A Look Inside the Shinjuku Robot Restaurant

When my Mister told me we were going to go to this big deal robot restaurant for a show with some of the other exchange students, I had no idea what was in store.  All I knew was there would be robots and Japanese girls in bikinis.  Little did I know that the evening would be beyond any experience I could imagine.

This widely popular tourist attraction is located in Shinjuku, Tokyo.  As we walked through the neighborhood to get to the robots, I noticed stores like Tiffany & Co., Coach, and Burberry, so we were in a nice shopping area of Tokyo.  While there are lighted signs everywhere, when you turn the corner to get to the Robot Restaurant, you’re completely blindsided by flashing lights in bright neon colors.  Right outside there are two of the infamous female robots wearing skimpy bikinis and people can climb up and take their photo on them.

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Of course, this craziness that was taking place on the outside was merely a glimpse into what waited for us inside.  Tickets for this show cost ¥6,000, or about $50.  At first I thought that was a bit steep, but the experience ended up being worth every penny.

Once inside we took an elevator, a brightly colored, trippy looking elevator, up to the pre-show lounge. When we stepped off we were transported into what can only be described as interior designer hell.  There were rhinestones, colors, lights, patterns, and images everywhere.  None of them made sense, yet for the evening we had in store, they all made perfect sense.  We sat down on red velvet chairs and ordered drinks as we watched men and women dressed as robots put on a really stellar instrumental performance.  Seriously, the music was kind of jazzy and relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable to listen to.

I took a pit stop into the ladies room before we went downstairs to the show.  The ENTIRE ROOM was covered in gold!  Everything, that is, except the flower covered toilet.  Guys, I can’t make this stuff up.  You’ll need to watch my video for the full effect.  Words simply aren’t enough here..

I took note of the people that were filing into the lounge and noted that this place, above all other places we will see while we’re here, is probably the only place filled with people that speak English.  There were hardly any Japanese people in the room.  The only ones I noticed were business men who were with English speaking business men, so I imagine they were escorting the others to this tourist event.

When we were called downstairs we all wandered down 3 flights of stairs, all with outrageous decor from all angles, including the steps themselves.  We then filed into this room that was a lot smaller than I anticipated.  There were 3 rows on either side of this runway-like floor; probably 150 spectators total.  We got to our seats and while we waited for the show to start people could pick up their bento boxes (if they ordered any.. this is the restaurant part), popcorn, or alcoholic beverages.  Why they served booze, if you became a disruptive drunk they’d kick you out in a heartbeat. It said so at the ticket counter.

Finally, it was showtime.

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Girls dressed in crazy costumes that reminded me of Rainbow Bright came out and took their places on set pieces filled with drums. Suddenly the banging of the drums started, the colorful light lit up and the set pieces began moving with an insane amount of precision , which was necessary to get through the tiny space.  The opening number lasted quite a long time and was this huge battle of the drums bit that took a lot of skill.  I was impressed.

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As the show went on, things kept getting weirder.  We had an entirely rhinestone studded set that included two girls onto of rhinestone horses busting out Lady Gaga music, a robot boxing match, and the attack of a sexy evil woman who had a pre recorded voice that reminded me of Rita from the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (epic gold star for anyone who knows what I’m talking about).  In order to fight off this evil woman with a machine gun, there was a giant panda who rode a cow, a woman riding a giant spider, a gorilla flying in on a dragon fly, and a giant snake.

Loud noises, tons of flashing lights and effects, and so many crazy things to watch turned this into a massively overstimulating situation.  After the evil one was defeated, cute music came on and giant robots came out to dance, along with the girls, who had an impressive amount of costume changes throughout the show.

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Words really cannot begin to express what kind of experience this Robot Restaurant was.  It’s rated #16 in the top attractions in all of Tokyo, so many others have been thrilled and pleased by this flashy, overstimulating experience.  Katy Perry has attended this show on more than one occasion.  They have photos of many different celebs who have taken the time to add the Robot Restaurant to their list of experiences.  For around $50 I’d say it’s a place that you should experience.  Once is enough, but I guarantee it is unlike anything else you could find in the world.  When you think of Japan and all of its brightly colored, video game and odd fashion obsessed glory, this fits right in and exceeds what you’d expect to find here.

For a better look at everything, check out my YouTube video.  You’ll see plenty of clips and hopefully better understand the things that are difficult to put into words.  This was definitely a once in a lifetime sort of experience.

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