A different kind of character café: JoJo Bar DIO

You’ve seen the Sailor Moon Café. You’ve seen the One Piece Restaurant. Now get ready for the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure inspired bar! If you’re a fan of the JoJo franchise and you’re planning a trip to Japan anytime in the future (yes, anytime, as this is bar is not a temporary thing for once), make sure to add it to your itinerary. And if you’ve already reserved a day for shopping in Nakano Broadway, you won’t even have to go out of your way to experience this. Jojo Bar DIO is within a 3-5 minute walk from the entrance to Nakano Broadway, on the second floor of this orange building:
via http://maru-chan-blog.up.n.seesaa.net/maru-chan-blog/image/IMGP0726.jpg?d=a1


The bar is open every day from 18 pm to midnight, but they only take orders until 11 pm, so that everyone can catch the last train home. There are only around ten stools around the bar and no tables, so you might want to make a reservation in advance to make sure you don’t miss out. You can get in touch with them on Facebook, Twitter, or drop them a call if you’re confident in your Japanese skills.
Although the place is pretty well hidden, you’ll know you found it when you stumble upon the red coffin-shaped door that reads ‘D' for DIO.
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The décor at JoJo Bar DIO is the best part – the place is pretty small, but equipped with a huge figure display case, a fanart shrine (you can actually bring yours in and they will display it there), an original piece of art and autograph of mangaka Hirohiko Araki, and all sorts of JoJo memorabilia you could ever think of. Of course, they also blast the JoJo OSTs all night long!
They even have little cosplay accessories you can try on and take pictures with – the unmistakable stone mask from the first part of the manga is a favorite! Besides that, you can also find iconic items like Jotaro’s hat or Kishibe Rohan’s headband.
JoJo Figure display via https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CyBNmpZUkAAnLfY.jpg
A great thing about JoJo Bar is that they let you take pictures of anything inside, with a little exception – the menu. Now this one is a bit of a mystery, as everything on that menu is an 'original cocktail,' with no mention of the price or ingredients used. I found that the menu itself had a brilliant design - 100 points if you get this JoJo reference:
JoJo Bar menus via http://livedoor.blogimg.jp/mimitabu_ookii-betu/imgs/6/d/6da16ad2.jpg
You have to make conversation with the girls behind the bar in order to choose a drink, and there’s no way around it – but don’t worry, they’ll try their best to explain it in English if you don't speak any Japanese. All the drinks at JoJo Bar are inspired by characters or attacks from the series – so you can’t really go wrong with a drink named after your favorite character. You can’t go wrong, but you might be surprised, as they tend to be very creative with their drinks. A cocktail inspired by a tough male character can be based on chocolate liqueur and come in a martini glass – you’ll never know what to expect! The drinks are pretty strong though, so you might want to be careful.
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As for the prices, JoJo Bar DIO does have a cover charge (around ¥600), for which they offer you a bowl of nuts or crackers to go with your drinks. Their original cocktails go for around ¥1000, so it can add up pretty quickly. Make sure you have at least ¥5000 (cash only!) on you if you’re planning to go all out.

Last but not least, the vibe of the place is great – you can tell that it’s not just another theme café with overpriced food and merchandise. The owners seem to have put a lot of soul into creating this little JoJo shrine for fans from all over the world, and their effort is definitely paying off. When you get out of JoJo Bar at the end of the night, you’re guaranteed to be friends with everyone else at the bar – which is something you can’t imagine happening in a theme café, right?
 

Nika Tresor