Updated: November 07, 2018
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Circus: Underground Takanobaba Izakaya Serves Vodka-Scorpion Shots


Gibier-serving izakaya "Cicrcus To Kome" is where it's at in Takadanobaba if you are looking for an offbeat place to have unique drinks and foods.

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Kome to Circus 米とサーカス

The place is near Takadanobaba Station but it's a bit hard to find because it's on one of those back alleys. Spot the human-shaped raccoon and you're at the right place.
There are two floors. The first floor has a counter and the second floor has a few tables. There are also a couple of seats outside. The place isn't huge but it has a lot of character.

The perfect Sunday afternoon activity

Circus apparently hosts some women-only lunchtime events during which you can enjoy the game meat tapas and drinks while x-rated videos are being projected. The perfect activity for your next girls' afternoon out.

Try seven types of game meat

All izakayas end up being hard to distinguish between each other with them serving their standard karaage chicken, fried potatoes, draft beer, shochu, etc. This place stands out, to say the least, because it serves seven kinds of game meat that is hard to find in Japan. You can have some domestic meats such as wild boar and raccoon, or some foreign ones such as camel and alligator.
We tried the smoked alligator meat. Surprisingly it tastes a lot like smoked salmon.

Wasp larvae

Aside from the gibier meats, you can also have these wasp larvae. Coated by a sweet and probably soy-based sauce, they are similar to the grasshoppers that are traditionally eaten in Japan.

Drinks (if you dare)

The interesting selection of drinks includes scorpions infused in vodka, huge wasps infused in shochu. It's hard to describe the taste but you feel like the essence of the scorpion has dissolved in the vodka.


Kome To Circus is on the expensive side but it is totally worth the go if you are looking for a different kind of izakaya experience.
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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