Drink wine from test tubes, beer from beakers and cocktails from flasks? All this and more is possible at the Science Bar Incubator in Arakicho!

2018-09-05   Arakicho, Bars & Restaurants, Araki-Cho, Tokyo,

A novel way to taste wine


The Science Bar Incubator is a unique and original bar that was started by Mr Nomura, a former biology researcher. It is 100% science oriented. All available free space is filled with laboratory equipment and scientific oddities. Although the purpose is of course to indulge in chemical beverages that induce pleasant sensations in the brain, it is worth your while to explore the bar’s fascinating interior arrangement.

A sample of the bar’s decor

Among the scientific equipment, there is also a laptop and a microscope. If you put on a lab coat – available for free near the entrance – you can pretend to be a scientist conducting experiments. Apparently, the microscope isn’t only for show – occasionally the bartender also performs in-house genotype analysis!

The author pretending to be a scientist

All the walls have science oriented posters – the bathroom actually has some interesting ones about the chemistry of alcoholic drinks. There is a small aquarium on the bar counter containing a live newt, perhaps to keep company to solo drinkers. Science related youtube videos are continuously being projected on the wall.

Lots of stuff to check out on the bar counter

Only after entering the bar, putting on your lab coat and getting into your seat, does the real fun begin. All the drinks are served in laboratory equipment. We kicked off the evening with a wine TSTT – Tasting Set in Test Tubes. For 1800 yen, you can get a set of 8 test tubes with 8 different kinds of wine – four red and four white. The wine isn’t supposed to be drunk directly from the test tubes – that would be weird! Instead you should drink it from the small beaker that comes with the set. Some figs are provided in a separate cork topped test tube. They can help clean your palate to allow for objective tasting of the wine.

Ready to test – I mean, taste the wine?

After the wine, I tried the beer. It comes in a beaker. Somehow it felt strange to drink such a beverage from a measured beaker. However, the wine was slowing producing its chemically-induced effect, and I was able to fully enjoy my beer, one of the world’s greatest scientific inventions.

Beer in a beaker – perfect after a long day in the lab

My partner went for hot sake. At first, we were a little taken aback when we were told we had to heat it ourselves, but once more lab equipment was brought out – a burner and a flask to be precise – the excitement quickly returned. Through trial and error, we managed to heat it to the perfect drinking temperature.

Heating the sake is a delicate experiment

There are a number of original cocktails served in various flasks and with names such as “Mad Scientist”. The bar also has a food menu in case you are hungry. There are marshmallows on a skewer than you heat yourself on a small burner, as well as a cheese fondue that has a setup similar to the heated sake.

The cocktail menu

The menu is one last thing I found really interesting about the Science Bar Incubator. It uses a lot of fancy terms to describe basic concepts. For example, instead of the word “price” it uses “financial cost”. There is a lot of detailed information on the drinks, including tasting charts.

For those who like data

Most of the information on the menu is written in Japanese. However, when our drinks were served, I was surprised to hear the bartender talk in pretty good English. So if you want to know more about the chemical composition of your beverages, you could try asking him directly.

Some wine research

The Science Bar Incubator, like most bars in Arakicho, is actually quite small – it seats maximum 15 people. For that reason, it is highly recommended to make a reservation in advance. It’s very easy to do – you can just send them a message in English on their Facebook page.

In case you didn’t make a reservation and the bar is full (it often is), just peering inside and seeing a bunch of individuals wearing lab coats, handling test tubes and beakers, and weird science videos playing in the background, will give you the impression that some crazy experiment is going on inside!

Test tubes for a 1000 yen?!?
The easy-to-spot front sign

For smartphone users, please click the link below to go to the Tadaima Japan website that includes the place information:
http://tadaimajp.com/2018/05/sciencebar_incubator/

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AUTHOR

David

David

Writer / Translator

I’ve been in Japan for over 10 years although it feels shorter because I am constantly discovering new things and new places. Sometimes it can be hard to get the full Japanese experience because of cultural differences and linguistic barriers. For that reason, I want to share what I have learned in order to enhance your experience in Japan. Having said that, figuring out stuff on your own can also be fun. In any case, I hope you can find here whatever you need in order to make your stay a success.