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The Lockup Tokyo: A Prison-Themed Restaurant Where You Can Devour Skulls & Eyeballs Behind Bars

The Lockup Tokyo

The Lockup Tokyo is a prison-themed izakaya (Japanese gastropub) that puts regular themed cafes, such as maid cafes and robot cafes, to shame. Besides the novelty of dining in prison cells, you’ll also get to be entertained by monster shows that happen a few times every night. Beware – this isn’t a place for the faint-hearted as the “show” starts once the moment you step into the cafe.

A prison-themed restaurant with individual cells for diners

the lockup tokyo - entrance
Image credit: @xenomorph81

the lockup tokyo - entrance hole
Image credit: @eikopon8150

The Lockup Tokyo is located on the 6th and 7th floor of the Shinjuku Square Building in Kabukicho. Once you enter the lobby, you won’t see anyone – the only thing that greets you is an ominous warning sign and a hole above it. Put your hand through the hole and it’ll trigger a scream that alerts the staff to your arrival.

the lockup tokyo - staff
Image credit: PR Times

the lockup tokyo - behind the cell
Image credit: @baroqueandbald

You’ll be handcuffed and led to your assigned prison cell by a prison guard. The cells can accommodate groups of different sizes, ranging from 2 to 10 people. For larger groups or special occasions, the cells can be combined and fit up to 40 people. Your food and drink orders will be served to you in your cells.

the lockup tokyo - white suit staff
Image credit: PR Times

the lockup tokyo - staff up close
Image credit: @sachiho_st_

3 times a night, the entire restaurant goes pitch black and loud sirens will sound. Staff dressed up as creepy clowns and eerie Japanese dolls run amok and terrorise the customers in the cells. This is said to be the best part of dining at The Lockup Tokyo, so make sure you stay for this segment.

As flashing bright lights and loud sirens are used, The Lockup Tokyo is not suitable for those with photosensitive epilepsy or families with young children.

the lockup tokyo - exit
Image credit: @cafe.meguritai

Menu includes skulls, eyeballs, and coals

the lockup tokyo - dessert with red syrup
Image credit: @tripjapao

the lockup tokyo - eyeball drinks
Image credit: @hoopzzz_

The decor and monster shows aren’t the only things that will scare you here, as the food and drinks also follow a similar theme. From cakes oozing with blood to drinks topped with eyeballs, you’ll find a variety of creepy-looking items on the menu. Their offerings change with the seasons but include a variety of mains, small bites, and desserts.

the lockup tokyo - black fried chicken
Image credit: PR Times

Back in December 2020, the izakaya offered a black-coloured fried chicken that bore an uncanny resemblance to coal. No word on whether it actually tastes like coal, though.

At The Lockup Tokyo, you can order à la carte dishes or opt for their all-you-can-eat packages. A buffet package, which includes a 9-course meal and unlimited drinks, costs ¥4,950 (~USD45.84) for 2 hours. If you’re there just for drinks, opt for the 1-hour all-you-can-drink package offering over 90 types of cocktails, mocktails and beers as it only costs ¥1,500 (~USD14.56).

Check out the à la carte menu here.

Sip on blood at The Lockup Tokyo

the lockup tokyo - sip on blood
Image credit: @yuco02169

The Lockup Tokyo is a place for thrill-seekers and those who are looking for something new to do. Rather than visiting other themed cafes or regular izakayas, head to The Lockup Tokyo and experience being a prisoner for a night. Prices here are also considered more affordable than other themed cafes or izakayas.

Since they’ve closed the rest of their outlets due to COVID-19, the Tokyo outlet is the only one left and it can get crowded on weekends. To guarantee a slot, drop them a call or reserve a cell through their website

Getting there: Alight at the Seibu-Shinjuku Station on the Seibu-Shinjuku Line, the Shinjuku-Nishiguchi Station on the Toei Ōedo Line, or at JR Shinjuku Station. The Lockup Tokyo is a 5-minute walk away.

Address: 6–7F Shinjuku Square Building, 1-16-3 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, 160-0021 Tokyo
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 5PM-10PM | Sat & Sun 12PM-10PM (Last order at 9.30PM)
Telephone: 03-5292-5516

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Cover image adapted from (clockwise from left): @hoopzzz_, PR Times and @baroqueandbald