Known as 筋肉女子 (literally muscle girls), this Tokyo bar is the one of those surreal, nightlife experiences where you will say, “only in Japan.” If you’re looking for a wacky experience full of energy, then read on.
What to expect at the Muscle Girls bar
The bar is quite small, comprising only of around 12 counter seats and a gym machine. The interior is LOUD. Just neon pink colours and huge font everywhere. All the staff, true to the bar’s name, are toned and muscly women.
The muscle girl that tended to us was Napi (as per her name tag), and she was actually pretty cool. She said she spent a year living in Canada, where she had also worked in a bar, and told us stories of weaboos who hit on her. LOL.
The night we went, around three-quarters of the customers were foreigners (tourists), who looked like they were having the time of their life. One dude even took off his shirt and went to do chest presses on the machine, while another girl got butt slaps from all of the muscle girls.
The other quarter were Japanese men, who looked like they may be regulars. Or used to frequenting such spots. They were comparatively quiet, just nursing their drinks and enjoying the atmosphere.
Every time the muscle girls serve a drink, they will say “omataseshi-muscle,” a play on the standard Japanese phrase お待たせしました (sorry for the wait), and show off their muscles. And before customers take a sip, they will do a huge racuous performance during the kanpai.
The muscle girls will also break out into performances throughout the night. This includes chin ups on a bar installed above the counter, AKB48-like dances, and squeezing drinks. You are free to take as many photos or videos as you like; in fact it is encouraged. The whole thing is also livestreamed.
The minimum cost is 1,500 yen for 30 minutes, plus 20% tax and service charge. So in essence, 1,800 yen. The 30 minutes includes all-you-can-drink from a list of alcoholic and soft drinks. The glasses they provide the drinks in are absolutely massive and equivalent to like three normal glasses. I couldn’t even finish one mug.
One thing to note is the system is based on automatic extension. Meaning, if you don’t get up and leave when your 30 minutes is up, they will automatically charge you for the next 30 minute block. They will not tell you to leave (unless there is a booking after you), so you have to be aware of the time and go when it is up.
The price above appears to only be valid if you can speak Japanese, because I noticed on the website that the price listed in English is 2,000 yen for 30 minutes. So I guess tourists have to fork out an extra 200 yen for their lack of Japanese-language skill, lol.
Overseas visitors can also take advantage of an exclusive 5,000 yen package that includes 1-hour all-you-can-drink, a grapefruit sour squeezed by a muscle girl of your choice, and a muscle show.
The staff actually thought my friend and I were tourists at first, and brought out this offer to us. But I pointed to price shown on the website and said in Japanese that we only wanted to book 30 minutes, and it was no problem.
In addition, you can buy “muscle dollars” in units of 1,000 yen (equivalent to 10 muscle dollars) to provide as tips to the girls, or to pay for special services such as butt slapping and piggy backs. Female customers can also get a “muscle hug” and “muscle sandwich.”
Making a booking
Bookings can be made either by messaging the bar on 1) its official LINE account, or 2) its Facebook account. English is okay. If you are proficient in Japanese, you can also book using the bar’s reservation system.
Although bookings are not essential, I highly advise doing so on weekends. One of the girls told us that on the Saturday they were fully booked out for the whole night and had to turn away people who came on the day. She also said the majority of the customers were foreigners.
Getting to the Muscle Girls bar
Muscle Girls is located around a 5-minute walk from Exit 14 of Ikebukuro Station. Although, if you are like me and can never figure the hellish maze that is Ikebukuro Station, just exit on the West side and head north.
Address: 東京都豊島区池袋2-41-2 葉山ビル6F
6F Hayama Bldg, 2-41-2 Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
The bar is open from 6pm (5pm on weekends and holidays) to 11:30pm. It is closed Tuesdays.
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