Andrew Zimmern visits Tokyo’s bizarre themed cafes

Our bunny told us to follow three instructions: don’t use your cell phone, speak softly, and keep moving forward. is not a restaurant for the faint-hearted. In Japan, these restaurants achieve that without diluting their content (food) the way that American ‘eater-tainment’ joints do.”

Edelstein (click here for CNNGo’s review) is a favorite with the ladies: the café resembles Harry Potter’s boarding school, and the waiters pretend to be awkward schoolboys.

The Tokyo episode of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World airs this May on the Travel Channel and in 75 countries. My friends joined us, dressed like students from a horror high school. And what happened next was as chilling as the trapped-in-a-coffin scene from “Kill Bill”. (Don’t ask why.) We skipped the snacks in favor of the ‘rabbit hole’ attraction. He gave them the thumbs up and said, “The idea that food should be fun and not a stuffy experience has always been my preference. We bravely sampled pig tripe, fruit cocktails mixed with dildos and Russian Roulette takoyaki. When a slushy red drink arrived in a mannequin’s decapitated head, he used a syringe to pump shots into our mouths. 

Why me? Had they read my book, “Crazy Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo”? Or seen the cross-dressing shenanigans on my blog? Host Andrew Zimmern flatters me by saying, “It was a no-brainer. You’ll have to wait until the episode airs to find out!

The Bizarre Foods star has visited Tokyo several times, but this was his first opportunity to explore theme restaurants. “Quality of the food was better that I would have thought it would be.

Café Edelstein

Alcatraz E.R. Zimmern and I drank rose tea, tasted dainty buttercream cakes and sighed over the dreamy waiters. The waitress — dressed as a skimpy nurse — slapped handcuffs on Zimmern and locked him in a cell with my Goth comrades. La Carmina photographed and described dozens of Japanese theme restaurants in her book, “Crazy Wacky Theme Restaurants”.

Andrew ZimmernA maid café run by Shinto temple bunnies.

With TV crew in tow, Zimmern was introduced to three Tokyo cafés that throw customers into an over-the-top food fantasy. She took us to the basement and left us in pitch darkness. You have beauty, grace, intelligence and can speak with authority on many subjects.” You can guess that I liked the bald food guru the minute we met.

Champs-Élysées Bldg 2F, 4-28-14 Jingumae, HarajukuThumbs up to bizarre theme restaurants

Akiba Usagi Jinja

Zimmern loved the kitschy B-horror atmosphere and was surprised by the broad mix of customers. And eating dinner with a giant pink pussycat was about as fun as life gets,” he said. 

Shuman Bldg B1, Soto-Kanda 4-6-1, Chiyoda A private school boys café

Harvest Bldg 2F, 2-13-5 Dogenzaka, Shibuya

Bunny Shinto maid café

Andrew ZimmernAndrew Zimmern and friends outside the Harajuku schoolboy café.

Andrew ZimmernChowing down on what looks like bloody brains.

Alcatraz E.R..

When the producers of Andrew Zimmern’s travel show, Bizarre World, invited me to co-host an episode about Tokyo theme cafés, it took me all of three milliseconds to say yes.

Haunted mental hospital restaurant

The following day, we visited an Akihabara café where the waitresses cosplay as Shinto temple maidens with bunny ears

Amelia Woodward

Amelia Woodward

Hopefully you will now be less likely to fall for a system that doesn't work. There are systems that can and will bring you rewards but it is imperative that you know what you are buying first.
Amelia Woodward

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