Often the coolest Japanese bars and restaurants are in the most obscure locations. Such is the case with the groovily-named Virgin Sunset, a loosely Hawaiian-themed joint down an obscure side-street in Yamato City, Kanagawa. You can find it by looking out for the flaming torches outside.
It’s one of those uniquely Japanese places that mixes up various international elements and puts them through the old Japanese filter. Here you can sit among fish tanks and palm trees, and eat Italian pizza and Jamaican jerk chicken, whilst watching surfing videos and listening to 70s disco and funk hits being spun by a DJ in the corner, and drinking pina coladas served by waitresses in pretty Hawaiian dresses. A charmingly mental mish-mash of madness. Also, for some ungodly reason, the door-handles in the toilet are shaped like penises, but I try not to think too much about that.
I once stumbled into Virgin Sunset on Halloween night, and the additional Mexican Wrestlers and Wonder Woman costumes were enough to make my head spin.
If all this character wasn’t great enough, Virgin Sunset has a half price beer and pizzas every day from five to seven, including weekends. Try finding a deal like that in Tokyo!
After taking advantage of the happy hour, I tend to head to a cheap and cheerful games center a few doors up from the Virgin Sunset, called “The Big Bang”, which has darts, pool, batting cages and go-kart racing. An ideal place to continue the shenanigans (although the staff are reluctant to let you try the go-kart racing while totally shit-faced.)
Virgin Sunset Restaurant and Bar