Japan has some amazing prison food, which should be no surprise. Inmates are served healthy, nutritious meals of grilled fish, salads, rice and soup – which are actually healthier than most school lunches around the world! Would you like to try what prisoners eat? There’s a prison in Hokkaido that serves authentic meals to the public and that is where I went — Abashiri.
Abashiri is in the very north of Hokkaido and is famous for its prison. Their “Bangaichi Shokudo Diner” is the only restaurant that serves authentic prison food in Japan, the ingredients the same as the penitentiary nearby. The meals will probably surprise you!
Prison Food Menu:
SET A: Pacific Saury, 2 salads, barley rice, miso soup (780 yen / $7.00)
SET B: Atka Mackerel, 2 salads, barley rice, miso soup (820 yen / $7.50)
It’s called the “secret meal” because Japanese Prisons are very restrictive with access to the outside world. However, Abashiri is dfferent and they’ve opened up prison life to the public and it’s worth a visit.
We also get a tour of today’s prison cells in Japan. They have tatami mats, futons, TV, toilet and window. There are private cells and cells for 6 or more inmates. Japanese inmates typically eat their meals in their cells.
The Japanese prison life is regimented, the schedule the same everyday. Wake up at 6:40am and lights out at 9:00pm.
Meal time is three times a day for 20 minutes.
Where is Abashiri, Japan?
It’s in Hokkaido’s north, a 90 plane ride from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.
URL: (in English)
Curious about Japanese School Lunch?
Here’s the video “World’s Best School Lunch”:
This episode was made possible with support from Patrons on patreon!
Thank you to Peter von Gomm for the voice overs for the mannequins in the prison museum. Definitely check out his channel where he narrates the work of budding writers with his golden voice.
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