1億総マッチョ計画始動!筋肉世界を作り出す谷川氏とは? The muscle café that packs a high protein punch


Ex-personal trainer Shunpei Tanigawa owns ‘Kinniku Shokudou’ (literally: ‘muscle diner’), a low calorie, high protein restaurant in Roppongi, Tokyo. The name itself is enough to bring any iron-pumping bro to feast on some of its meaty delights, but the café is surprisingly a hit with the ladies too.

Q.「筋肉食堂」立ち上げのきっかけは?What inspired you to start up ‘Kinniku Shokudou’?


During my time working as a personal trainer, I saw countless clients fail to reap the maximum benefits of their workout through poor diet choices. You could have two people following exactly the same workout plan, yet their results would be completely different because of what they ate. There are the people who say, “I worked hard today, so it’s time to treat myself”, and those who think, “I worked hard today, so it’s time to replenish my body with protein and keep burning those calories”.


I also saw how when people got serious about working out, they had to sacrifice taste for physical gains. You know, going to a sushi restaurant and eating only the fish part, or surviving on plain chicken breast from the convenience store for every meal. Even I was constantly visiting the same café in Shibuya every day just because I knew they catered to gym-goers. You get sick of eating the same things all the time. That’s when I was inspired to make a restaurant where gym-goers can enjoy a large choice of options knowing that whatever they choose will be beneficial to their diets. Rather than ‘dietary restriction’, I’m all about food that’ll make your body happier, healthier and stronger.

Q.なぜ若者の街「六本木」に店を構えられたのですか?Why did you choose Roppongi as your base?


I wanted to set up camp in a place that had a lot of gyms. Roppongi has not only that, but it’s stylish and cool, full of health-conscious and pro-active people. There is a strong TV presence and a big international community that makes it feel very cosmopolitan and modern. Roppongi is always up to date with the latest trends, so it was no surprise that as soon as we opened there were queues out the door.

Q.そもそも「筋肉」へ興味を持ち始めたきっかけは?What caused you to take an interest in building your muscles in the first place?


I was graduating university and had a place at a company secured, but I found the part-time job I did at a gym over the summer to be so much fun that I ended up changing my career path and staying there to work full time towards becoming a trainer. I was so passionate about it all and so obsessed with becoming number one that I kept going for over four, five years until I reached that goal. By the way, I have no business card. My body itself is my business card. I want to inspire people to think, “I want a body like that”.

Q.東京人が筋肉を意識することで、東京はどう変わっていく?Do you think Tokyo-ites are taking more of an interest in working out?


I predict that exercise is going to become a part of everybody’s daily life here. For example, when Americans come to visit Japan, they often search for a hotel with a gym so that they can keep working out whilst sightseeing. Sports is to Americans what baths are to the Japanese - it’s a basic necessity of life. With social networks offering up a broader worldview, I think many Japanese kids will take more of an American approach to gym and exercise as time goes on.

Q.「筋肉食堂」今後のビジョンは?What does the future hold for ‘Kinniku Shokudou’?


We’ve only just started out, so I’d love for more people to get to know our name. My other goal is to inspire other personal trainers who feel trapped in the usual cliché career progression to independent training or management. I want to show them that there are other options for a second career.


Just a few minutes away from Roppongi Midtown, Kinniku Shokudou is definitely making waves with its health-conscious, delicious food. With the Tokyo Olympics now just five years away inspiring many Japanese to try their hand at sports, it looks like the café may have a growing audience on its hands.


平日 LUNCH TIME:11:00-15:00(L.O14:45)
平日 DINNER TIME:17:00-23:00(L.O 22:30)
土曜日:11:30-22:00(L.O 21:30)
日祝:11:30-20:30(L.O 20:00)

Kinniku Shokudou

Address: 7-8-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0000
TEL: 03-6434-0293
Opening Hours:
Weekdays LUNCH TIME: 11:00-15:00(L.O 14:45)
Weekdays DINNER TIME: 17:00-23:00(L.O 22:30)
Saturday: 11:30-22:00(L.O 21:30)
Sunday / National Holidays: 11:30-20:30(L.O 20:00)