Robot Restaurant Shinjuku 2019: A Nightly Fusion of Futuristic Robots & Japanese Tradition

Tokyo Entertainment Robot restaurant 2019.10.02
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Shinjuku's Robot Restaurant is less restaurant and more show spectacular, but if you're hoping to be dazzled for an evening, the Kabukicho spot is Tokyo's go-to destination. Where else are you going to see Japan's giant robotic contraptions, laser shows, and talented performers putting on a multi-part extravaganza every night of the week? It's the place to be for anyone, young & old, who likes a fun night on the town, and a high-energy performance. (And don't miss our Robot Restaurant discount coupon!)
Why spend an evening with the robots? 🤖
  • We've written in more detail about what you need to know to plan your trip to the Robot Restaurant here, but after our most recent 2019 visit, we thought we'd talk about exactly why you should spend a night making giant robot friends in Shinjuku. Whether you're a backpacker, a luxury traveler, or a family with young children - if you're on the fence about seeing the super-glitzy robot-filled show, read on and let us tell you why it's not to be missed!

     

    Robot Restaurant Shinjuku
    1-7-7 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo​
    Official Website (en)

  • Reason ①: It's A Melting Pot of Old and New
    Reason ①: It's A Melting Pot of Old and New
    Visitors often remark on Japan's ability to combine tradition and modern culture. With metropolitan spots like Tokyo Sky Tree and 1000-year-old Shinto shrines found just steps away from each other, it's easy to see why.

    A trip to the Robot Restaurant will give you that same feeling, with visions of ancient Japan mixed into an undeniably futuristic, technology-supported show. The performance features traditional taiko drummers... riding on robotic parade-float-like structures, and bits of story clearly based on Japanese mythology... acted out by young women in neon cyan wigs, or riding on life-size animatronic dinosaurs. The show gives you an intense look at what Japan does best, mixing deep history and technological prowess.
  • Reason ②: The Visuals are Amazing!
    Reason ②: The Visuals are Amazing!
    There's no denying it, every part of the Robot Restaurant, from the moment you walk in to the final seconds of the show, have some serious impact. Frequent social media users can't resist the chance to take selfies in the colorful stairway and the glittering lobby, or to share clips of the flashy laser light show mid-way through. If you want something to impress your followers, you've found it.

    Even the huge fashion house Dior couldn't avoid the temptation, and held a fashion show pre-party in the Robot Restaurant before a large Tokyo event in 2018. The glitz of the robots is a hit with everyone from globetrotting celebrities to casual travelers. Of course, it's a treat for your eyes, even if you're not much of an "influencer."
  • Reason ③: It's Fun for Robot-Lovers of All Ages, And Groups of All Kinds
    Reason ③: It's Fun for Robot-Lovers of All Ages, And Groups of All Kinds
    The Robot Restaurant sometimes comes off as a destination for adults, but they work hard to accommodate all guests (of all ages!) The spot has a well-deserved reputation for being loud, but they provide hardy sound-blocking earmuffs for those with sensitive ears (and little kids). Boxed meals are sold, but with more snacks and drinks available than full meals, think of it as more of a fun show than a relaxing evening meal and everyone will have a great time.
  • Got kids who love flashing lights, dinosaurs, robots, and heroes in colorful costumes? Grab a tub of popcorn, a colorful soda, and make it a family trip!

    Want an exciting night out with a special someone? Whisk your significant other away in the fun of the light shows, and wave your light-sticks along with the music together. (For a romantic surprise, look out for the chocolates tossed to the audience during the show.)

    Ready to get a little crazy with some friends? Pick up a round of beers and cocktails in the waiting room and enjoy the wacky atmosphere.

    If you're in Japan for your birthday, don't forget to mention it to the staff. You might just get an extra special photo-op, and some birthday popcorn.
Don't Skip These Easy-to-Miss Parts
  • Not-to-Miss ①: The Outdoor Robot Photo-Op
    Not-to-Miss ①: The Outdoor Robot Photo-Op
    To get the most out of your trip to the Robot Restaurant, you'll want to get there a little early. That'll give you time first-thing for a photoshoot with the huge robot chairs found in a little enclave along the building's outer wall. To sit down in these you have to climb up a step-ladder before cozying right up to your giant robot friend of choice.

