Capcom, the game maker behind Resident Evil, held its Tokyo Game Show event at a restaurant called Gonpachi, because it said it wanted to give the foreign press a "Japanese experience". But Gonpachi is much more than that.
One of the most memorable scenes of Kill Bill was the House of Blue Leaves showdown. The fictional izakaya played host to a battle between The Bride (Uma Thurman) and O-ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) and her henchmen.
The House of Blue Leaves was built on a soundstage in China, where most of Kill Bill was shot. (The crew did shoot a few exteriors on location of Tokyo city streets.) The House of Blue Leaves set was built on a Beijing sound stage that had been created to film Communist propaganda films.
And while Gonpachi does not have the glass pond in the city of the restaurant and while it "feels" considerably smaller than The House of Blue Leaves, the vibe of the restaurant and interior motifs do echo The House of Blue Leaves.
The second floor has Japanese style rooms and the third floor of Gonpachi has a rooftop garden as well. In Kill Bill, The Bride and O-ren face off on a snow-covered garden — a reference to Lady Snowblood, one of many films that influenced the flick.
A photo of Kill Bill director Quentin Tarantino hangs proudly on the wall. But Gonpachi hasn't only served one of Hollywood's biggest filmmakers, but also politicians as well.
Former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi took George W. Bush and Laura Bush to Gonpachi for an informal dinner in 2002. The politicians greeted diners and shook hands. At the end of the photo op, Bush told a group of reporters, "The last person out gets to pay the bill."
There are Gonpachi branches throughout Tokyo, and there is also a Gonpachi in Beverly Hills.