Are Robot restaurant tickets worth it?
When you search for tourist attractions in Tokyo, the Robot show in Shinjuku will often pop up as a must-visit.
While it’s one of the most popular attractions in Tokyo there are lots of controversial opinions whether this show is worth seeing or not.
It seems like you have 2 camps, you either find it fantastic or you absolutely hate it.
We didn’t visit it ourselves since we read the robot restaurant reviews and thought it was way too kitschy for us. However, one of our friends visited the robot café recently and absolutely loved it.
Because of these very different opinions, we decided to write this guide that covers everything you need to know about this robot show in Japan.
We explain what you can expect from the show and how you can find the best robot restaurant tickets.
We also share the details about the showtimes, the dress code and more.
So after reading our guide, you can decide for yourself whether you would want to see the robot show while you are in Tokyo or not.
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What’s the Robot show in Tokyo
The Japan Robot show was created by Namie Osawa in 2012. It was a serious leap of faith, she invested 10 million dollars to realize her idea.
Originally the robot evening cabaret show was meant to attract Japanese businessmen. Namie thought that flashy robots and girls in sexy costumes would appeal to them.
The show has radically changed over the years and nowadays 90% of the people visiting the robot show are tourists.
Why should you visit the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku?
It’s the only restaurant in the world where robots and humans take the stage together and the show is grotesque and completely over the top.
The performers wear crazy Brazilian costumes, there is lots of loud music and smoke, flashing laser lights, Japanese taiko drums and… robots.
The whole restaurant is excessively decorated with lights and mirrors. It looks like an over the top copy of Las Vegas.
Haters say the robots are falling apart and more suitable for a school parade, that the music is too loud, the food and the drinks are overpriced, the dancers aren’t good and that the show has no storyline. They think it’s too kitschy, expensive and an absolute tourist trap.
You can read more bad reviews here.
However, the majority of visitors still praise the show. Most of the reviews we found online were positive saying it’s exactly what you could expect, a crazy show with a ridiculous plot. An experience that is completely over the top.
It is definitely something you can only experience in Japan!
Where is the Robot Japan Robot restaurant?
The Robot restaurant lies in Kabukicho which is a part of Shinjuku.
It is a very lively area and Tokyo’s most popular nightlife district which houses beside the Shinjuku Robot Restaurant, pubs, restaurants, and Tokyo’s red-light district.
Here you can find more info on what to do in Shinjuku and Kabukicho.
Kabuchiko is known as the most unsafe neighborhood in Tokyo, but we never felt unsafe.
We would advise being alert but don’t let this dodgy reputation, that mainly lives with the locals, stop you from discovering this crazy side of Japan’s capital. Kabukicho might be the least safe district in Tokyo but this says more about the safety in general in Japan. It’s probably safer than the average metropolitan city anywhere else in the world.
Read also: What to visit in Tokyo.
For more specific directions, have a look at how to get there.
Why is it called the Robot restaurant?
Why is it not called the Robot show or the Robot pub?
The Robot restaurant sells a limited menu of popcorn, chips and bento boxes ( grilled beef, Japanese style meal or Robot sushi) during the show. All of the menus include mineral water.
When buying your tickets online you can also directly book a package that includes popcorn or a bento box.
Maybe robot bar Japan would have been a better name because everybody agrees that the meals are the worst part of the show. The food in the Robot Restaurant is overpriced and isn’t really that good.
That shouldn’t stop you from going. Although it’s called the Robot Restaurant nobody goes there for the food. And because the food is optional you can eat somewhere else and just enjoy the show.
Besides the food, they also have a Robot Cafe and Lounge Waiting Room where they serve beers, cocktails, wines etc.
After the reviews about the overpriced food, we were not surprised that we also found a lot of reviews that said the drinks are overpriced as well. I’m not surprised by these reviews but just look at the pictures… I don’t think you’ll have many other occasions to enjoy a drink in such a kitschy room while being entertained by a band in robot costumes.
Things to know when visiting the Robot Restaurant show
Robot restaurant showtimes
The Robot restaurant has 4 shows per day (one daytime performance and 3 evening performance ) 7 days per week.