    Putting together the Robot Restaurant apparently cost a whopping 10 billion yen, and a look at how imposing just the outdoor decorations are gives you a sense of how that's even possible.
  • Not-to-Miss ②: The Bathrooms!
    Not-to-Miss ②: The Bathrooms!
    Shining gold tiles, rainbow chrome, floral patterns in vivid primary colors, and we're not just talking about the walls. Every inch of the Robot Resturant bathrooms is just about as flashy as a bathroom can get. A single picture can only show you so much - you'll just have to visit yourself to see how glamorous a toilet can get.
  • Not-to-Miss ③: The Waiting Room Pre-Show
    Not-to-Miss ③: The Waiting Room Pre-Show
    We highly recommend you arrive in time for the opening pre-show; it's impressive enough that the uninitiated might be fooled into thinking it's the main event. The glamor of the waiting room certainly doesn't hurt! Rainbow lights flash off of a million reflective surfaces, and wonderfully kitschy sea-shell chairs make up some of the audience seating. The pre-show itself is more musical, with a handful of talented vocalists belting out covers of Western and Japanese hits, standing in front of a band in robot costumes and behind a group of costumed dancers.
And Don't Forget Your Discount Coupon!
  • Tickets for the Robot Restaurant are normally 8,000 yen, but we've got a special 25% off discount coupon for your next trip! To save the 2,000 yen, just show the staff the coupon on your phone (or print it out if you'd prefer), and they'll be able to scan the QR code to validate it. 
  • Valid until Dec. 31, 2020.


    Robot Restaurant Shinjuku
    Entrance Fee: 8,000 yen/person* (with JAPANKURU coupon: 6,000 yen!)
    Show Length: 90 min
    Business Hours: 12:00 - 23:00
    Inquiry Hours: 10:00 - 22:00
    Official Website (en)
    (Online Reservations)

    *The 8,000 yen price (or discounted 6,000 yen) does not include food. Lunch boxes are available for an additional 1,000+ yen, along with other snacks.
A Rundown of the Show:
Let Us Whet Your Appetite for Raucous Robots
  • The Show ①: Taiko Drum Battles & Japanese Festival Celebrations
    The Show ①: Taiko Drum Battles & Japanese Festival Celebrations
    If you love that touch of truly traditional Japan, the dramatic opening sequence of this show might be your favorite part. Two teams of drummers enter into a face-off, one team clad in sky blue and looking a bit angelic, and their opponents with red outfits and an evil glint in their eyes. The drumming builds, warming up the crowd and getting everyone into a Japanese festival mood.
  • The Show ②: Monstrous Showdowns
    The Show ②: Monstrous Showdowns
    The over-the-top competitive spirit of the show doesn't finish with the last drum beat! Keep watching and you'll see a series of battles, between mythological creatures, between dinosaurs, and between mystical human figures! Each fight is unique, and brings in different kinds of robots, costumes, and performances.
  • Who will you root for?
  • The Show ③: The Laser-Filled Light Show
    The Show ③: The Laser-Filled Light Show
    Don't think for a moment that the show will get repetitive - new things to see and hear are constantly being added to the drama, including the sensational laser show. Dancers and robots move in and around the beams of light, playing with them as if the streams of light reacted more like solid objects.
  • The Show ④: A New Finale, Bringing the World Together
    The Show ④: A New Finale, Bringing the World Together
    The most regularly changed part of the Robot Restaurant show is the finale. The final celebratory parade brings all the performers back onto stage for a final explosion of music and movement, before giving the audience a last goodbye.

    For our most recent visit, things finished up with a sort of international parade. The crew jumped around sporting international flags as part of their outfits, hyped up and singing along to Michael Jackson. For the JAPANKURU team, things certainly ended on a high note!
  • After hearing a little more about the Robot Restaurant, and the treasures found inside, are you ready to take a trip over yourself? If you want some more concrete advice on how to plan your visit, we've written about the process before, so give our other article a look through and you'll be ready to go!

     

    If you really still need convincing, take a look at the video we took during our last visit, which gives you just a glimpse of all there is to see.
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