Tokyo: Gonpachi aka The Kill Bill Restaurant

TOYKO | Walking into Gonpachi aka the Kill Bill Restaurant in Tokyo, the first thing that came into my head, as a big grin enveloped my face was Da Da Da! from Tomoyasu Hotei’s song, “Battle Without Honor or Humanity”.

Kill Bill Vol.1 is one of my favourite movies and I wasn’t going to visit Tokyo without visiting Gonpachi, the restaurant that inspired the House of Blue Leaves, the setting for “that” fight scene – the Bride v the Crazy 88s.

The House of Blue Leaves might have been a movie stage in Shanghai but from the moment you step inside Gonpachi, the inspiration is evident throughout. It really does fell like you’ve just “stepped into Kill Bill”.

The food here is modern Izakaya that’s geared towards a Western palette with a price premium to match – not surprising given it’s status as a destination restaurant for tourists. The ratio of tourists to locals was considerably higher than anywhere else I’d eaten at in Japan.

I had performed my research before hand and, as suspected, the food at Gonpachi isn’t the high point. A few highs, many more lows, and a lot of middling options seemed to be the general consensus. I had a long list of places that I wanted to eat at and in any case, my wife and I had just eaten a great meal at the brilliant Sake haven Maishin so we decided to stick to a cocktail (ok 2 cocktails) each. The cocktails were, to our surprise, quite reasonably priced (between ¥480 – ¥680) given that Gonpachi is a tourist spot and they were quite nice too.

Kill Bill awesomeness aside, Gonpachi can stand on its own two feet when it comes to the design side of things. Two levels of tables and booths and a large open kitchen with counter seating. It’s all very rustic with a heavy use of wood and bamboo.

Here’s the fight scene just in case you were inspired to watch it again. I’m sure if you’re reading this you’re a fan of Kill Bill Vol.1 but on the off chance that you haven’t seen the film be warned – there’s lots of violence and blood in the clip.

I left Gonpachi with the same big grin that appeared on my face when I first walked in and have no hesitation in recommending a visit if you’re a fan of Kill Bill Vol.1, or even if you’re just looking for a place that’s full of atmosphere in which to have a drink or two. Given the amazing quality and relative affordability of food elsewhere in Tokyo however, I’d recommend eating elsewhere – my Tokyo Food Guide is full of tips and suggestions.

Gonpachi – NishiAzabu

1 Chome-13-11 Nishiazabu
Tokyo 106-0031

Telephone: (03) 5771 0170
E-mail: n/a

Mon – Sun: 11:30am to 3:30am

Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.


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