Kagaya – Tokyo, Japan - Atlas Obscura


Serving you alcohol with a side of insanity. Also, costumes! 


Good bartenders usually have a special skill.

Sometimes they mix a good drink that keeps customers coming back over and over again, sometimes they juggle bottles and provide a show, and sometimes, they’re just a sympathetic ear after a long day’s work or a run with heartbreak. Mark (not his real name) Kagaya (name of his shop), Kagaya’s bartender and owner, doesn’t really have any of those things going for him, but he has one thing that has patrons coming back for more - absolute insanity.

Located in the basement of a Tokyo strip mall, Mark Kagaya’s bar has allegedly been passed down from generation to generation, leading to its current state. The big draw of Kagaya is the crazy shenanigans that take the form of yelling, screaming, costumes, (worn by both Mark and bar patrons) and a dash of amateur puppetry.

The brand of chaos that you get varies, judging from the personal accounts of former patrons, no two experiences in Kagaya seem to be alike. Sometimes ordering food takes the form of a twisted puppet show involving a teddy bear that showcases how good the food is, other times, you order by going through a coloring book, and choosing your drink based on a country that you choose, in which he’ll use mild racism to entertain you in that country of choice. Kagaya-san works this Izakaya style bar with little help, usually just an old women in her 70s to help out. If you talk to him about his life, according to different accounts, you’ll hear different stories. Some accounts is the woman in the back is his mother, other just hired help. 

Stocked with alcohol, animal costumes, novelty mugs, and other toys, the whole bar slowly turns into a demonstration of what would happen if you unleashed a bunch of adults into a toddler’s playroom and served them booze, presumably without the subsequent arrests, of course. If you visit the official website below you’ll find a picture of a map he drew.