Robot Show woman (?)

No way! Tokyo’s Shinjuku Robot Restaurant (in Kabukicho) show is not a scam at all. Most people who see the show find it to be a very memorable experience. The lights, action, pulse quickening music and effects, all combine to make it quite the experience! And a very Japanese one at that. Read on to find out if the show is right for you, and for tips on how to best enjoy it.

Nearly Ten Years, and Tens of Thousands Served

There’s good reason for Robot Restaurant’s popularity. The entire experience feels very high-tech Japan, as well as very manga-ish Japan. At its core, the performance is a mix of human and (loosely defined) robotics. However, what makes it all so crazy is the lights and sounds reverberating across the relatively small stage and spectator area. The show can be a little naughtily suggestive, but it’s not overtly sexual, so it’s fine for most kids. But very young kids may have a problem with the noise, so do keep that in mind.

The Story as a Vehicle

on the move
Now things are really getting into high gear.

The ninety minute show is loosely about competing robot tribes fighting for dominance. But don’t worry too much about the plot. It’s really not important at all – you’re here for the spectacle! The tech and stage elements will wow you, but the strength of the human performers shouldn’t be discounted. Everyone involved in producing this show is clearly very talented.

Tips for Happy Robot Life at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Robot Restaurant

The show is great, but there are a few things you should be tipped off about beforehand.

No to Food, Yes to Earplugs

Don’t eat at Tokyo’s Shinjuku robot restaurant, and do bring earplugs. The food is truly a disappointment, and with so many excellent food options in the Shinjuku area (where the show takes place), it would be a shame to waste stomach space here. They do sell drinks at the show both before it starts and during intermissions, but don’t get your hopes to high when it comes to the options. As for the earplugs, you may not need them, but just in case, you might as well bring them. Many guests speak of the show being painfully loud.

Earlier is Better

Another tip for you: Consider going to an earlier show. There are at least a few shows a day, and the early ones are often a bit cheaper too. So why not do a late afternoon robotics sesh and then head out to Shinjuku’s other parts for food and drink afterwards?

Where am I??

Just to keep you spatially oriented, Kabukicho is a district within Shinjuku, which is itself a district within central Tokyo. The Kabukicho area is just steps from JR Shinjuku Station. Other train and subway lines that go to Shinjuku are not far either. Tokyo itself is about 2.5 hours by train from Kyoto or Osaka.

Shinjuku Beyond the Robots

Omoide Yokocho
Head out to the backstreets beyond Kabukicho.

Shinjuku has the big lights and big sights, and those are easy to find. But how about exploring some of the smaller streets? They’re packed with character and lots of tiny restaurants serving good food and generally cheap drinks. A favorite of many locals in Shinjuku is Omoide Yokocho, pictured above. This small warren of streets is packed with not only restaurants, but lots of character – and characters – as well. In a city where people are often quite reserved, this is an exception.

Tokyo’s Shinjuku Robot Restaurant Can Be a Blast!

If you’re looking for something very Japan and very original, look no further than the Robot Show! It’s got it all, and in a big way. Just remember to skip the food option. Once the show’s over and you are exploring Shinjuku, you may find reality stranger than fiction! Also, please check us out at Pinpoint Traveler for some great other ways to enjoy your time in Japan!

Photo credits: Top picture copyright Miki Yoshihito, second picture copyright Sergey Galyonkin.

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