Like stepping into a futuristic world where everyone lives — and plays —  underground. 

If you’ve come to Japan looking for the neo-Tokyo aesthetic popularised in sci-fi movies and anime, there’s now a place for you, and it’s called Neo Shinjuku Atsushi.

▼ Or “Neo Shinjyuku Atsushi”, if you go by its stylised rendering.

As the name suggests, this cyberpunk restaurant aims to give you a glimpse into a dystopian world, allowing you to enter “a new dimension” with interiors and design elements that’ll make you feel like the outside world has crumbled into disrepair.

▼ It’s bleak out there, but this pseudo food alley retains some of the spirit Tokyo once had before the apocalypse.

Located roughly 200 metres (0.1 miles) from Shinjuku Sanchome Station, this restaurant bar seats nine people at the counter, 10 in booth seating and 10 in a semi-private loft space.

While the interiors are Insta-worthy, so is the food, because the menu keeps the dystopian theme going with a collection of “future meals”. One of the highlights is the restaurant’s “retort burgers“, priced at 1,470 yen (US$10.22), which are vacuum packed and cooked at high temperatures using a special retort food manufacturing process that allows them to be stored at room temperature for long periods of time.

▼ By heating the pack in the microwave, the buns and patties regain their moisture, creating a cheeseburger of the future, if that future doesn’t have refrigeration.

This “survival food” will make you feel like you’re in another world, and the drinks are equally futuristic, with carbon dioxide from gas cylinders injected directly into fruit drinks for fresh carbonic acid carbonation.

▼ Oh, and there are insect drinks on the menu as well, because the future is all about insect protein.

Some of the alcoholic options contain delights such as bees and cordyceps, a genus of fungi that grows on specific insects. The restaurant says it uses A.I. chatbot ChatGPT to help come up with drink ideas, which is likely why cordyceps came up as an idea, given that its parasitic nature recently freaked everyone out in the fictional video-game-turned TV series The Last of Us.

A 3-D food printer and hydroponic cultivation equipment are permanently set up inside the premises, so they’re well equipped to handle any end-of-world events that may arise.

To celebrate the opening of the restaurant bar, a party will be held on the premises from 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. on 18 August, the day of the grand opening, with a live performance by musical artist Haruhi. It will be a standing event, to allow more people than usual to enjoy the dystopian vibe.

During the first week of business, from 18-24 August, diners will be given desserts created with the 3-D food printer as gifts to celebrate the opening.

The owners have really gone all out with the dystopian concept, coming up with loads of great ideas to satisfy the hunger for Neo Tokyo in the heart of Tokyo. In a megalopolis where you can see 3-D cats on billboards and gaze out at Times Square, this is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood, and we’re especially keen to try it out as it’s just around the corner from our office.

Sounds like a perfect excuse for Mr Sato to dig out his Zozosuit for the occasion.

Restaurant information
Neo Shinjyuku Atsushi / NEO新宿アツシ
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-3-7 Sankei Building 4F
東京都新宿区新宿3-3-7 三慶ビル 4F
Open 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. (lunch), 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. (dinner)

Source, images: PR Times
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