Tokyo is a city at once deeply conventional and completely unconventional; tracing a long history steeped in tradition and yet first to embrace wholly modern concepts – it’s the kind of place where you’ll find traditional tea houses and serene shrines, but it’s also home to the city’s latest, eccentric hotspot: the Penguin No Iru bar in Ikebukuro. In a different city you might expect a ‘penguin’ bar to mean an aquatic-themed nightspot with Happy Feet on the telly, but in Tokyo the quirky cocktail cantina features – just like it says on the tin – a ‘penguin gallery’, where guests can watch the little creatures at play over dinner and drinks.Penguin No Iru is not the first of its kind in the city, but this new watery wonderland ups the ante with a refined menu of drinks and comfort bites. A quintessential roundup of Japanese beverages includes an extensive selection of sake, umeshu (plum) wine, yamazaki and hibiki whiskey, while elsewhere cocktails run classic (Gin Rickeys and Moscow Mules), and the signature frozen daiquiri seems only fitting for the setting. Sip it while you watch the four resident African penguins waddle and swim – at set times you can even participate in feeding hour. Locals are calling it the perfect date spot… oh, Tokyo!
COSMY1 Bldg / 2-38-2 Ikebukuro / Toshima-ku / +81 3 5927 1310 / penginbar.jp