A new restaurant modestly named “Robot Restaurant” has opened in Shinjuku on 18 July but already has generated a lot of buzz on the internet.  Its quick surge in popularity may have to do with the rumored post-apocalyptic giant robot show that goes on while you eat and is said to cost 10 billion yen (US$127M) to create.  We had to go and see if this is for real.

To sum up Robot Restaurant in a few words, they would be “furious waves of pure entertainment.”  Even though at first glance this establishment seems purely for guys, the organized chaos is sure to entertain women as well.

Located near the heart of Kabukicho in Shinjuku, Tokyo, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding this establishment decorated to the hilt in shimmering lights. Upon entering you’ll feel like you slipped into another dimension surrounded by psychedelic lighting and Valkyrie robots.

Entry to Robot Restaurant is a flat fee of 3000 yen (US$38) which covers the show, seat, food, a drink, and service charge. The seating is narrowly arranged across the room with the stage running along both sides putting you right in the middle of the show.  The food is a simple lunch box of snack foods like sushi rolls and fried egg.

However, once the show starts you’ll forget all about the food. The show is an hour long assault of entertainment featuring Japanese taiko drums, a marching band, a bike performance, robots, tanks, a B-52, and more all bathed in neon lights and coming at you so fast that you might forget to breathe let alone eat.

There are a lot of theme restaurants our there but none have matched Robot Restaurant’s level of frantic entertainment.  It’s a highly intricate performance too with many moving parts that must be a chore to organize.

This is what makes them great.  If you do go there, though, I recommend eating something light beforehand.  The portions served are rather small and you’ll probably forget about it once the neon extravaganza is underway.  Truly the main reason to visit Robot Restaurant is the performance which goes on twice a night from Monday to Saturday but you may want to check the schedule on their website to be sure.

Robot Restaurant (Japanese)
Address: Shinjuku Robot Bldg. B2F, 1-17-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo
Business Hours: 18:00-24:00
Performance: 2 shows nightly (except Sun) starting at 7:00pm

Original Story and Photos: Hidenori Sato on Pouch (Japanese)

▼These robots are freaking huge! But do they move?

▼The first half of the show has a real Japanese vibe to it.

▼Who could forget that classic haiku about a neon fembot driven by a chick in a leather bikini?

▼About 10 of these stagehands dressed all in black were working their butts off setting up the next scene.

▼Then the party tank arrives! Not just robots at this joint.

▼So many bikini girls they have to be airlifted in.

▼Here’s the party tank after the show. I never thought I’d be jealous of a tank.

▼I wonder how many lights they use.

▼And here’s your typical lady with a cat mask riding in a mini-tank that you find in any old restaurant.

▼And be sure to check out the… whatever this thing is.

▼The fembots are amazingly lifelike, aside from being gigantic.  This one’s breasts even move!

[ Read in Japanese ]