Eating Live Squid in Tokyo
Looking for a unique restaurant in Tokyo? The bizarre IKA center in the Shinjuku district will blow your mind. The IKA Center is one of my hidden secrets in Tokyo because here you can catch your own squid and eat it alive.
There was no English menu which could be the reason why this place isn't as widely known. Squid fishing starts at 3400 yen, roughly 30 US dollars per catch. Our dinner included an entire squid, a big tempura portion and drinks which came to 9400 yen, about 82 US dollars for 3 people.
The red water in the squid tank reminded me of the famous ocean of blood scene from the Japanese anime; Evangelion. Squids have jets to propel themselves and use it to squirt ink and the last thing you want is getting squid ink all over your clothes, that's why we jumped into a bunch of raincoats.
Catching your own squid isn't that hard, you simply hook it straight out of the tank. Next, the squid is brought to the kitchen and freshly cut up into sashimi. They sealed off the dining area with a plastic cover to prevent water being squirted around the restaurant by the squids. Immediately after preparation, the raw squid tentacles are served, so fresh the squid tentacles are still moving on your plate.
Once we received the fully sliced head we had to dip it in a thick sauce made from ground up squid organs. In conclusion, the IKA Center in Tokyo is a very unique restaurant worth a visit, especially for the eccentrics among us!