Japan is well-known for its themed restaurants – “maid cafes” being the most prominent example. Recently I had the chance to visit a Gundam-themed bar in Kobe.
My friends and I had no idea what to expect as we opened the door to this establishment. Instead of the usual “irasshaimase”, we were greated by a chorus of “Sieg Zeon!” – a slogan from the Gundam anime.
The atmosphere: the interior of the bar was decorated with countless Gundam figurines. We were encouraged to play with some, but forbidden to touch others – doubtless expensive or rare models. Episodes from various Gundam series were playing on a TV, and as each episode ended, customers were allowed to request their favorite series.
Of course, all the drinks were Gundam-themed too. Here’s the kicker: when the waiter comes with your drink, he will say lines or act out a scene from the Gundam series your drink was named after. Embarrassing or awesome? You decide.
The other patrons were more ordinary than I would have imagined – a mix of men and women, and no one overly “otaku”. The staff were very friendly, and it seemed to be a laid-back place to enjoy an evening with friends, never mind the unusual decor.
This was certainly a hilarious and memorable evening for me. It brought back memories of watching Gundam Wing on Cartoon Network in the States as a kid – definitely worth a visit for nostalgic anime fans.
Hours: Open every day, 6 PM – 2 AM
Address: 6th Floor, KSM Building, 2-11-1 Shimoyamate-dori Chuo-ku Kobe-shi Hyogo 650-0011
How To Get There
Gundam Bar “Axis”
(JR, Hanshin, or Hankyu) Sannomiya Station: Walk north on Ikuta Road and turn right at the Tokyu Hands department store. The building is located between Tokyu Hands and the hotel “the b kobe”.