When it comes to travelling, more often than not I find myself disliking big cities.
Rome, Barcelona, London – such places just don’t seem to suit me.
However, there are exceptions to every rule, and Tokyo is one such exception.
I don’t know why Tokyo is such a special city. Maybe it is the unbelievable food, the friendly people, the amazing transport system, or maybe it is the fact that at its best, Tokyo can be downright wacky.
Tokyo has endless opportunities for travellers during the daytime, but I most loved Tokyo when the sun went down. As night falls, the eccentricities of the city become even more prominent, and this is never more obvious than when you do a little bit of bar-hopping.
On my first night out in Tokyo, I roped my friend Kaisha into joining me on a visit to one such wacky bar – Alcatraz ER.
Located in the heart of the Shibuya District – Alcatraz ER is surprisingly unassuming when looking at it from the outside. The themed bar and restaurant is situated in a high rise building down a relatively quiet Shibuya side street. If I didn’t have Google Maps telling me that it was there, I would have been completely unaware of its existence.
After walking into a normal looking office building, you take the elevator up a couple of floors, and upon those elevator doors opening – much like Dorothy, you are hit with the distinct suspicion that you aren’t in Kansas anymore!
Alcatraz ER is named for exactly the reason you’d imagine. The theme of the bar is ‘hospital prison’ and the place is completely decked out with anything and everything that fits this theme.
Upon entering, a quick rundown on the conditions of entry is given. The main points are that you need to take your shoes off before entering your prison cell and that you agree to pay a ¥500 per person table charge. Once you verbally agree to these terms, a bloodied-up nurse will come and escort you to your cell.
Once safely ensconced in our upper level cell we were handed a few menus and instructed by our babe of a nurse to slam a lead pipe against our cell when we were ready to order.
Now, let me preface this by saying that when I decided to visit Alcatraz ER, I knew the place would be freaky.
However, I was not prepared for just how freaky it would be. The amount of hilariously strange things on the menu was extensive, but these are a few of my personal favourites.
I ended up settling on this incredibly subtle ‘cock’-tail!
The nurse who brought it to me had absolutely no qualms about demonstrating the best way to consume my drink. Watching him unabashedly go to town on that dildo was more hilarious than words can describe. I ended up in such an intense giggle fit that I actually had tears streaming down my face.
Alcatraz ER was super kitsch, at some times cheesy, but it was also incredibly entertaining and a bar experience like no other. It is well worth a trip if you ever find yourself in Tokyo!
The following night we set out to visit another out of this world bar just a five minute walk from Alcatraz ER.
Say hello to ‘The Vibe Bar Wild One’ – a bar dedicated to sex toys!
This nutsy little bar is an extension of the ‘Wild One’ sex shop on the ground floor. There are stairs behind the shop and if you follow them up to the third floor, an undoubtedly unique drinking experience awaits you.
A bar dedicated to sex toys might sound like the kind of place to get a bit raucous and wild, but surprisingly, this is not the case, thanks to a few consistently enforced rules of entry.
Women can enter the bar freely, but there are restrictions for men. A man must be accompanied by a woman, and if numerous men want to enter, then they must be accompanied by at least the same number of women.
Entrance to the bar will set you back ¥3000 ($36). This cover charge includes two drinks and 90 minutes of access – however, if the bar isn’t overly full you can generally stay a little bit longer.
The bar is suitably decked out with anything and everything related to sex.
Some such decor is downright disturbing…
…while other parts are just downright amazing, check out this incredible vagina doorway!
The bar is meant to be a safe place for people to explore sex toys, and possibly find something they like enough to take home with them.
Now, while that may be the bars intent, instead my mate Kaisha and I just set out to find the most out-there, intimidating and strange toys on offer while downing a few cocktails – which actually turned out to be a highly amusing way to spend a few hours.
This ‘toy’ was bigger than my forearm and the ‘head’ of it was bigger than my fist. There are not enough ways to say “NOPE” in the world to describe how much this thing squicked me out!
I mean seriously, is there anything more creepy than this ‘fist’ toy?! The fist was as big as my face!
Despite some parts of the bar being a bit much for this travellers tastes, that in no way hindered its entertainment value.
The Vibe Bar is certainly a bar like no other, and if you are looking for a kooky experience in Tokyo, look no further.
Stay weird Japan.
T H E L O W D O W N
Getting to Tokyo: There are two major airports in Tokyo – Narita and Haneda – these two airports serve as major international hubs for Japan
Getting to Vibe Bar Wild One: From Tokyo Station, catch the Yamanote Line bound for Shibuya and disembark at Shibuya Station, from there it is a 5 minute walk to the bar
Vibe Bar: Entrance to the cafe for 90 minutes will set you back ¥3000, click here for more info
Threads: My stunning maxi dresses are both by Tigerlily Swimwear and my black choker is by Little Dove
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 lens and iPhone 6
Remember: Bookings are not essential but are highly recommended
Don’t forget to add me on Snapchat and Instagram – @wwellend – for more foolishness and travel adventures!
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