Typically a heaping plate of raw meat isn’t exactly the type of food you’d picture putting people in an amorous mood, but this tiny watering hole-slash-barbecue joint in Kanda (one station over from Tokyo) is famous for bringing patrons together through the magic of a hot grill, cold drinks, and very, very close quarters.

The interior of the restaurant, Rokkakai, is only 6.6 square meters, meaning complete strangers are pretty much forced to crowd around and share a single, rectangular table. We can see where this might result in the odd coupling, but that’s apparently not the only secret behind the location’s uncanny ability to bring people together.


So far, the restaurant has produced 30 couples and four marriages, crediting the cramped but cozy atmosphere and the fact that customers must pass drinks down the table to each other regardless of whether they were acquainted when they walked in.

The owner, it’s said, is also friendly and particularly good at encouraging conversation between customers, who are typically split at about a 4:6 woman-to-man ratio. This certainly seemed to be the case when yours truly swung by the place on a weekend night, with a good mix of men and women having a raucously good time while the staff encouraged conversation between total strangers.

Masaya and Takako, one of Rokkakai's happy couplings.▲  Masaya and Takako, one of Rokkakai’s happy couplings.

Finally, the food and drink are great too, and sharing your thoughts on the juiciness of the barbecue is certainly a more positive ice breaker than complaining about a fatty, grey pork cut. You’ll also find an array of nihonshu (Japanese sake) options, with limited brews from all over the Japanese islands on offer most nights.

So, single readers out there, you face a choice this weekend: cry sad tears of loneliness into your nine-tiered Lotteria burger at home, or head out to Kanda for a chance at meeting that special someone.

1367509542164▲  One of the many types of nihonshu available at Rokkakai.

1367505093041 Only men waiting outside for a seat. We promise women also come to Rokkakai.  

1367496768068▲  There they are.

Photos: RocketNews24