Tokyo: Penguin Bar Ikebukuro (ペンギンのいるBar) - Vikingess Voyages

Monday, May 23, 2016

Tokyo: Penguin Bar Ikebukuro (ペンギンのいるBar)

Tokyo certainly has its collection of unique bars and cafes, and you can find anything from cat cafes, dog cafes and bunny cafes to reptile, owl and hedgehog cafes in this busy metropolitan if you feel the need to pet a furry friend. If you're however more in search of some rare options when it comes to nightlife you could always pay a visit to the penguin bar in Ikebukuro.

The penguin bar is situated in the northern area of Ikebukuro, just a 5-minute walk from the West Exit (石口). Be aware that in order to dine there you have to pay an 800 yen (+tax) entrance fee known as otoushi (お通し), and that you have to be over 18 years old to be able to enter.

And in the case you were wondering; no, penguin meat is not on the menu. Something tells me that the waiters get asked about this all the time, especially by foreign guests. (When my brother asked this question the waiter did, however, claim she would be up for trading one of the penguins for a new car).

Inside the bar, you can find cute penguin artifacts such as penguin posters and teddy bears, and even the towels at the tables are folded to look like penguins. 
They serve some light dishes, but all the food comes in izakaya style so it is both rather expensive and the dishes are small.
The penguins themselves can be found in the very back of the bar, where they have their own little area behind glass with a pool and a small penguin house. In a sense it is more like an aquarium than the "usual" pet cafe where you get to cuddle the animals; the penguins are kept out of reach of guests at all times. 

If you're lucky you might be able to feed the penguins though; towards the end of our visit, the staff told us that we could line up to if we wanted to give them a fish. I've added a short video below for those who might be interested:

All in all, we had a good evening at the penguin bar. However, visitors should note that the bar in itself was pricey, and it is clear that this place is build up around the experience of seeing the penguins rather than serving good food. The bar is open every day until 4 am, so if you find yourself in Ikebukuro at night you might as well stop by for a unique Tokyo experience.

Edit: Fleur and Greg kindly featured my photos in their travel web series "Keep Curioous" on Youtube. You can check out their introduction to various Tokyo pet cafes in their video:

Basic Info
  • ・Name of Cafe: Penguin Bar Ikebukuro (ペンギンのいるBar)
  • ・Address:COSMY1 1st Floor, 2-38-2 Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
    ・Phone: 03-5927-1310 
  • ・Opening Hours: 18:00-4:00 (Open Throughout the Year)
  • ・Entrance Fee: 800 yen + tax
  • ・Official Home Page:

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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