Japan's Nagano Prefecture hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics but the memory of the Games aren't its only claim to fame. Tourists visiting Matsumoto City will find something a little different to rock their world: the Sakasa Resuto.
Decked out in classic white paint with a pretty pink , er, roof, the words "Sakasa Resuto" can be loosely translated to Upside-down Restaurant. Just one look and you can see they aren't kidding.
The restaurant's owners took great pains to ensure diners would flip over the experience of dining there... and if they didn't, no matter, the restaurant already did the flipping for them.
The freakiness begins before customers even step inside. A bicycle rack is mounted upside-down, as is one of Japan's ubiquitous Key Coffee advertising signs.
Get past those and enter the front door - you'll find it beneath the chimney, which is actually a thoughtful design touch in case of rain. Inside, ceiling-mounted buckets act as lampshades and the green Emergency Exit signs are inverted... one assumes (hopes, even) they still point to the emergency exits.
Close to the "ceiling" you'll see what in a normal building would be a door, and above that there are a couple of pairs of Japanese slippers affixed to the ceiling... floor... whatever.
Have a seat and glance at the menu: foreigners are doubly screwed since the offerings are listed in Japanese, but in mirrored script. A little flipping & flopping with my imaging software let me figure out some of the daily specials: spaghetti, pilaf, beef curry, onigiri (stuffed rice balls) and Korean kalbi beef among others. Good luck keeping a settled stomach - and at least the bathroom is set up normally, which is a blessing.
Oh, and if you're wondering, not everything at Sakasa Resuto is reversed: you still have to pay for your meal, not vice-versa. (via N0571, main image via Nipponsoup)