The show hours vary by season.
From May 1st till September 30th: 3.30 pm, 5.30pm, 7.30 pm, and 9.30pm
From October 1st till April 30th: 4.00 pm, 5.55pm, 7.50 pm, and 9.45pm
The first performance (either at 3.30pm or at 4.00pm) is most of the time slightly cheaper than the evening performances. You could combine this afternoon performance with a visit to Shinjuku. The timing also makes it easy to have lunch beforehand and dinner afterward.
This show might be for you if you’re not looking forward to the over-priced food options of the Robot Restaurant.
Be aware that you absolutely must arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled showtime.
If you arrive late you will not be admitted and you will lose your money. No refunds are given.
The Robot restaurant management is very strict on this rule.
We read several robot restaurant reviews were people that were only 5 or 10 minutes late were refused entry and lost their money.
The Robot restaurant is only a 5 to 10-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station but that doesn’t mean it will only take 5 to 10 minutes to reach the restaurant from the moment you exit the train or metro.
This station is huge and it’s the busiest station in the world. We stayed in a hotel near Shinjuku train and sometimes it took us 45 minutes to reach our hotel from the train.
So it’s best to add some extra time on top of those 30 minutes.
We will provide the address and detailed instructions on how to get there further in this article.
How long is the robot show?
The show lasts around 90 minutes.
The show consists of 3 acts and in between the acts they have small 5-10 minutes breaks to sell food, drinks, and souvenirs.
Is there a dress code for the Japan robot restaurant
The dress code is casual.
Be aware that you cannot wear sunglasses and they supposedly don’t allow tattoos.
If you have visible tattoos we recommend you to cover them.
Don’t drink too much beforehand because if you are drunk you won’t be allowed inside. It’s also not allowed to dress-up, only the dancers are allowed to do this. 😀 No special costumes or large wigs are allowed.
Their dress-code page also states that they don’t allow members of a crime organization…
Can I take pictures?
Yes! It’s allowed to take pictures as long as you don’t use flash and filming is also permitted.
Is the Robot Restaurant suitable for kids?
The Robot restaurant says on their site that the show makes use of loud sounds and music that might be uncomfortable for small children.
You will definitely understand why once you’ve seen the show, it’s a sensory overload in every possible way. Older children, on the other hand, will be crazy about the show.
We base this on the many reviews we read. Parents said how much their children loved the show and they also assured that the show is suitable for children. Yes, the ladies wear bikini-like costumes but it’s not offensive and nothing they wouldn’t see on the beach.
Our friend brought her 11-year-old and he absolutely loved it.
Children under the age of 3 can attend the show free of charge. Children over the age of 3 pay the same price as adults.
General information about the Tokyo robot evening cabaret show
Here we share general but important information about the robot restaurant.
The seats are very narrow, it looks like they are created to fit an average size Japanese. If you’re on the heavy side, you might be somewhat uncomfortable.
You need to exchange your voucher at the ticket counter for a reserved seat. We advise you to go early to get a good seat.
You aren’t allowed to bring your own food or drinks.
If you feel like it’s too loud you can ask for a headphone. These headphones are automatically given to kids.
There are free lockers to store your belongings.
It is not recommended to attend the show if you have epilepsy.
The Robot Restaurant is wheelchair accessible
Read also: You can find more than 20 Japan articles in our Japan travel guide.
What’s the Robot Restaurant price and do you need advance reservations?
Let’s start by discussing if you need to buy your tickets in advance.
Do you need advance reservations?
If you absolutely want to see the robot show we would recommend you to make a reservation in advance. Sometimes the shows sell out.
With an advance reservation, you’re certain to have seats for the day and the hour you prefer.
An extra benefit is that the tickets are also cheaper if you buy them in advance.
What’s the Robot restaurant price?
If you book your tickets directly with the Robot restaurant the rates are 8000 yen ( around €64 or $72) for robot restaurant tickets bought at the door.
If you buy and pay your tickets in advance on their website you pay 7500 yen ( €60 or $67). All major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, Diners Club) are accepted.
