Submerged under the streets of Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district is this little aquatic-themed izakaya, where you can get mashed in a cabin with portholes and pictures of fish on the walls, with lifebuoys and diver’s helmets hanging from ceilling.
In command of the vessel is the salty old seadog “Captain” Kaji Aishin, a jolly bloke who looks like a Japanese Captain Birdseye. He clearly relishes his role when he emerges periodically to greet the customers. Someone really should teach him some expressions like “up periscope!”, “shiver me timbers!“ and “ooh-aarr me hearties!” to complete the effect.
You’ll notice in the picture above that, although Captain Kaji is dressed as a naval officer, he’s making a hippy peace sign. They aren’t one hundred percent devoted to authenticity in “Dining Bar Submarine”, you see. In a real submarine, I’m fairly sure they don’t generally play an inexplicable mix of heavy metal and eurobeat music, like in this place. Still, the drinks are cheap here, so at least you can drink like a fish. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
If you think recreating the claustrophobic atmosphere of “Das Boot” is a strange way to wind down on a friday night, it could be worse – the Captain owns another bar named Titanic!
Dining Bar Submarine, Pocket Building B1, Kabukichuo 1-17-4, Shinjuku-Ku
Tel: (03) 5285-3480. Open from 5pm to 5am