At one time or another we have all experienced dinner shows where the main focus is the performance rather than the meal itself. In the U.S., Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, for example, has nine “castles” throughout the country promising epic battles, jousting tournaments, royal feasts, knights and romance. It is very popular among tourists and those celebrating birthdays and other such occasions. Now take this one step further by placing the venue in the heart of the Kabukicho entertainment district, the mecca of gentlemen’s entertainment and just a short walk from the Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, Japan, fill it with robots, scantily clad girls, more lights and noise than the kitschiest pachinko parlor and you have the ever popular Robot Restaurant (http://www.robot-restaurant.com/E/). Recently voted one of the top places to visit by foreigners on TripAdviser, the establishment is very popular with the manga-obsessed fringe of the Japanese population referred to as otaku.
Reservations are required in advance and are accepted anywhere from up to seven days in advance to one hour before your planned visit. The admission price is 6000¥ , and includes your choice of a bento-box meal and a bottle of cold tea. Beer and soft drinks are available for an additional purchase. There are currently four, 30-minute performances offered starting at 3:50 PM – 4:20 PM, 5:30 PM-6:00 PM, 7:10 PM – 7:40 PM and finally 8:50 PM – 9:20 PM. The venue enforces a dress code where sunglasses, costumes, and large wigs are not permitted. Oh, and if you have tattoos, you are asked to cover them up.
Audience members are asked to arrive 30 minutes in advance and are offered the use of a waiting room on the 3rd floor which will absolutely assault your senses! It is absolutely littered with seizure-inducing glittering mirrors, lights, colors and images. Inside the theater, there are three rows of elevated non-reserved seating lining both sides of a long central stage. The theater can only hold 100 people therefore it is critical that you arrive early, especially if you want front row seating.
The show itself can best be described as a sort of techno-cabaret with a cavalcade robots, dancing girls, music and special effects. During intermission, the audience has an opportunity to pose for photos with the cast members.
It is probably the most unbelievable, insane, and over-the-top place you could possibly spend an evening in and truly an only-in-Japan experience.
Address: 1-7-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo