You know you’re in an unbelievable city when one of your friends asks: wanna go and check out that penguin bar?
On a night like any other, I set out to discover the Penguin Bar in Ikebukuro. For some reason, I’ve never heard of it and was quite surprised when I was asked to join for such an unusual event. What I discovered was surprisingly a lot of fun, a bar with an aquarium where four penguins live and play while visitors come and have drinks.
You’ll find that the bar is constantly full and that the demographic is mainly young couples and friends. The interaction with the penguins is regulated of course and you can’t expect to hold or play with the penguins. If you come early enough though, you will find yourself with a fish in your hand and four penguins fighting their way to it.
The staff is a lot of fun and they will give you some of the best service around. They know that they are part of something special and they seem to enjoy themselves a lot. They should, since the bar is always busy and they always have a lot to do. They’ll also talk to you about the penguins and show you a trick or two to truly enjoy watching and interacting with the animals. I personally tend to be careful and pretend that, you know, sure, they are fun but whatever…. Well, not this time. They are indeed heart pumping-ly cute and I couldn’t help but to look at them with a dumb smile on my face.
These animals are fascinating to look at and you can tell that the owner is passionate about them. He’ll answer all your questions about the animals, time permitting, and you’ll get a better insight in their daily life. There is especially one penguin that is always playing with the visitors. If you put your finger on the glass, it will rush to it and follow it if you move your finger around.
In this instance, I was visiting with friends but I could see many young couples enjoy themselves and I would really recommend anyone with a fresh love in their life to go and visit this bar. It is endearing and helps create a fun bond between people. In our group, for some strange reason, we started to talk about penguins, then polar bears and finally ended up talking about climate change and responsibilities. There was something about being near these beautiful animals that triggered conversation we don’t usually have.
As for the menu, you’ll find a wide range of dishes from Japanese Kamameshi to Western style grilled steak, pasta and pizza. I was quite impressed with the Kamameshi but my friends went with scallop carpaccio and Escargot (snails) which, although surprising, were quite tasty too. If you go there for evening drinks however, a nice cheese platter surrounded by salads will be more than enough to fill you up. I was pretty happy to see that they didn’t serve any penguin meat at all.
If you fancy animals, then you’ve got to see these charming penguins.
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Penguins Bar in Ikebukuro
Address: 1F COSMY1, 2-38-2 Ikebukuro, Toshima Ward, Tokyo
Access: 3 minute walk from Ikebukuro Station
Hours: 6:00 PM – 4:00 AM
Website: Penguins Bar in Ikebukuro