Featured recently on international television, The Lockup in Shibuya is one of those odd, over-the-top theme restaurants for which Japan is quickly becoming famous. For years Japan has been known for its frightening and bloody horror films, such as The Ring, The Grudge and popular anime like Death Note, so it was bound to happen: a haunted dungeon themed izakaya right in the middle of Tokyo.
On entering the prison-style restaurant you must first brave the dark entrance, complete with terrifying skeletons, before being handcuffed by a waitress and escorted to be detained in your cell. Food and drink in the dungeon are pure entertainment, but it’s the presentation and the overall experience that makes it special. To accompany our typical and rather commonplace izakaya-style fare, we had multi-colored drinks served in test tubes, medicine bottles, and syringes, resembling something from a Hammer horror movie. At one point the lights went out, and in the blackness there was a surprise prison break.
Our cell was visited by mask-wearing ghouls who were more than happy to pose for photographs with us. They may have thrown the book at us, but being behind bars in this joint was great fun. Our incarceration lasted a few short hours before we were liberated, but we would definitely return of our own free will. With Halloween soon approaching it is advisable to book ahead, as The Lockup will surely be popular for private parties and even an entertaining date. Not many people would voluntarily be put on ice, but a sentence in this rack is definitely worth it.
B2F, 33-1 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku