So, why is the Robot Restaurant a must-see destination? 🤖
As long as you can enjoy a little bit of over-the-top kitsch and glam, the show really works for travelers of all kinds, from backpackers to luxury travelers, partygoers to families with young kids. We've written more nitty-gritty trip-planning details for the Robot Restaurant here, but after visiting again in 2019, we thought we'd go into why exactly it's worth a visit! If you're still on the fence about going, read on before you make your decision.
Reason ①: It's a Fusion of the Past & the Future
Japan is a country that constantly mixes new and old, and you can tell just by watching a show at the Robot Restaurant. With taiko drums beating as they get pulled across the stage on robotic platforms, and performers dressed in quasi-traditional half-fantastical costumes riding on animatronic Japanese mythological creatures, touches of ancient Japan are totally melded with futuristic technology.
Reason ②: Visually, It's Gorgeous!
From the moment you enter the premises until the last moments of the performance, there's no ifs, ands, or buts about it, this place has some serious visual impact. Surfaces glitter, rainbows flash across walls, guests take selfies with the neon floral decorations, and that's all before the show even starts! Once you take a seat for the main event, it's so enchanting that even high fashion house Dior was enamored by everything - they held a fashion show pre-party in the Robot Restaurant in 2018.
Reason ③: They Welcome Robot-Lovers of All Ages
The Robot Restaurant does sell alcohol, and the performance itself is fairly raucous and loud, which is probably why many travelers get the impression that it's a club for adults. On the contrary, though, they clearly work to accommodate all guests (of all ages!) Visitors with sensitive ears can borrow robust sound-blocking earmuffs, and alongside adult beverages they offer plenty of soft drinks and fun snacks. This isn't a fancy restaurant or a crazy night club, but it is a pretty fun outing.
And if you visit on your birthday, let the staff know for an extra little surprise!
Not-to-Miss ①: Photo-Ops in the Lap of Your New Robot Friend
In a little space along the building's outer wall, there are two giant robots, with step ladders leading up to their cozy laps. Get to the restaurant a little early to make sure you have a minute to take a photo with these decadently outfitted automatons! Just one look at these guys, and the apparent 10 billion yen it cost to create the Robot Restaurant starts to make sense.
Not-to-Miss ②: The Restrooms!
From floor to ceiling, these bathrooms are a wonderfully gaudy affair. Shining metallic surfaces and rainbow florals grace every surface, creating an atmosphere that just can't be expressed in a single picture. It's worth seeing in person!
Not-to-Miss ③: The Pre-Show & Waiting Room Bar
Getting there late means you miss half the fun, so be sure to make plenty of time to relax in the waiting room and enjoy the pre-show. With all the effort that goes into it, you might think the main event has already started! Grab a drink and sit in one of the ostentatious sea-shell chairs while the rest of the audience trickles in; you'll be treated to some impressive vocals backed up by costumed dancers and instrumentalists in shining robot armor.
And Don't Forget Your Discount Coupon!
Who doesn't want to save 25% on a ticket? Just show the staff our special coupon on your phone (or print it out), and you'll get 2,000 yen off of the normal 8,000 yen ticket price!
Valid until Dec. 31, 2020.
Robot Restaurant Shinjuku1-7-7 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Show Length: 90 min
Entrance Fee: 8,000 yen/person*
(with JAPANKURU coupon: 6,000 yen!)
Business Hours: 12:00 - 23:00
Inquiry Hours: 10:00 - 22:00
Official Website (en)
*The 8,000 yen price (or discounted 6,000 yen) does not include food. Lunch boxes are available for an additional 1,000+ yen, along with other snacks.
A Rundown of the Show:
Let Us Whet Your Appetite for Raucous Robots
The Show ①: Japanese "Matsuri" & Taiko Drummers
Get into the festive mood of a Japanese matsuri (祭り、traditional festival) with the opening taiko drum battles! Pick a team to root for (angelic sky blue or devilish red), and let yourself be entranced by the building drum beats.
The Show ②: Battle of the Beasts
The battles continue! Watch as semi-mythological creatures and somewhat mystical dinosaurs face off, and their human riders clash in explosive light shows.
Who do you think will win?
The Show ③: Light Shows & Lasers
Worried all the battles are a little much? The show isn't all brawls! Get to the laser show and it's just a big dance party, where dancers and giant robots alike groove to the music and play with the light as if it were a physical object.
The Show ④: Bringing People Together With a Grand Finale
While much of the Robot Restaurant show these days is a collection of their most impressive performance pieces, constantly tweaked to perfection, the finale is periodically changed to add fresh, new fun. All the performers come back to the stage in one final burst, giving their best goodbyes in the form of music and dance.
When we visited last, flags of the world flew across the stage as things finished with an international extravaganza. As Michael Jackson played in the background, the Robot Restaurant staff went all out jumping and dancing across the stage, and brought everyone together for the last moments of the show. As an international team here at JAPANKURU, it warmed the cockles of our hearts!
Ready to make a beeline straight to the Robot Restaurant? We've written in more detail about how exactly to buy tickets and get to the restaurant before, so read up and head on over!
For a last look at the Robot Restaurant show, check out the footage we took last time we visited. If you need any more convincing, this should do it!