Japan’s Hottest Show: Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku

You can find some of the best attractions and activities in Tokyo, especially related to food and beverages. You can have dinner while playing 90s video games or while getting the quintessential ‘maid cafe’ experience. You can also do as I did on my first visit to Japan, one of the top things to do in Tokyo, and sip cocktails out of a mannequins head in a jail cell at Alcatraz ER and drink coffee at a very unusual cat cat cafe.

Annette Whiteat Alcatraz ER: Japan's Hottest Show: Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku

OR you can take it even one step further and choose to eat Japanese sushi from a bento box while watching scantily clad girls ride twelve foot steel horses as live stuffed animals prance around the stage at the Robot Restaurant show in the Shinjuku prefecture of Tokyo .

FYI: No one really cares about the bento box.

Japan's Hottest Show: Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku

Japan’s Hottest Show: Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku

Earlier in the evening I was happily dining on crispy tempura at the legendary Shinjuku Tsunahachi So-honten, because even though the word “restaurant” in the name of that evenings robot show, it’s really not one. It is best to eat elsewhere. After dinner, my companions wanted to make it an early evening and I wanted to spend my last night in Tokyo doing something that I would never forget, so I headed to the legendary Robot Restaurant solo. The maps app on my IPhone gave me easy and accurate directions.

The Robot Restaurant Tokyo

It’s pretty hard to miss the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho area, a place known as the red-light district. You walk through the streets lighted archway and enter into a different world where girly clubs mix with love hotels, bars and eateries. Then there’s a rainbow of lights with music blaring in the background. You have arrived.

Even if you don’t plan on going inside for the show, you can sit in the robot chairs out front for a great instagram photo opportunity.

Japan's Hottest Show: Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku

Japan's Hottest Show: Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku

Where to Buy Tickets

I hadn’t purchased tickets in advance, but they were available at the ticket office right across the way from the entrance door. As typical with many shows, at-the-door ticket prices were much higher than could be secured elsewhere, ¥8,000 ($72 USD). That’s what you get for procrastinating! Though, it was lucky that there were even tickets still available, because the small venue has very limited seating and they sell out often. Purchasing tickets beforehand is highly recommended!

Cheaper Tickets:

You can find cheaper tickets (¥60-70,000, $54-$63 USD) if you book in advance so head over to Voyagin and book now for 38% off the ticket including 1 drink and a free gift! Front row seats also bookable only with Voyagin.

You can also ask your hotel’s concierge to book tickets for you.

Japan's Hottest Show: Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku

Japan's Hottest Show: Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku

The Bar

After entering from the outside, I walked down a long neon lit hallway into a room that was a mix of Liberace’s house and Las Vegas casino, times ten. A huge chunk of the ¥10 million cost to build the Robot Restaurant must be inside this room.

The bar is the holding tank.

It’s a place where you can order semi-pricey drinks (like $6 bottles of Budweiser) while you wait for entrance into the main show hall. The glitz, gold and velvet was an indication of what was to come.

Japan's Hottest Show: Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku

The loudspeaker announced when the show was ready for seating and like a herd of cattle we made our way down a few flights of fabulously decorated stairs to the rectangular showroom. It was a lot smaller than I thought it would be, only three rows of seats.

Just about every seat is a good one.

BUT, they are crammed together. If you didn’t know your neighbor before you arrived, you will by the time you leave. Let’s hope they didn’t have garlic for dinner and decided to put on a heavy dose of deodorant that morning.

Video screens lined the back walls playing psychedelic films that I could only assume would greatly enhance the effects of some mind altering drugs. Or maybe they were meant to replicate the effects?

Japan's Hottest Show: Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku

The Robot Show

From the very first minute it’s a chaotic and fabulous extravaganza that goes beyond the typical robots. Lady drummers pound, clown-like characters perform, sexy girls dance, over-sized stuffed pandas wave glow sticks and yes there are some robots.

It is sensory overload. In a good way.

Japan's Hottest Show: Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku

It’s like the Thunderdome movie comes to life with a little bit of Ninja Turtles and Panda Bears mixed in and they meet up with Lady Gaga. It had a little bit of everything.

Hard to imagine?

About every 15-20 minutes there was a break from the pandemonium. During this time staff walked around carrying large boards advertising snacks and beverages for sale — popcorn, doritos and cans of Asashi beer.

Then the chaos continued on…

Japan's Hottest Show: Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku

Japan's Hottest Show: Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku

Words can not really do justice to describing the Robot Restaurant show, it has to be seen live. Only in Japan would you find something so quirky, futuristic, and baffling.

And it would be a complete success.

It is a captivating attraction that will bewilder the first-time Tokyo visitor, but if you have been to this vibrant city before it will make perfect sense in a nonsensical sort of way.

What You Need to Know

  • Taking photos is allowed as long as you don’t use flash
  • Use the restroom before entering, it’s tight quarters and squeezing to get out of your seat can be difficult


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2018-04-05T07:30:15+00:00April 5th, 2018|Categories: Asia, Japan, QUIRKY, TRAVEL|Tags: , |


  1. Carrick | Along for the Trip December 6, 2016 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Hi Annette,

    This is so great! Robot Cafe is the one thing that I regret not being able to fit in during our short visit to Tokyo last spring. We did visit an owl cafe with the kids which was pretty cool though.

    You’re right, this is pure sensory overload as only the Japanese could produce and it’s such a unique and awesome memory that you’ll have!

    Fun read – Thanks for sharing!


    • Annette White December 6, 2016 at 10:12 pm - Reply

      I went to the owl cafe too!!
      Every time I leave Tokyo I regret not having done something, so that just tells me that I have to go back soon!

  2. Buy Robot May 22, 2017 at 4:27 am - Reply

    This is so Awesome. I totally agree with Annette. Same Story that I had last year visited in Tokyo with my friends, but we did not visit Robot Cafe. Every time I feel so much guilt how I missed it? I hope maybe next I will make plans with my mates So please just tell me that I have to go back very soon. Thank you for sharing this

  3. Eva April 27, 2018 at 6:24 am - Reply

    Hi!!!! Wow!!!
    I admire your article. It is so great.
    Tokyo is the city of my dreams
    The Robot Restaurant Tokyo is the place where I would like to visit. In my country there is no such cafe. But I’m sure that it would be in demand.
    Japanese people are with a great imagination)))
    Tokyo, see you soon)))

  4. Bimal May 30, 2018 at 2:37 am - Reply

    Japan is also a interesting country to travel because japanese are always concentrate on value. Interesting to read.

  5. Juan Ovalle July 30, 2018 at 12:15 am - Reply

    This looks so cool! I’ve never heard of the robot restaurant before. I’ll be in Tokyo in a few months and would have to check this out now. This seems like an amazing experience!

  6. Nat July 31, 2018 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    I went there when I came to Tokyo in October 2017 and absolutely LOVED it! It’s not just a super fun time, but the owners support LGBT+ rights!

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