A Futuristic Take on Japan’s Robot Restaurant

What is the inspiration behind the Robot Restaurant in Japan?

The Robot Restaurant is not like many specialty shops that people have seen before. It is a dinner show and a night cabaret in one where the neon lights are turned into LED indicators of futuristic costumes of theatrical characters. The show involves people dancing in robot-like costumes complete with interesting light displays and music.

The Robot restaurant does not involve an actual robot, but the shows do give a feel and sense of the future. There are women controlling gigantic robot mechanisms, there are characters and dancers in alien-like, futuristic costumes. There are mascots of large robots which look like Decepticons and Megabots combined. There is a parade of characters in robotic costumes.

By Cory Doctorow from London, UK [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The entire show is enjoyable because it is truly a feast for the eyes. The restaurant obviously invested a great deal on the costumes, the lighting, and the effects. This could explain the price of the entrance tickets.

The main inspiration for the Robot Restaurant is to tell an interesting story through the use of futuristic designs, lighting, and effects. It is inspired by the possible revolution of the far future, an imagination of how the future of technology can look like and how it can affect the lives of humans.

What is so special about the Robot Restaurant in Japan, Shinjuku?

A lot of people actually go to this place just for the shows. Even though it is named as a restaurant, the food only comes second to the performance. What makes it so special is that the shows are very original and the theme is unique as well. A lot of critics say that the restaurant capitalizes on the kooky and bizarre side of Japan and this is what the shows are trying to portray.

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Most dinner shows and cabarets in Shinjuku have different themes – usually romance and sensuality. This is one of the very few dinner shows where the theme is less sensual, and just more robotic. It is also quite enjoyable to watch a parade of “robots” walking around the place.

Robot Restaurant Japan Guide

Robot restaurant Japan address

The actual address of the Robot Restaurant is Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku, Tokyo. Kabuki-cho is popularly known in Japan as the red-light or entertainment district. This is a place where most of the shops and restaurants offer shows of different kinds and inspirations. This is why the Robot Restaurant is actually a night cabaret, despite their claims that they are a family-friendly venue.

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Kabuki-cho is home to clubs, love hotels, night clubs and the like. Even if Tokyo is already a city that never sleeps, Kabuki-cho is known as the “Sleepless town” because most of their restaurants and shops are open only at night.

Most of these restaurants are made famous for their neon signs. The difference is that instead of hanging the neon signs out the door, dancers of the Robot Restaurant used them as a form of decoration to their “futuristic costumes”.

Opening and Closing Hours

Most of the restaurants in Kabuki-cho open at around 6 PM at night and closes around 7 AM the next day. This is because of the fact that it capitalizes on the strikingly attractive neon lights. These lights make the shops and restaurants look fuller of life and more inviting.

Robot restaurant Japan booking

Online bookings must be done at least a day or two before going. This is because of the fact that there are a lot of people who go to the restaurant and it is best to make sure that there are seats available. There are rules regarding bookings and cancellations, on the other hand. The guests must arrive at least 30 minutes before the show, else it will be an automatic forfeit of the tickets. Cancellation fees are also charged if cancellations are made before 3 PM of the same day.

The guest is also not allowed to change the number of tickets or seats before the show – be it adding or subtracting the number. Cancellations do not entail refunds and changing reservation dates are not allowed as well. On top of that, there is a strict dress-code for people who are entering the restaurant.

Robot restaurant Japan tickets and discounts

A lot of people are surprised about the costs of tickets to the robot restaurant. This is due to the fact that it is quite expensive but there are so many limitations to a visit. There are no cancellations, no changes in reservations, no lates as well.

A normal adult ticket costs a whopping 8,000 yen each. Then there are meal costs as well which is 1,000 yen. This makes every person’s expense to be roughly 9,000 yen – an expensive price for a simple show.  The good thing is that there are online ticketing outlets that sell the tickets at a discounted price given that a certain mode of payment is used or multiple tickets are bought. However, overall the tickets are quite expensive.

Robot Restaurant Japan Review

The Originality

Anyone who would be hearing “Robot Restaurant in Japan” will surely have their minds going – sometimes too excessively and beyond imagination! Japan is known to be the center of the development of robotics and robot technology. An impression of the restaurant’s name would be a 90% robotic staff – robot waiters asking for orders, robot cooks preparing the food, robot receptionist showing guests to the table.

A maid café has maids serving guests like royalty, it would be safe to assume to a Robot Restaurant will have robots serve their human guests. However, this would all be too good to be true. The Robot restaurant in Japan does not have any robots in their service staff. Instead, it is a dinner show that features performances by artists and dancers – with some appearances of robots on the side.

