In Shinjuku's Kabukicho district (entertainment and red light district), the surreal Robot Restaurant may be unlike anything you've ever seen. Its sci-fi Japanese cabaret show starring giant robots is loud and proud, both visually and audibly—taiko drums and techno music accompany flashing lights, multiple mirrors, and huge video screens. A sensorial extravaganza, the restaurant is no quiet night out.
Every night there are four 90-minute shows, during which dancers in dazzling costumes perform alongside giant pandas, dinosaurs, robots, and other zany cast members. Due to the spectacle’s extreme popularity among both Japanese and international tourists, tickets often sell out early, so it’s a good idea to book in advance. You can purchase drinks and snacks at the cabaret, and many packages include show tickets and a post-performance dinner at an equally interesting nearby restaurant—from an izakaya with temari thread-ball decor to an “Alice in Wonderland”–themed dining experience.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Robot Restaurant is a must for a night out in Tokyo.
- The restaurant offers free lockers for storing your belongings during the show.
- Choose a basic ticket to the robot cabaret or a combination package that includes dinner at a nearby restaurant.
- Come a few minutes early for a photo op with the two robots positioned outside the bar.
How to Get There
Robot Restaurant is situated in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood. It’s a short walk (about five minutes) from the JR Shinjuku Station East Exit or Tokyo Metro Shinjuku-sanchome Station Exit B12.
When to Get There
Arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled show. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of your reservation.
To Eat or Not to Eat
Robot Restaurant serves standard Japanese food. A typical meal consists of a bento box with items such as sushi and tempura. Instead of eating during the show, you can grab a sake or beer and have dinner elsewhere after the performance. Many tours offer a show-and-dinner combo.