Off to do a bid: Alcatraz & Fuchu

I’ve been to prison twice in the past 7 days. It’s not that I’ve been smuggling drugs through Asia on some Brokedown Palace type stuff, I’ve just been hanging out!

Alcatraz
Last weekend, I went to Alcatraz which is a theme bar in Shibuya. The Japanese love theme bars which are pretty eccentric. They range from a ninja bar where the waiters dress as ninjas and do tricks (we’re going soon) to a “Christian” bar where the place is decorated to look like a church. Alcatraz was up there in weirdness and had  a wacked out prison hospital theme.

Truthfully, Alcatraz had terrible food. As an izakaya, it served mainly bar food but it was bad bar food. No matter, we just wanted to drink and experience the craziness.

The highlights of the evening included drinking from test tubes and urinals, getting served in bedpans, being “scared” by deranged inmates, and having our friend Matt get carried away on a stretcher for some dinnertime “entertainment”. They basically wiped him down and injected his ass with a huge syringe. Not for real, but I guess I didn’t have to tell you that.

All in all it was cute. Definitely a one time visit though.

Fuchu
Yesterday we headed to Fuchu Prison, the largest and oldest prison in the country. It’s also where they send foreign male prisoners. We took the hike of over an hour to get to Fuchu and then sat through a poorly translated introduction to the prison. Afterwards, we walked through the grounds and viewed the cells, the “playground”, the bathhouse and the workhouses. I don’t know where they put all the thousands of prisoners while we were there, but we did see some in the workhouses. As we walked through, the prisoners were instructed to keep their heads down or to close their eyes which they obediently did. It was interesting to note that the guards don’t carry weapons, only walkie-talkies, yet they keep everyone in line. Seems to me they must exert some other kind of control over the inmates.

The tour was kind of weird because the prison was clearly on their best behavior. At the question and answer session, it was hard to tell how much the dude was avoiding issues or sugar-coating because of the poor translation.

There are no pictures from the prison because, well, it’s a real prison.

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Filed under Good Eats, Tokyo Tales, travel

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