Robot restaurant Tokyo…. wait, what? Everybody calls this establishment a restaurant, but it’s actually much more than that. Or rather, eating there is actually the tiniest part of the reason why you should go there. What it is? A completely wacky, crazy, over-the-top robot- dinosaur-cabaret-dancing and music act.
Credits: Cory Doctorow
Rumours has it that it took millions to build this establishment, and looking at the different photo’s we can guess why. Everywhere you look are lights, glitter, robots and floating stages. Don’t expect your eyes and mind to get even a second rest when you step inside this robot restaurant. This will be a chaotic mashup of Japanese culture-rollercoaster ride. Sounds great right?
Credits: Julien Solimita
Robot restaurant prices
If you would like to know the cost of a trip to Robot restaurant, their official English website has really been upgraded and easy to understand. I found out how much it would cost me and a friend to see a show including dinner: 8000 yen per person. That’s around 60/70 dollars, without food. Book in advance, the show can be sold out (especially in the weekends) since the Japanese like to go there as well. You can choose a time slot between 16.00 and 21.00 and one show is 90 minutes.
Robot restaurant discounts
Think 70 dollars for a show is too expensive? I hear you, I believe it’s also a reason to search for discounts. These are discounts I found that are still used at the moment of writing (August 2016). Like the discount in the free Metropolis magazine, where you can get about 1000 yen discount (around 10 dollars). Worth looking for right? See where you can find the Metropolis magazine. You can call the robot restaurant for reservations and show them the coupon when entering. Other websites where you can get discounts are beauty of japan, japanican and voyagin.
Credits: Julien Solimita
First part of the Robot Restaurant Tokyo show
Keep in mind that you need to be at the venue at least 30 minutes ahead of time, so they can direct the groups going in and out the venue. When you get inside you are welcomed by an interior so bright, surreal, glitter, sparkles, flashing lights and rainbows all around, and you’ll probably need a few minutes to adjust. When you’re eyes and mind have gotten used to the (well, slightly used) crazyness, you’ll get into a waiting room. There musicians in android-suits are awaiting your arrival, and you already get a show before the actual show.
Food at the robot restaurant
There are lots of opinions about the food you get at the robot restaurant, and most of them aren’t that positive. It’s obvious the show is more important than what you eat at the robot restaurant, so make sure you eat beforehand. And if you think it’s an do-whatever-you-want establishment, you’re wrong. There certainly are a few rules, but most of them are just so the dancers and machines can do their show without anyone getting in the way. One of the rules for example is staying in your seat, and the other is not to use a ‘big carema’. Visitors are seated to the sides of the establishment, so the dancers and robots can walk, dance and act in the middle.
Robot restaurant Tokyo and their main show
So, what about the main show? Even if you ask people who’ve been there, they would find it hard to explain what they just saw. There are robots, fake animals, dancers, musicians and it’s all a great mash-up from awesomeness, battles and show. Usually when someone says ‘ you just gotta see this, I can’t describe it’ i’m sceptical, but in this case I totally agree. Even after watching several video’s of this (spoiler below if you want to watch part of the show), it’s hard to ‘get’ what is going on. All the reviews however have the same conclusion: it’s bizarre, it’s a bit corny, completely crazy but so much fun! Here’s a great video of Julien Solomita to show you. Warning: obvious spoilers!
Robot restaurant location
The robot restaurant is located in Shinjuku, the business by day, party by night district of Tokyo. The restaurant itself is not hard to miss: they are smack in the middle of the neon district (imagine a christmas fair x 1.000.000). Kind of like Vegas if you’ve been there before, but with an obvious Japanese twist. If you see a giant dinosaur, you know you’re at the right place. (And if they´ve changed it, the robot-images on the facade will show you the way).
Have you been to Robot Restaurant Tokyo before? What were your impressions?