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Throwing away the key after 23 years of terrifying tourists.

If you’ve ever Googled “weird restaurants in Tokyo”, one of the top results that would’ve come up is The Lockup.

Diners at this prison-themed restaurant are handcuffed by a staff member posing as a police officer upon entry and led to dining rooms that look like prison cells. Plus, three times a night there’s a surprise jailbreak, where all the lights go out and staff dressed as clowns, monsters and all sorts of terrifying characters run around the restaurant terrorising patrons.

The horror-filled restaurant first burst onto the dining scene in Kyoto back in 1999 and grew to have over a dozen branches around Japan, including five in Tokyo. However, 23 years after The Lockup began, its time has now come to an end, because Partners Dining, the restaurant’s operators, has just announced that the last branch of The Lockup, in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho, will close for good on 31 July.

While no official reason has been given for the closure, The Lockup was particularly popular with international tourists, so it’s likely that the decrease in overseas visitors due to the pandemic played some role in the restaurant closing its doors.

Though the news has saddened fans of the unique eatery, The Lockup intends to go out with a bang, as it’s holding a closing …continue reading