knock back forty of them just to get a solid buzz going, and this place isn't cheap. Still there are not many places in the world where you get to stir your drink with a dildo.So, for that, it is totally worth it.

Some of my favorites:

alcohol in a baby bottle

flask from a science experiment

test tube drinks

This drink was called, "Precum"

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