Before I get your blood racing, let me preface this by saying this is a PG-blog, so please, curb your enthusiasm.
R* is for “Robot”, “Ridiculous” and “Random”.
The talk of the town in Tokyo has been the “Robot Restaurant” in Shinjuku which opened about a year ago.
The Robot Restaurant is a one-hour show featuring dinosaurs, robots, scantily-clad girls and glowsticks. It had to be done. So yep, a bunch of us went to check what all the fuss was about.
The word “Restaurant” is rather misleading, because it is the worst food on earth. A restaurant it is not. It’s technically a performance show, but they serve you a tuckshop box.
Reservations are pretty much essential and tickets should be booked in adance. There are generally three performances most nights. You get there half an hour early to pick up the tickets. Seats are not allocated.
The venue itself is the seedy redlight district of Kabukicho (Shinjuku). And whoever designed the place was clearly on some hard drugs. It’s bright and gaudy. I cannot fathom how many lightbulbs were used to deck out the place.
During the pre-show half hour wait, most people grab a beet in the bar/waiting area.
We went on a Thursday night and I would say the audience was 50% Japanese and 50% tourists. There was clearly a lot of foreigners there. It’s quite the tourist attraction.
The performance is in the basement, down about 3-4 short flights of stairs. The floor, the walls, the lighting is insane.
The venue was heaps smaller than I imagined it would be.
It’s basically rows of school-type seats lined opposite each other against the wall. It felt like we were on the set of a game show.
On your little “desk” you eat your bento box and Japanese tea. Ticket entry includes a bento meal box and Japanese tea. Beer and other beverages are available to purchase.
And the most bizarre extravaganze begins. There’s loud music, there’s flashing lights, there’s girls in bikinis, there’s taiko drumming and so much more. It’s not just robots. In fact, there are dinosaurs and animals.
They even give out awesome glow sticks to the audience. I am embarrassed to admit that I think I was more excited than I should have been about the glowsticks (sadly they have to be returned at the end of the show).
During intermission you can go down and get your photos taken with all the robots.
Argh, I’m being attacked by a robot:
Back to the show:
The panda riding the cow was unexpected to say the least:
The giant female robots:
It was certainly unique and entertaining. And definitely unlike anything you’ll ever see. It was good, clean fun. Children are allowed (there are no age restrictions). Photos are welcome and they even give you floor time to take additional photos with the robots etc. However, extreme close ups are not permitted, and they will kick you out for any unwelcome behaviour.
At 5000yen a ticket (with meal box included), they are certainly making a fortune). I’ve heard it’s not as good as used to be when it first opened. You used to be able to sit and ride on the robots!!! But there was none of that when we went). Expect tacky, bizarre, fun and you’ll certainly enjoy it. Cirque du Soleil it is not, nor is it a strip joint. It’s more like every nerd boys dream fantasy – dinosaurs, robots, music, lights and girls in bikinis.
And just when you thought your regular Thursday night couldn’t get any more weirder….
That’s me, feeling somewhat inadequate. That was my “Quite frankly, I am not amused” facial expression. Could you tell? 😉
Ok. I’ll confess that the woman in the red dress above is a wax mannequin. (Yes, only one of us is real in that photo). For the record, I should make it clear that I do NOT make a habit of standing next to bra-less quadruple D-sized women (humans or dummies).