Kangoku Inshoku is a bizarre prison-themed izakaya not far from Yabacho, Shin-Sakae or Tsurumai subway stations in downtown Nagoya.
The interior is arranged on two floors with diners eating in their own cells behind iron bars. It's pretty dark inside but the decor is also horror-centered with skeletons and hideous dummies hanging in chains on the red and black painted walls.
There's a horror show nightly at 8pm. The doors are locked and a sound track cranks up. Dry ice starts to filter through the place and the staff don fright masks and attempt to scare you to death. It's loud and fun.
Kangoku Inshoku is popular with the younger generation especially for birthday parties when a cake with candles is brought to your table by the ghoulish staff with a clap-along rendition of "Happy Birthday".
Kangoku Inshoku offers various set courses ranging from 2,000-3,500 yen or order à la carte. Some of the things on the menu are also a bit spooky: silkworm pupa (Korean beondegi), frogs' legs and roast alligator to go along with the more mundane fried potatoes, onion rings and tuna salad.
If truth be told the food was pretty average and it really is too dark to enjoy your dinner and drink properly. But the horror experience and the novelty of eating in a prison cell are the main draws after all.
Sakae 5-8-6, Naka-ku
Tel: 052 264 0273
Hours: Monday-Thursday, Sunday & public holidays 6pm-1am; Friday & Saturday 6pm-3pm
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