When you mention that you are planning a trip to Tokyo, one of the first questions you often get is “Are you going to the Robot Restaurant?”.
We heard this so often after booking our spring break trip that we decided we should look into tickets. While we were able to find some information online and book our tickets in advance, nothing really prepared us for the craziness that would ensue when we arrived for the show.
Below, I’m going to go through a bit of information that will help you plan a visit to the Robot Restaurant. You should know that even the pictures I’m adding are only a tiny part of what the experience was like. You really must see it to believe it!
Where Is The Robot Restaurant
The Robot Restaurant is in the Shinjuku neighborhood of downtown Tokyo. Shinjuku is an interesting neighborhood in that it has a little bit of a whole lot of things.
Shinjuku is home to the City Government of Tokyo. It is also a major business hub in the city. For after work hours, Shinjuku is known for its great nightlife and there are plenty of places to go out for a drink.
Shinjuku Golden Gai, which you can see to the lower right of the Robot Restaurant in the map above, is a series of alleyways filled with little one-room bars and restaurants. Most have 6-10 seats and each has its own theme. Although some of the bars were charging a minimal cover charge when we were there, there were plenty of options that weren’t and the drinks were cheap everywhere we went. This is definitely a cool place to go without the kids in the evening.
Once you have wandered through the neighborhood and are close, the Robot Restaurant is quite easy to find due to huge signs, billboards, and flashing arrows.
There will also be a crowd of people in the street waiting to get tickets and get inside. Although we bought our tickets online before our trip, we still had to trade our vouchers in for actual tickets and have ID’s checked. This line took quite a while, so make sure you get there early if you want to have time to enjoy the lounge areas before the show.
What Is The Robot Restaurant
The Robot Restaurant is more of a show than it is a restaurant. The main draw is about an hour and a half of one of the strangest performances you will see.
Tickets are quite expensive, especially if you have a large family.
You can buy tickets online or in person from several sources and they are all close in price. You should expect to pay around $75 per person to see the show. Adding dinner and drinks takes the price up even higher.
Even at those prices though, they sell out multiple shows a night.
Several online reviews will tell you that the Robot Restaurant is just a big tourist trap. I don’t necessarily disagree with that label, but I will add that it was quite an amusing tourist trap.
That being said, although there were quite a few tourists at our show, there were also what appeared to be several Japanese businessmen and women. It was a very mixed crowd in both background and dress.
Eating At The Robot Restaurant
Although it is clearly called a restaurant, eating there is not really recommended.
You can purchase full meals when you buy your tickets or when you arrive for the show, but the food is generally overpriced and not very good.
Drinks, on the other hand, are plentiful and fun. The kids had a variety of sodas and the adults had beers, sake, and vodka drinks in light-up containers.
During the show, there are a couple of intermissions so people can use the bathroom, buy more drinks, or buy a variety of snacks. If you are really hungry, grab a bag of chips to tide you over.
Your best bet is to do what we did and have dinner before or after you go. We scheduled an 8:30 performance at the Robot Restaurant so we had plenty of time for a dinner ahead of time. We did buy some churros (actually our friends bought ALL the churros, they only had 10) to snack on during the show and they definitely were not something I would go back for.
The Actual Show
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so to give you an idea of what the show at the Robot Restaurant is like, let me show you in a few pictures.
Please understand that these were all taken with our phones during the show. Everything was moving quickly and the lighting was constantly changing, so it presented quite a challenge when trying to get good, clear pictures.
Hopefully, these will get the point across even know some of them are not the best quality.
If you like what you see here and want to see more, an evening at the Tokyo Robot Restaurant might be fun for you.
A Few Warnings
This post is supposed to help you understand what to expect at the Robot Show, so it wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t tell you a few of the things that you or your kids might not like.
There are parts of the Robot Show that use strobe lights.
There are a variety of fight scenes. These are not graphic fights, but you may see someone getting eaten by a giant snake robot or something like that. There are also laser guns that are used to shoot other performers during the fights.
At some points during the show, it is completely dark for short periods.
There is very loud music. Some of this comes through speakers and some of it is played by live drummers, guitar players and full bands that pass by on floats.
If any of these things sound problematic to you or your family, you might want to think twice about going to the robot show. That being said, we had 5 kids in our group ranging from 6 to 14 and none of them had any problems.
I should also note that they did hand out over-the-ear headphone style hearing protection to the younger kids. We thought that was a nice touch.
To Sum It Up
Really, what can I say except you have to see the Robot Restaurant to really understand what the show is about.
Maybe I should take that back though. We had a group of 9 and we all left that show completely bewildered and unable to put into words what we had just seen. So I guess even after seeing the show, you won’t really understand what it is all about.
One thing we could easily agree on is that we all really enjoyed the show.
Would we go back? Probably not unless they changed the show so we could see something different since we’ve already seen the current version of the show. I’m really glad we decided to visit the Robot Restaurant on our trip though. It certainly added some memories that we will never forget, and yes, two of those light up drink containers ended up coming home with us.
If you’re headed to Tokyo with your family and you don’t mind a somewhat pricey night out, the Robot Restaurant is definitely a sight to see. You will laugh, you will drop your jaw in awe, and you might just go a little bit crazy. That’s the mark of a truly good performance.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve been to the Robot Restaurant and what you thought of the show. We hope you liked it as much as we did!