Kanazawa City in central Japan is famous for fresh fish and seafood, kaga yasai (15 types of vegetables, officially ordained as “local”), and delicious rice and sake. But it’s not all fancy shellfish and obscure vegetables. The aptly named restaurant TABOO in Kanazawa has a real live miniature pig as its manager!

“But, surely the pig’s not actually there in the restaurant?” wondered our reporter Yoshio. “If so, he probably just works weekends.” What’s more, isn’t working in a pork restaurant something of a dangerous endeavour for a pig? “What if he’s already been eaten?” There was nothing for it – Yoshio’s mind was made up! He must head to Kanazawa for himself and attempt to secure an interview with this most unusual of restaurant managers.

Things didn’t get off to the best start, as Yoshio actually got into a traffic accident on the way to the restaurant, so the short journey from Kanazawa station ended up taking him an hour. And it was raining. “Not to worry,” thought Yoshio. “I’ll be meeting Bao, the famous restaurant pig, soon enough.”

Having arrived at the restaurant, Yoshio noticed a small pig pen…but no pig!

“I’ve come all this way and there’s no flipping pig!” 


Determined to find this unique little manager, Yoshio entered the restaurant…and there, in a little room at the back, was Bao! “He’s alive!” rejoiced Yoshio. “Thank the piggy lord!” And true to form, he noted, the manager was slacking off.

▼ “You call that work?!”


Yoshio even gained special permission from the restaurant staff to ask Bao a few questions.

Yoshio: Nice to meet you, tenchō [boss]. I was a bit worried when I saw the empty pen outside. I thought maybe you’d been eaten!

Bao: …oink.

Yoshio: So, what do you recommend from the menu this evening?

Bao: Oink…oink.

Yoshio: Er…right. Hey, it looks like everyone out there in the restaurant is working hard, but what are you doing?

Bao: Oiiiiink.

Yoshio: I see you like to snack on bread! I’m more of a rice man myself, actually.

Bao: Oink!


At first, Yoshio noted, the miniature pig didn’t show him much interest, but the pair gradually got used to each other:

Yoshio: Your skin looks pretty rough. I don’t think I’d like to snuggle up with you any time soon.

Bao: …oink!

Yoshio: Hey! Stop trying to eat my shoelaces!

Bao: …

Yoshio: And what’s so interesting about my crotch, eh? Get your head out of there!


Despite Bao’s apparent lack of response to his questioning, Yoshio was impressed to see that the pig’s living quarters were spotlessly clean. In fact, he wondered if RocketNews24 should get a miniature pig for our Tokyo office, too. It might help encourage us to keep our surroundings a little tidier.


It was nearly time to go, but Yoshio couldn’t leave without sampling the food on offer at TABOO. He ordered a caesar salad, tsukemono (Japanese pickles), and pan-fried pork. All three dishes were excellent, but the pork was particularly flavourful, and Yoshio wolfed it down in no time. Luckily, Bao wasn’t around to see Yoshio eating his friends.

▼ We guess he’d worked up an appetite?


Watch a short clip of Yoshio and Bao enjoying each other’s company below:

Restaurant information

Mini Buta Tenchō no TABOO, 1F Roiyaru Senba Namamizu Bld. Tatemachi 28-1, Kanazawa city, Ishikawa Prefecture
(石川県金沢市竪町28-1ロイヤルセンバ生水ビル 1Fミニ豚店長のTABOO)

Opening hours:
Weekdays 18:00-late (approx. 2am)
Weekends and holidays: Cafe 11:30-17:00, 18:00-late (approx. 2am, sometimes later)



Original article by Yoshio
All photos © RocketNews24
More info: Mini Buta Tenchō no TABOO