What’s Up With Japan’s Penguin Bars?

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Kotaku Editor and Japan Times columnist Brian Ashcraft recently reported on all the Japanese penguin bars.

Man Feeding Penguins

One recently opened in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro. But there are at least three others, including Penguin Bar Fairy in Okinawa Prefecture, and Arekey Dinning Bar in Nishinomiya (near Kobe), and Bar Little Feat in Kobe.

The newest penguin bar is “Penguin no Iru Bar,” translated as “The Bar Where There Are Penguins.” The bar is filled with penguin paraphernalia, but the main attraction is the four penguins that live in a glass enclosure at the back of the bar.

Japanator reported on the newest Ikebukuro nightspot “Penguin No Iru Bar” which “offers tasty drinks and snacks, snazzy penguin-themed decor and a small aquarium set-up where up to four resident African penguins will swim and preen for your amusement.”

RocketNews 24 checked out the location and commented that the penguins have “a good-sized area to walk around and swim,” but some believe the habitat looks really small for four penguins.

These bars serve liquor and food with the added attraction of live penguins that swim, waddle, and eat dead fish. The penguins are behind glass and patrons can watch them while they enjoy cocktails at the bar or while having dinner.

Penguins at Ikebukuro Bar

According to Design Taxi’s Kelly Koo, couples are encouraged to hold their wedding parties or anniversary dinners at these bars to pick up a bit of penguin luck, as penguin couples are known to be extremely loyal.

Some penguin bars feature “feeding time” where the patrons can interact with penguins and feed them dead fish. “There are really penguins at this bar,” wrote one Twitter user. “So cute!”

Woman Feeding the Penguins

Ashcraft points out that while this penguin bar scene might seem neat to some people, some patrons described how feeding the penguins caused a loss of appetite.

Loss of appetite! Come on, folks, late-night bars with a bunch of drunks is no place for these beautiful short-legged flightless creatures.

Ikebukuro Penguin Bars in Japan

ペンギンのいるbar is located at 池袋2-38-2-1F Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan 171-0014

Hours of Operation Mon – Sun: 7:00 pm – 5:00 am

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Spence Cooper
Inquisitive foodie with a professional investigative background and strong belief in the organic farm to table movement. Author of Bad Seeds: A FriendsEAT Guide to GMO's. Buy Now!
Spence Cooper

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