After almost two years of living in Japan, I can without a doubt say that the robot restaurant is one of the most unforgettable and strangest experiences I’ve had yet.
It would be hard to miss the entrance, with two giant robots flanking the illuminated doorway, it manages to stand out even in the bustling and brightly lit streets of Kabukicho. After a brief trip in an elevator with every inch decorated in neon pulsing lights, you are ushered into the lobby where singers dressed as robots are singing everything from Disney to Avril Lavigne as you buy your glowing cocktails, robot sundaes, and neon bubble tea for the show.
There are almost no words to describe the show, with bizarre, flamboyant, energetic, and crazy not even coming close to summing up the actual experience. Traditional elements of Japanese culture, such as taiko (Japanese drum), samurai, folklore characters, and even shamisen (three- stringed Japanese banjo) music, are all intermixed with anime, pop, and lasers until you get something that defies imagination.
With music and themes changing almost as fast as the lights, there is no time to think before another dance, a different parade of giant neon robots, or a new battle sequence rolls out. From laser light dance shows to Lady Gaga, to giant lobsters and snails shooting sparks at killer robot aliens and mutant ninja turtles rushing in at the last minute to save the planet from invasion, you would be hard-pressed to find something that the show hasn’t turned into a glowing robot or dancing alien.
Eventually, after the world is saved from a race of evil robots by a series of giant glowing animals and gun-wielding princesses atop a dragon, the show ends with a parade of flags and vibrantly dressed creatures. Glow sticks are passed out to the audience to bring audience participation up a level from simply dodging robot arms, and the infectious energy of the dancers will have even the most reluctant members on their feet, cheering and singing along.
If you’re after a memorable experience and have ever wondered what a massive glowing panda ninja fighting a robot dragon to the soundtrack of Michael Jackson looks like, Robot Restaurant has you covered.
Our friends from Australia recommended it to us! They said it was a great show, so we wanted to come to see it ourselves.
We watched lots of Youtube videos of the show and heard a lot about it on the Internet before coming to Japan. We’re so excited to see it!
Address: Kabukicho 1-7-1, Shinjuku
Time: 2:30pm-11pm (Shows: 3:30pm, 5:30pm, 7:30pm, 9:30pm), 1 show is approximately 90 minutes.
Admission: 8,500 yen
Access: 5-min walk from JR and Tokyo Metro Shinjuku Station