The Ninkyo Café is furnished like a yakuza office and provides opportunities to participate in special events with the staff.

Yakuza, or organized crime syndicates in Japan, have long captured the imagination of the Japanese media and film industry. If you grew up captivated by the strict yakuza codes of conduct in movies, TV dramas, and video games, then perhaps you’ll be excited to learn that you can now visit a cafe that draws its inspiration from the world of yakuza.

The Ninkyo Cafe in Nagoya opened in early May after a delay caused by the pandemic. Ninkyo is variously translated as “chivalry” or “generosity” and is an important term for the yakuza, who refer to themselves as “chivalrous organizations.” The cafe was opened in large part thanks to the crowdfunding efforts of virtual YouTuber Choekitaro, whose portrait also adorns the wall of the café.

Most notably, the left side of the cafe functions like a normal cafe, while the right side is known as the “office”–drawing its looks from the supposed interior of a yakuza office with its thick, dark tabletops and hierarchical arrangement of seating.

▼ A view of the office section

Seats in the regular café area are free but seats in the office area include additional seat charges as follows:

  • Kumiin, or “foot soldier” seats (seven available): 893 yen (US$8.13) (The digits 8, 9, and 3 can be read in Japanese as “ya,” “ku,” and “za”)
  • Wakagashira, or the “first lieutenant” seat: 1,786 yen
  • Kumicho/oyabun, or the “yakuza boss” seat: 8,930 yen

Wakagashira seat–some shady dealings may or may not be going down.

▼ Haven’t you always wanted to sit at a yakuza boss’ desk and stare menacingly at your subordinates?

▼ Rather than staring, you could also opt for some outright physical intimidation as well.

The menu includes a typical array of cafe beverages and sweets, including Maria coffee for 500 yen and a special “Parfaitaro” for 550 yen. A drink set (one dessert plus drink) costs 893 yen. Besides the food, the cafe also sells a variety of themed goods, such as long-sleeved shirts, cups and saucers, and Choekitaro records.

Lastly, we’d be remiss not to mention a few special opportunities offered by the cafe:

  • Polaroid snapshots with “gang members” (staff on hand): 893 yen
  • Yakuza cosplay rentals: 1,000 yen (or bring your own clothes and change there for free)
  • Participation in an initiation ceremony: 3,000 yen (you’ll also receive 100 of your very own yakuza trainee business cards)

▼ Some of the outfits available to rent

The Ninkyo Cafe offers a safe space (no pinky amputations necessary) to act the part of a yakuza member for a day. At the very least, it won’t come with the added complications of being the former site of an actual yakuza office.

Café information
Ninkyo Café / 任侠カフェ
Address: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi, Nakagawa-ku, Matsunoki-cho 2-67
愛知県名古屋市中川区松ノ木町 2-67
Open: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Closed: Tuesday

Source: Twitter/@ninkyo_cafe via Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@ninkyo_cafe
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