Holiday Highlights: Robot Restaurant, Tokyo

For the 2016 New Year’s Eve countdown, my family and I traveled to Tokyo, Japan! The people were so kind and welcoming, there was inspiring art everywhere and the fashion was gorgeous; but, there was one stand out night that I’ll always remember.

I read about the Robot Restaurant online and thought that it might be a fun experience for the family, so we traveled to Shinjuku (not very far from central Tokyo) to see what the fuss was about. We had no idea what to expect, but the name alone was enough to capture our interest.As soon as you walk up, there are two larger-than-life robots to take pictures with. First, you are ushered into a slim hallway that leads straight into a big waiting room with a bar, that has multiple themes going on: butterflies, sparkles, disco – just about anything you can think of. Here is where you order your food, but don’t be fooled by the restaurant title, they serve American finger foods such as chicken tenders and burgers. The cocktails are very good and worth a try.

When you’re finally allowed to go in, you first walk down four flights of stairs that are all decked out with bright lights and TV screens. Every staircase has a different theme, so just entering the restaurant is an experience all on its own.

When I arrived at the showroom, truthfully, I was a bit skeptical; it really is just a plain black room with three rows of chairs facing each other with an open space in the middle. The room is literally completely empty, but it fills up quite quickly and the show is spectacular.

For the next two hours, my eyes and mouth were wide open with disbelief. It’s a full sensory experience that you seriously must see for yourself. The whole show is a grouping of large floats with people dressed up in different outfits, either playing the drums or enacting scenes from movies such as Mad Max and Kung Fu Panda. Every scene was mind-blowing with over the top designs and completely unexpected situations (such as a giant velociraptor fighting a tank to save a mermaid).

The Robot Restaurant is one of the weirdest, wildest and most exciting things that I have experienced. Even though it is far more ‘robot’ than ‘restaurant’, I would go back to Tokyo just to see this unforgettable show again.

Top Tips: It’s almost always sold out, but if you arrive a few hours early and walk in they usually have tables to give away for later that night. While you wait, either get something to eat, just walk around and explore Shinjuku, or go to Karaoke World (3 Chome-6-14 Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0022, Japan) and rent a room out for an hour!


Images courtesy of the author.