WHAT THE HECK DID I JUST WATCH.
Robot Restaurant has established itself to be one of the most bizarre restaurants to exist…and precisely so. More of a show than an actual restaurant, it’s a sensory overload of dancing characters and “robots.”
We had our concierge get tickets for us but you can make a reservation online HERE. It’s rated one of the top 5 things to do in Tokyo so it can sell out during peak season. There are 4 shows daily — I’d suggesting booking it a few days in advance.
The dress code is casual but they have a strict no tattoos policy so be sure to cover them up.
Located in Tokyo’s largest red light district, Robot Restaurant is in Kabuchiko, Shinjuku. It’s such a lively area with some adult-themed clubs, hostess bars, hotels, etc. but very PG compared to what you would see in other well-known red light districts. However, I wouldn’t recommend bringing young kids to this area.
Here’s how to find it, you can’t miss it!
5-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station (East exit)
5-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Shinjuku-sanchome Station (exit B12)
Also a note of precaution: There are solicitors who will approach tourists enticing them to follow them to a club or whatever for next to nothing. Ignoring them is the best policy but if they’re persistent, politely but firmly say “No thanks.” As long as you show no interest, they’ll leave you alone. If you do research before visiting, don’t get scared with stories about the Yakuza (organized crime gangs) in Kabuchiko. As long as you don’t put yourself in unfamiliar situations by following strangers, you’ll be fine.
You’re instructed to arrive 30 minutes before showtime. As you enter the waiting room, you’re immediately tranced by lights reflective surfaces covering every inch and welcomed by live entertainment and a bar. Trust me, you’ll want a few cocktails. The entire show is about 1.5 hours with FREQUENT 15 minute intermissions. The show translated like organized chaos with lots of dancing and screaming without a narrative, but in an entertaining way, I guess? Each bit was super random but right when I tried to make sense of something, the lights turn on and they wheel in their drink and snack carts. Like, I’m already buzzed from the last bottle of sake I just bought 15 minutes ago…
So robots, right? Not quite. Considering how technologically advance Japan is, I expected to see elaborate and intricate machines but they were more like floats at a parade with limited and generic movements.
It’s pretty loud, and might too much for young kids. There’s anime-looking girls dancing in crop tops throughout but the show isn’t provocative or disturbing.
When you purchase your ticket, you have the option of adding a meal that gets served during the show. Don’t. The food looked mediocre and besides, it’s Tokyo! There are SO MANY delicious places to eat! Don’t waste a meal here.
Is it worth seeing?
Yes, but once.
I realized this post is beginning to own a negative connotation, but don’t let me turn you off from visiting this place. It’s…different. I do love that it totally epitomizes the craziness of Tokyo culture, in contrast to its rich history. I think it’s safe to say that you won’t come across something like this often. Because it’s nuts, lol. If you do plan on going, I HIGHLY suggest avoiding watching any YouTube videos of the show so you can get a true first impression. If you’re on a tight budget or find yourself having to decide between this or another thing on your itinerary, I’d skip this one. Tickets run 8,000 Yen (approx. $71) per person.
My boyfriend saw it a couple years ago and raved about it. He was most excited about this crazy ROBOT at the end, but this time around it was a stationary unicorn covered in sequence. The show constantly changes so it’s hard to rate this based on my one experience. It’s just one of those things where you have to see once just to say you’ve experienced it.
Have you seen this show? Thoughts?