Themed cafes and restaurants offer up some unique experiences in Japan. Whether it’s sipping on coffee while playing with a cat or a maid serving you an egg omelet with a ketchup heart, there is something for everyone. Really, serving food and drinks is just for revenue purposes. The main draw of these establishments is the theatre of it all.
The notorious Kabukicho district crams a variety of grownup entertainment options into a small section of Shinjuku. Standard restaurants and bars compliment the more exotic choices.
Look out for giant lizards while in Japan. They pop up from time to time, usually around movie houses.
We step down a side street to find our destination, the Robot Restaurant. Tickets are available for purchase across the street at the annex box office. Online reservations pickup their tickets here as well. After grabbing our tickets, staff direct us to the main building.
The restaurant asks that you arrive early, and sends you upstairs to the lounge. From the first step inside the main building, your eyes are bombarded with every color imaginable, worked into themed decor. The lounge is clad in mirrors, crystal, and rainbow. A robot band provides backup for the main singer during the pre-show performance.
After grabbing a drink from the bar and a short wait, the staff ushers us back downstairs to the basement where the real show is.
Front row! Large video displays flank the audience, and the ceiling is packed with various light arrays. After cramming into our tiny seats, staff start serving bentos to those that ordered them. I struggled back out of my seat and went to the bar cart to get another drink.
Let the show begin!
The first act is an homage to traditional Japanese culture, albeit with a lot more neon. Girls on revolving platforms play taiko drums and chant in unison. Turn outs the front row is a little hazardous, since the ends of the platforms pass by overhead from time to time. Better be ready to duck.
A large party barge rolls out with more ladies dancing in kimono accompanied by a rock band in tengu masks.
The finale of the first act is supposed to be some kind of play about dark warriors and a giant panda. I’m not really sure what is going on here. And the second act isn’t any more coherent.
The staff put up these chain fence barricades, because sh*t is about to get real. Act two is all about monster battles.
Basically the girls duel with each other on giant dragons or sharks or whatever. Sometimes there are robots, sometimes not. They say random lines in character, then the loser is blown up or eaten.
After the second act, it’s time for intermission and preparation for the third act. It’s time for the big finale!
The final performance starts of normal enough, with a large marching band and dancers.
An all-girl drum line. After the marching band finishes, things start to get a little weirder.
A large robot brings out the two main singers on a giant platter, and they perform a couple ballads together.
Then everything goes blue for a moment. Classical music plays while a large cyborg serpent slithers back and forth across the room. Kind of strange.
But the tempo picks up quickly when the hip-hop laser light show starts. Now we finally get to use our light sticks that were passed out earlier!
Afro-cyborg Captain America rolls in like a boss to introduce the final group of robots. Smaller robots whip across the stage.
Then amazonian robot girls carry in a handful of ladies wearing superman showgirl outfits.
A large superman robot compliments the group.
The girls do a dance number while the robots prance around. Then, it’s over. The song ends and the girls take a bow and wave to the crowd. After they clear the stage the staff ushers everyone out and onto the street, where we are left to contemplate just what exactly we witnessed.
Completely random. Very cheesy. Very entertaining.