Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant Makes No Sense at All, And It’s Glorious
Watch robots battle for intergalactic supremacy at the one and only Robot Restaurant in Tokyo
From fire-breathing robotic dragons and dancing zebras to self-driving karaoke cars, the Robot Restaurant is probably more Tokyo than Tokyo itself. On a recent stopover in Japan’s capital city, I made a point of seeing the quirkiest attractions that the city has to offer, and the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku was at the top of the list.
The night starts off in a gilded, mirrored lounge that looks as it were swiped from a 1950’s sci-fi movie set. Enter two musicians, dressed like Daft Punk, as they perform covers of your favorite 70s folk tunes while you sip overpriced cocktails in a can. The genre-bending continues downstairs in what appears to be some sort of psychedelic cafeteria. You sit in hard plastic chairs that connect to metal trays, complete with cup holders for your adult beverages. (Note: This show is best enjoyed while getting your buzz on.) LED screens on either side of the room coupled with an intelligent light show add to the eye candy during the main event.
The 90-minute, cabaret-style show changes fairly frequently, according to our local guide. For example, when my Los Angeles friend went a while back, they selected her out of the crowd to battle a robot with a giant boxing glove. While our show didn’t involve any true crowd participation, we watched a Jabbawockeez-style dance performance with laser lights, a procession of the show’s biggest and baddest robots and some sort of good-versus-evil narrative, involving a fire-breathing robot and a shark.
While a glaring tourist attraction, the Robot Restaurant is a ridiculously fun night out. It is not so much a feast for the senses but an all-out binge that will leave you wondering what the heck you just saw. If you want a bizarre experience that you’ll talk about for years to come, get tickets to the Robot Restaurant—it’s Japanese absurdity at its best.
My trip to Japan was made possible by Singapore Airlines and my wallet. Views expressed are my own.