Well, it only took 47 years, but finally Tracy Island has come to life in Tokyo in the form of the charming Thunderbirds Cafe. It nails the vibe of the 1960s TV show perfectly. Clambering down the stairs among dense faux-foliage to the restaurant’s basement entrance – a lavish red leather door – visitors are greeted by a spacious hall decked out in thrall to International Rescue, those pioneering puppets who saved the world week in, week out. All the music is taken from the show, a mix of tropical tiki pop and dramatic adventure scores, and mute TV screens show episodes on loop.
The latest in my long list of reasons to go to Japan is this Thunderbirds Cafe located in Tokyo. If you’re lucky enough to dine there, you’ll get to watch episodes of the show that play on a continuous loop while checking out all the cool props. They’ve got replicas of the vehicles as well as rare collectibles on display. It’s the ultimate dining destination for Thunderbirds fans.
Sometimes it seems there is a cafe for every theme in the pulsating, organic mass that is the city of Tokyo. From cat cafes to robot ones in Kabukicho, Gundam eateries, maid cafes and more… every subculture or hobby seems to get its own bistro of some kind. We recently stumbled upon the Thunderbirds Cafe in Jimbocho of all places, a strange location for a strange place. Inside you are confronted by a model of one of the show’s heroes in a “rocket”, and then several tables, including ones in “pods” based on each of the famous Thunderbird machines, which are also on display in replica form. This is a fan boy’s dream come true.