I mentioned that my sister and I went on a gokon before we left Japan. Still not sure if it was actually meant to be a date or just dinner with friends but it was a lot of fun - and what's the point of getting too romantic on your last night in the country.
So where do you go for date night? The Antonio Inoki Saka Bar is where.
To be fair, we were intending to go there anyway and, when the guys contact us, we told them they were welcome to join us.
I don't really know much about Antonio Inoki apart from seeing him being frequently impersonated by celebrities on Japanese TV. The bar itself is more like a theme restaurant.
When you enter the bar, the staff ring a wrestling bell and everyone cheers. Actually when we entered, it was mostly empty and not many people cheered but as the place filled up the cheers got louder.
There are photos of Inoki and displays of merchandise everywhere and screens playing his wrestling matches against people like Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. The bar area is set up like a wrestling ring and there are "cage" areas. I wanted to get photos of my sister and I having a mock cage match but forgot until after I left.
The food is a mix of Western and Japanese. We had cheesy potato skins which were freaken awesome and a mini nabe and some other stuff that I've forgotten and not taken photos of.
Mini nabe - a little bit dangerous if you sit too close to it!
The photo is blurry because my camera could not contain the awesome of these potato skins! They actually had some wrestling inspired name that was very hard to work out in katakana.
The best item on the menu though is the salad! Not for the taste (though it was quite good) but because of the serving style. You had to call out, in the style of Inoki's famous cheer: "Ichi, ni, san, da! Salada!" with appropriate gestures. That was freaken awesome and I got very excited every time someone ordered it.
We had a pretty awesome time and it wasn't that expensive. The only down side was that that I think I got stiffed on drinks. I had about 6-8 lemon sours and finished the night being sensible about going home to pack and clean so they obviously weren't very strong!
I think the Antonio Inoki Saka Bar is the type of place you either love or hate. If you love theme restaurants and getting into the spirit of things, it's a heap of fun. But if you think you're too cool for skool, you are going to hate it.