The show is a definite must-see as the music, the lights, and the effects are truly entertaining. The characters and the robots are very family-friendly and it has become quite a spectacle for tourists as well. Anyone looking for a crazy but fun night might enjoy visiting this place. It might have been much more unique if the restaurant has used a more futuristic theme than a dinner show. At this point, it receives a 3 out of 5.

The Food

Most of the items they sell are actually bento boxes which make it more of a fast-food chain than a restaurant. There are affordable packages available where a complete meal can cost only about 1,000 yen. Their best sellers are the Grilled beef bento boxes which are delicious Kobe and Wagyu beef, marinated in delicious sauce. There is also sushi available.

The food, in general, is good and there is nothing too extravagant about it. It is only understandable that the menu is simple because the main selling point of the restaurant is the themed performance and dinner show. At this point, the restaurant also receives a 3 out of 5. The food is good but it could do greater.

The Ambience

For anyone looking for a crazy party night – this is the place to go. The shows are hilarious and entertaining. The dancers are trained well to surely bring happiness and enjoyment to their guests. The lights are well-designed as well as the effects. This is probably one of the good qualities of the Robot Restaurant as they are sure to bring anyone some entertainment. A lot of its previous visitors have noted that the vibe may be a bit weird but overall it was an enjoyable and unforgettable experience. For this aspect, the restaurant will get 4 out of 5.

The Crowd

For a restaurant that is half a cabaret show and half a theatrical, the only thing that the crowd must remember is to always be game. The crowd is great in the sense that happiness and excitement easily become viral. The jokes, especially those played on the front row guests, must only be taken lightly.

On the other hand, the show is not for all ages. Although it may be family friendly most of the time, there are cases where the show becomes a little weird and uncomfortable for the younger audience. When visiting the robot restaurant, it might be a good idea to rethink if a child is coming along. For this, the restaurant gets 4 out of 5 as well.

The Price and Over-all experience

The biggest question on everyone’s mind is if the entire thing is worth it. The show is definitely good, the food is a little disappointing but can make up for the taste. However, it still does not satisfy the question if the price spent on one night at the Robot Restaurant to be worth all the expense.

A trip to this restaurant is almost equivalent to a full day pass to Disney, train tickets to faraway beaches, and the like. For a night’s worth of show, performance, music, and dance – it is safe to say that it is almost similar to watching a theatrical show with food.

With the name falsely advertising the restaurant to be something else, buying tickets and reserving bookings to this restaurant can prove dangerous to many. Since it is expensive, it might be disappointing to find out that tourists and guests will not get what they were expecting. If it was aptly named something else, with a clearer advertisement showing that it is a cabaret and a dinner show and if there was a disclaimer that there are no actual robots in the scene, then the overall experience would be alright. For this, the restaurant receives 3 out of 5.

Other specialty restaurants in Japan

The Japanese are a very creative group of people and they always ensure that whatever they do is innovative. This is why there are a great number of theme-stores, theme-restaurants, and cafes in almost any city and area in the country. There are places great for getting drinks, there are places great for snacking, and there are places where it is enjoyable just to watch the show and enjoy the ambiance.

Wizard of the Opera

One interesting place to visit is the Wizard of the Opera, which from the name itself involves a great deal of dramatic dining. It gives off a very gothic vibe with candles, dimmed lights, and costumes. The hosts and hostesses are dressed in opera-worthy costumes.

The food is also themed like an opera, there are a great number of romantic items off the menu. There are desserts swimming in chocolate, there are thickly sauced smoked salmons and grilled steak. Since it is also tapping on a “wizard-y” aspect, it is good to expect unusual concoctions, especially for drinks.

Alice in Wonderland

Tokyo is definitely a national tour favorite because of the interesting places it has to offer. Among the lot is the Alice in Wonderland café which is aptly themed like the cartoon. The waitresses adorn maid outfits. The furniture is weird and fuzzy, just like the ones in the film – mismatched teapots, bunny tails, and gigantic clocks. The food is themed like the characters as well, there is the Madd Hatter Tea, the Caterpillar Tuna, and much more.

By Freddo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The table ware is also very interesting. There are plates shaped like playing-cards (the soldiers in Alice in Wonderland) and chess boards (the favorite of the Red Queen). What is great about this place is that it is family-friendly and anyone who will go to the restaurant will surely enjoy.


Dining here is not a walk in the park as it is themed after the infamous Alcatraz jail. The concept of the entire restaurant is criminal, the guests are locked up in a cell. The food is served in ugly dishes and is named aptly so. There is the dead chicken whose feet are clasped together, the Intestine sausage shaped like an actual intestine, the false teeth in a jar cocktail. The entire spectacle is enjoyable and gives an unforgettable dining experience.