Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant & What You Need To Know

DSC_0097Ever wondered what a boxing match between Tron and Kung Fu Panda would look like? What about a woman riding a giant snake and eating a robot warrior bent on mankind’s destruction? Ok ok…I know, that’s boring. What about an angel-robot jazz band? Yeah, that got you. Well, a visionary entrepreneur in Japan has made these dreams a reality!

As many know, Japan is pretty strange for people who aren’t…well…Japanese. Naturally, the tourism industry has totally caught onto that, as well. A whole spectrum of tourist oriented restaurants have opened up all over places in Tokyo just to prey on us gullible wide-eyed, adventurous tourists.

But what is going to get your attention most in Japan? Any guesses? No, it has nothing to do with tentacles! Its robots! Robots man! Japan is crazy about it. There is a 4 story life-size gundam (anime robot/war-machine) built on an artificial island in Tokyo bay that proves it.

But how do you take that robot-mania to the next level? You pump USD $250 million into a night club/electronic robot show, of course!

Welcome to Shinjuku’s Robot Restaurant!

Before I discuss the afro robots, knock – off Tron motorcycles and giant snakes, you need to know how to get here and what it is going to cost you.

Tip #1: Reserve online – Robot Restaurant recently changed up their website and it looks great. Check it out here and book online to make sure you get a spot. There are only 3 – 4 shows a night, depending on day of the week, and they get sold out pretty often. You can reserve with a credit card, pay at the door, and move on with your life.

Tip #2: Cash money, baby – Japan is a cash-based society and it is best to get into the habit of carrying cash with you. Don’t worry, carrying around USD $600 worth in yen is not uncommon. Super strange thought, but it is true. You can pay with your credit card that you reserved with or with cash. Its up to you but entry is about 7,000 yen or about USD $60-65.

Tip #3: Say NO to the bento – Here’s the deal. The restaurant provides you with a 1,000 yen bento should you choose to buy it. DON’T!. It is rancid. Eat beforehand at one of the many great restaurants around Shinjuku from Biergartens to Brazilian BBQ. To really help you out, here is a pic of somebody who had it…is that not the face of regret?DSC_0468

HOW TO GET HERE: Now how do you get here. Luckily, there is a google maps drop on the restaurant’s website, but just to help you out here is the gmap itself. Take any train to Shinjuku staiton and head out.

Now, for the show itself.

Before anything happens, you are going to be led across the street to some back alley door and taken to the fourth floor. Once you enter, you’ll be ushered into a waiting room. But not just any waiting room. Oh no, this is robot heaven right here. An angelic-robot band will play some sweet jazz for you while every one of your senses is overwhelmed by the weird Japanese take on the crusades that is streamed on the mirror-like walls, to the robotic dinosaurs taken straight from the Land Before Time series.

After a little while, you’ll be ushered deep underground to what I can just assume Tyler Durden would have loved for one of his Fight Clubs back in the 90s.

This is where things get crazy. Everybody sits down across from one another, lining the walls. Once you’ve bought your drinks or popcorn the show begins with a, not so traditional Taiko drum performance.

Afterwards, it turns into what seems like a mix between a gogo/robot dance show and a mad max post-apocalyptic road race battle. Yeah…I said it.

Before too long its time for mother nature to fight the robot lords…apparently. This is where we get the women riding animals to war scenario I told you about. We have a spider battle, a snake battle, and a gorilla flying through the air via butterfly, shooting a bazooka…


Eventually, when you’re completely confused and effectively dying from needing to use the restroom, the “intermission” show starts up. A Daft Punk inspired dance put on by the support staff.

When the show starts up again it gets even crazier and rows and rows of neon tanks, motorcycles, robot jockeys, giant robot women, and ballerinas march back and forth across stage in what Machiavelli would have saw as the ultimate show of military power.

Let me tell you, there is no plot to this nonsense. Just pure randomness covered up with lights and robots. But it is damn fun. I don’t think I’d ever do it again but I definitely suggest trying it once. It pretty much fills up any stereotypical quota you might have when you visit Japan.

If that doesn’t convince you, just know that after the show you get to take pictures with the robots and crew. Two words: Worth.It.

Don’t let chubby terminator and afro robot down 🙂

Categories: Japan, TokyoTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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