You can also make a reservation on the website and indicate that you will pay upon arrival but in that case, you will pay the regular price of 8000 yen.
- Online bookings can be made until 5 pm. After that, you can call the Robot Restaurant’s booking hotline to check if they have same-day availability.
- You can let them know that it’s somebody’s birthday. Although we cannot guarantee this, we found online that you might get a little bit of extra attention.
- Tickets bought directly are more expensive than the ones you buy from partners such as Klook.
- Tickets paid online are non-refundable.
- Tickets paid upon arrival are cancellable until 3 pm on the day of the performance. When you cancel or decrease your number of reserved after that time, they might charge you a cancellation fee.
- You cannot change the reservation date.
If you didn’t manage to secure tickets in advance you can go to the restaurant and join the “stand-by” line. Half an hour before each show they sell the tickets of those guests that didn’t show. Chances are small that you will score a ticket but you never know, this might be your lucky day. The tickets are sold at their full price.
You can score a much better deal if you buy your robot restaurant tickets through one of the following partners.
Here we share the best companies where you can buy your robot restaurant tickets online.
Robot restaurant Tokyo discount
Klook is a trustworthy travel company headquartered in Hong Kong that teams up with local operators to offer all kinds of travel experiences.
On the internet, you can find some bad reviews about Klook’s customer service. In some situations, where things went awry with the local operator, Klook didn’t offer much support to the client. Klook is only an intermediary, you don’t need them as long as the local operator does a good job.
Looking at the reviews of the Robot restaurant that is the case with the Robot Restaurant.
The Robot Restaurant has a very good review score of 4,3 on Klook.
Pros and cons about booking your Robot Restaurant tickets with Klook
- At the time of writing Klook has the cheapest tickets for the Shinjuku Robot Restaurant.
- They offer a discount of 20-35% depending on the package you choose.
- You get an instant confirmation at the time of booking
- With the Klook Exclusive Lane, you have priority access and save on waiting time.
- Special Offer for Klook Customers: Get 2 exclusive gifts with the First Performance on specific dates: a souvenir worth 800 yen and pictures with the robots!
- No Cancelation
GetYourGuide is a reliable platform where you can book thousands of tours anywhere in the world. One of the things we like most about GetYourGuide is that they are flexible and that most of the time they offer a possibility to cancel your tickets when your plans change.
Pros and cons about booking your Robot Restaurant tickets with GetYourGuide
- Easy Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
- You get an instant confirmation at the time of booking
- You can change your booking after you booked.
- More expensive than Klook
Klook is the perfect partner to buy your tickets for the Robot restaurant if you are sure about the date and performance you want to see.
If there is a possibility that you might need to cancel your tickets or change the dates you can make your booking on GetYourGuide where you can cancel up to 24 hours in advance to get a full refund. You pay a little more but have more flexibility when your plans change.
How to get to the robot cabaret in Tokyo?
The Robot Restaurant Tokyo is located at
1-7-1 Kabukicho Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
How to get there by public transport
Take one of the many JR trains, the Tokyo Metro or the Toei subway to JR Shinjuku Station. Follow the signs for the East Exit.
Once outside, continue straight, crossing the busy street right into the only pedestrian street that gives out to this crossing.
Walk down this street until you arrive at another very busy wide avenue.
Take a right and then take a left at the next crossing. This is again a pedestrian street.
The robot restaurant is a little further down this street on your right-hand side.
It’s a 5-10 minute walk.
Don’t worry if you get lost. Most people know the place and should be able to give you directions.
In this post, we tried to give you a complete picture of what to expect from your visit to the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku. The positives but also the negatives. Some people think the show is completely worthless but others absolutely love it and think it’s worth every penny it costs.
The camp of the fans is still larger than that of the haters and I think that if you know what to expect you will love the show. That’s why we did our best to give you all the information you need so you can make a thoughtful decision.
I’m not aware of any other performances that are as crazy and kitschy as this one. If you want to see the crazy side of Japan this is the place to go.
Did you visit the Shinjuku Robot Restaurant? Did you like it?
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