Introducing the world-famous Robot Restaurant - where a zany, energetic and very much a "cool Japan" experience awaits you. Despite the name, the place is primarily focused around the performance of the robots and other dancers on a performance stage setting, with optional food, rather than a restaurant featuring robot staff.
As soon as you enter the building, located in Kabukicho, Shinjuku, there is a dazzling array of colors and lights in the corridor, providing a flavor of what is to come. There are performances on several times a day, and this can be checked on the website. We would recommend referring to this website and calling them to book a slot. You do not have to pay in advance and there is no cancellation fee for a no-show, your reservation will just be cancelled in this case. As the performance is mainly geared towards foreigners, who make up the majority of the clientele, all staff are proficient in English.
Arriving at the venue
The robot restaurant normally recommends you to arrive around 30 minutes earlier than the scheduled performance time. It is normally no problem to arrive later than this, but arriving early will lead you to the waiting room, which is a performance in itself. The room is lavishly decorated like a psychedelic hotel, and various performances are made, and customers are free to order drinks at a bar.
Once ready, the audience is led into the main basement room for the performance. At this point, if you have requested meals (which you can do when making the phone reservation) you will receive this.
The world famous performance
We won't describe the performance in too much detail as we don't want to provide too many spoilers, but you will be treated to a performance that is dazzling and unique, and with many forms of typically Japanese imagery. It reflects the ubiquitous cultural fascination of the seamless meshing and display of the modern and the traditional, and some of music and characters on display are certainly reminiscent of Japanese anime and games.
At 8,000 yen, the price is a bit steeper than other attractions, but is certainly worth the unique opportunity. The waiting room bar also has a friendly atmosphere and is an easy place to meet other foreigners who are traveling within Japan. If you're looking for an example of the "Cool Japan" brand, this is it!
Address: B2F Shinjuku Robot Building, 1-7-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0021
Photos: Kota Wada
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