It’s no secret that there are a lot of unusual food choices available in Japan–some of which have upset quite a few people. There’s a good chance that this offering by a Yokohama restaurant will be no different and will likely divide people between the “gotta have some” and the “WTF?!” crowd. In addition to offering crocodile, ostrich, and camel meat, Chinjuya in Yokohama also provides customers with the opportunity to munch on fried axolotl grown in captivity.

You can even order giant isopods!

Axolotls, also called wooper looper in Japan, are perhaps best known on the internet for having strangely adorable faces–almost cartoon-like–though they’re usage as food in Japan isn’t exactly new. While axolotls are endangered in Mexico (due to their disappearing habitat), they’re also apparently surprisingly easy to breed in captivity–as the fried axolotls in the photo below were.

“We just got a huge shipment of edible wooper looper! No antibiotics or drugs were used in raising them, so you can eat them safely without worry. And the place you can eat them is at Chinjuya in Yokohama! Come on down and eat one of these fried whole on a stick!”

While we guess all-organic is probably a selling point for some, the axolotls’ adorable faces are probably a factor that needs to be addressed if Chinjuya wants to boost sales. There’s even been criticism of the restaurant online by Chinese Internet users calling the practice gross–though some have also said they wanted to try a fried axolotl.

However, it looks like the supply of axolotls isn’t always consistent–one tweet by the restaurant in April read:

“The edible wooper looper cultivation was done…but we’ve restarted it! You can get wooper looper at Chinjuya in Yokohama once again! However, they’re only for customers who have made reservations. Right now, the only place you can edible wooper looper is at Chinjuya!”

Well, we suppose “axolotol farmer” would be an interesting entry on anyone’s résumé–though it probably won’t help you get a job in banking…

By now you’re probably wondering just what kind of place Chinjuya is. The Yokohama restaurant is actually a “rare animal restaurant” (珍獣 chinju means “rare animal”) and serves everything from ostrich to crocodile to “giant rabbits.” They even offer giant isopods, like the ones pictured below.

If you’re up for trying a fried axolotl, you can head down to the restaurant, but be sure to stop by the ATM first. One of the cute little guys costs 1,280 yen (about US$10.80) and we kind of suspect that a single axolotl isn’t filling. If you’re wondering what they taste like, one website described the taste as similar to white fish meat–which makes us wonder why they don’t just serve white fish meat instead…

▼Well, they did have piranhas available earlier this year…

▼And hagfish was available for 2,980 yen (about $25) per person in September.

Well, we doubt many people are going to complain about Chinjuya offering hagfish…but we’d be surprised if the restaurant saw brisk sales in September. Though we suppose these tweets might be great for anyone trying to maintain a diet.

▼The restaurant has surprisingly normal interior at least.

Axolotl 1Chinjuya

▼And in case you’ve ever wondered what camel meat looks like…

Axolotl 2Chinjuya

As you might expect with a restaurant serving unusual foods, the menu isn’t exactly consistent, so you’ll want to call ahead to make sure whatever rare animal you want to eat is available before heading to Yokohama. And if you can’t find anyone to go with you, they also offer a menu of regular food such as salad, pilchard, sausage, and squid.

You can check out their website for more information, including phone number and address, or follow Chinjuya on Twitter to keep up with their rotating menu.

Sources: ITMedia, Byoukan Sunday, Twitter, Chinjuya
Images: Twitter (Chinjuya)