I kept hearing about the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku and decided to give it a try. My husband and I called it a date night and headed down to Shinjuku on a Saturday. We made reservations in advance to secure seats. Seating is limited. It’s easy to make reservations, simply call 03-3200-5500. The man on the phone spoke both Japanese and English. He was very helpful.
On the phone, the person will explain the “system” they follow. There are typically three one-hour shows per night, 7:00, 8:30 and 10:00pm. Please verify this on their website, http://www.robot-restaurant.com/E/. Once you choose a show time, they will ask for your name and phone number. The restaurant will call you one hour prior to the show, if you do not answer, and do not show up 30 minutes prior to the show, you will lose your seat.
We walked around the block a few times before we finally found the restaurant. There are dinosaur robots in the front. It looks like an arcade from the outside. After you check in to secure your seats, you pick your meal using a ticket vending machine. The choices are a rice ball set, a yakitori set, and I can’t remember the third choice. The tickets are ¥5000 per person. Once you get your ticket, you can walk across the street to a waiting area. They serve beer and drinks.
When it’s time for the show, you will be escorted to the stage/seating area. Your dinner will be served in a box. While you are eating, they will prepare the stage and will begin the show. Throughout the show, there will be breaks for scene changes. During these breaks, you can get up, use the restroom, or buy more beverages. There will even be a chance for photos with the robots and dancers.
This is not a restaurant to bring kids to. The setting is loud and the women are scantily clad. But it was definitely a Japanese experience my husband and I will never forget! The show was a little cheesy at times, but would take unexpected twists that surprised. Audience participation is encouraged. The restaurant is about a 6 minute walk from Shinjuku Station. GPS: 35.694289, 139.702707. Michelle Nexon, October 2013.
Comment by Elvie Richard, October 2013: Metropolis magazine has 20% discount coupon for admission to Robot Restaurant. You have to have one for each member of the party. That’s ¥1000 off per person. My out-of-town guests totally enjoyed this Japanese experience.