Japan in Movies 'n Themed Restaurants

Kill Bill restaurant Gonpachi Nishiazabu 権八 西麻布, or the Kill Bill restaurant, is a great place with good atmosphere and decent food - best of all, it's not overly pricey. If not for Kill Bill, it's still a great place to come and our go to every time someone visits us in Tokyo. Although it's true that they are many foreign customers here, all the dishes and drinks are very good and not too expensive. You can reserve a table online. The place doesn't look exactly like the scene in Kill Bill but it looks quite cool nevertheless, with nice wooden interior. It's a huge building just a short walk from Roppongi subway station, Exit 4b or 2 depending on the line you take.

Godzilla Shinjuku You can see the giant Godzilla on the 8th floor of Hotel Gracery Shinjuku ホテルグレイスリー新宿 in Kabukicho 歌舞伎町. Entry allowed with an order from the cafe / for hotel guests. It growls when you touch it!

Nearby is Lost in Translation's New York Bar at Park Hyatt. Needless to say it is super expensive, but very very nice! The few dishes we dared to order were really good!
Lost in Translation bar

eat with stuffed animals Moomin Bakery & Cafe at Tokyo Dome is where you don't have to worry about dining alone. You can have a snack in the company of your favorite stuffed character. moomin cafe moomin restaurant
You might have seen monkey waiters on TV or YouTube, but unfortunately, what they do at Kayabuki かやぶき居酒屋 is so much more like a circus show that's a bit disturbing. It’s a 15-minute taxi ride from Utsunomiya Station 宇都宮駅, which cost us 1630 yen on the way there and 1900 yen on the way back. For us, food and drinks came to about 3000 each and they charged 1000 yen per person to take photos of the 6 monkeys that came out after 8:40 pm and were still around when we left at 9:40 pm. On weekdays, the last train back to Ueno is at 10:20 pm (it takes an hour and 45 minutes) so it’s better to get a taxi back to the station before 10 pm. They can call you a taxi.

The restaurant is small and a bit run-down looking. There’s an English menu for drinks but the limited food menu is written in Japanese and the staff can speak very little English even though most of the customers seem to be foreign tourists (I had to translate the menu for some people at the next table). We made a reservation, but there were only about 15 customers all night on a Wednesday night. The horse sashimi came frozen and the venison on a hotplate was very chewy and oily. The fried chicken was greasy but very good. The fish was okay. The tofu and pork hotpot was very sweet but good. I would say overall, the food was just average.

I saw the monkey waiters on a TV show and assumed that they are just happy pets that act as waiters who would bring you wet towels and can openers, but it’s actually more like a circus show which was a bit unsettling for me. First, they get the monkeys to take photos with the customers. All 6 monkeys jump on you and they force some of them to wear masks. Then they do a little show. The monkeys don’t seem to be abused or anything, but they get them to do bizarre things like “sexy dance” or wear creepy masks. Sometimes they do get a bit out of control and fight with one another, but I’m not sure if that’s just typical monkey business.
Kayabuki Utsunomiya
monkey waiters
monkey restaurant tokyo

Penguin Bar Tokyo ペンギンのいるBAR Another iffy animal-abuse-like cafe is Penguin Bar in Ikebukuro ペンギンのいるBAR 池袋 where I was taken to as a surprise on a special occasion but ended up in tears 'cause the penguins stuck in such a tiny space just looked so very sad.

Reminds me of this poster I once saw on the train of an aquarium where they made a little hole in the glass so kids can shake hands with the otter. Oh dear God! I mean, not to sound overly self-righteous, but come on! Who does that?!

Kaiju Sakaba Kaiju Sakaba 怪獣酒場 has cool decor & good food! It's a fun place with cool Ultraman and monsters decor as well as interesting videos on TV - no monsters walking around inside the restaurant though. We don't know very much about Ultraman but it was still a fun experience with surprisingly good food. Not overly expensive but a bit pricey - for us, it came to about 3500 yen each including drinks and 500 yen cover charge, but you get little dishes and a different special monster coaster to take home for each dish you order. We tried to make a reservation earlier and they wouldn't let us but actually there was no line on a Sunday night even though every time we eat at the Thai restaurant across the hall, there's always a long long line!

NINJA AKASAKA was a bit disappointing for me... Maybe I was expecting too much, but the ninja restaurant was kind of a let down. Being led to our table through the dimly lit restaurant was sort of interesting, but once we got seated, it didn't really feel all that special. We didn't go with the course menu and just ordered 2 dishes each and some drinks and ended up paying about 5000 yen each. The dishes were quite small but pretty good. Maybe I shouldn't have had such high expectations. The personal magic show was the highlight since it was unexpected. It was entertaining but doesn't really have much to do with anything ninja. We made a reservation through their website. They then called to confirm. It's on the ground floor of Tokyu Plaza, a short walk from Akasaka-Mitsuke subway station 赤坂見附駅, which can be walked to from Nagatacho subway station 永田町駅. It was okay to go just once, but I don't think I would go again or recommend others to go. The Alice in Wonderland restaurants are a bit better as far as themed restaurants go. ninja restaurant tokyo
edible shuriken

Shoshazan 書写山 is not a restaurant, but it's the film location for parts of the Last Samurai.