What You Need to Know Before You Visit the Robot Restaurant in Tokyo
Thinking about visiting the Robot Restaurant for an “only in Japan” experience? We’ve got the honest low down on what to expect, how to snag discounted and front row tickets, and whether it’s worth the cash. Click here to jump down to the FAQs, or scroll down to get all of the details about the experience–including our one word of caution about attending.
Is the Robot Restaurant Worth It?
Tickets to the Robot Restaurant currently cost 8,500 yen, or about $80 USD. However, you can get discounted tickets via Voyagin for 5,200 yen– putting an afternoon show ticket under $50, in a much more reasonable range.
Still, $49 per person for an hour and a half of entertainment can be a big chunk of your vacation budget. So is it worth it?
We loved the show, and don’t regret the splurge at all. It was a fun, weird, goofy, super high energy, distinctly Japanese show. There were the promised robots, along with dancers, monsters, samurai, lasers, and general craziness. The experience is immersive from the moment you step in the door, and we couldn’t stop taking photos.
Still, the show isn’t for everyone. The one word of caution we’d offer is regarding the small, tightly arranged seats. The photo below is of our seats; the “aisle” is the slightly larger gap to the right. Seats are really crammed in, and scaled for people significantly smaller than the average American. Honestly, they seemed a tad small even for Japan.
Tall people and people of size may be uncomfortable in these seats. You don’t get much legroom under those little tables, you’re quite close to your neighbor, and it could be very uncomfortable having to squeeze through that tight aisle all the way to a back row seat.
What to Expect When You Visit the Robot Restaurant
First off, if you’re able to plan ahead, buy tickets online. They’ll be significantly cheaper, and shows do sell out.
You should show up at least a half hour before your show is scheduled to start. The line forms outside the ticket counter, where you’ll queue to exchange your printed ticket or e-ticket for a program and formal ticket with your seat assignment. If you want plenty of time to snap photos of the crazy decor inside the building, aim to be at the front of this line. Seating inside the lounge area also fills up quickly.
There’s a wall of souvenirs available for purchase next to the ticket line. Some souvenirs are also available on the show floor, but a smaller selection. You’re better off grabbing your souvenirs at this point if you’d like to buy something.
Once you have your tickets, you’ll head across the street where you can stop for a quick photo op before you go inside.
The interior is just as crazy as you’re expecting, and we actually managed to get lost on the way to the lounge when someone hit the wrong elevator button!
This photo is a lie, and was taken as we were leaving. Because we were further back in the ticket line, the lounge was full, with few places to sit when we arrived.
But there were some standing tables still available, moderately overpriced drinks, and even some pre-show entertainment while we waited. You aren’t permitted to bring your own beverages and food into the venue, but there’s a wide variety of drinks, along with bottled water available.
And of course there’s the overwhelmingly gold bathrooms:
Once inside the theater, you can purchase souvenirs and more drinks before the show starts. (But no worries, you can also bring along any drinks you purchased in the lounge).
From there, sit back and enjoy the show! There are multiple sets to the show, with short intermissions in between where you can purchase more drinks or take a quick trip to the restroom.
It’s as crazy and random as you’re expecting! I’m sure it’s all old hat for the performers, but they look like they’re genuinely having fun.
How to Get Cheap Tickets to the Robot Restaurant (and Upgraded Seats too!)
With the retail cost of Robot Restaurant tickets at about $80, it’s not exactly budget friendly. But (best infomercial voice here) you’d be crazy to pay retail. Voyagin is an official ticket seller for the Robot Restaurant, and offers discounts of up to 38% on tickets. This means that an $80 ticket is now $49, softening the blow to your vacation budget.
I did my research before we visited the Robot Restaurant this spring, found Voyagin, and was super happy I didn’t get suckered into paying full price. So yes, they’re legit, and no, I have no idea why the Robot Restaurant charges so much more when purchasing directly.
If you’re budget conscious, grab your discounted tickets and rejoice. But if want to be sure you’ll have the best seats, Voyagin does offer optional ticket upgrades for first row center for a little under $20 a ticket, and second and third row center for less than $10 a ticket. Once you add the tickets to your cart, you’ll see all the upgrade options available.
We paid extra for the first row center tickets. It was a better view, and certainly better than being stuck in one of the back corners, but not really essential. The performers are constantly moving, and they really do make use of all of the floor space, so you’re likely to enjoy the show no matter where you’re seated.
There’s also a discounted drink and popcorn add-on that’s not a bad deal if you think you’re going to end up wanting drinks and snack, and then there’s the bento box add-on. Don’t buy the bento. Bentos used to be part of the package at the Robot Restaurant (hence the “restaurant” in the name), but were notoriously mediocre. It seems that they’re moved to just offering them for an additional fee, because no one is there for the actual food. In fact, we didn’t see one person who’d ordered a bento at the show we attended. So yeah, don’t get the bento. Take that money you saved on the ticket price and put it towards a better meal in Shinjuku.
Finally, be sure to take a look at Voyagin’s other discounted ticket offerings for Japan. They specialize in Asia, and have exclusive deals to offer discounted tickets for a large number of tours and attractions; everything from bullet train tickets, last minute reservations at Jiro Sushi, and even those hard to snag Ghibli Museum tickets.
Robot Restaurant FAQs
We give a more detailed answer above, but overall, yes, we think it’s worth the money. The show is a fun, weird, and visually stunning. However, travelers of size should note that seating is very tight and may be uncomfortable for them.
Yes! The Robot Restaurant is a kid and family friendly show. It’s common to see families with kids attending the show, and it’s a ton of fun for kids and adults alike. There wasn’t anything I would consider inappropriate for kids, though you will find female performers in short skirts, and some very theatrical fight scenes.
But if your kiddo is easily frightened or might be bothered by close quarters, loud noise, or flashing lights, it’s best to give this one a pass. Exit is via the floor where performers and floats are, so you will disrupt the show if you must get up and leave in the middle of the performance with an upset child.
Tickets to the Robot Restaurant are currently 8,500 yen (about $80 USD). However, you can purchase discounted tickets for about $49 USD via Voyagin. The cheapest prices are for afternoon shows, while evening shows will cost a little more.
Food and drinks cost extra, though you’re not obligated to purchase anything. Despite the “restaurant” in the name, it’s really just a zany floor show with the option to buy food and drink.
See our “How to Get Cheap Tickets to the Robot Restaurant” section above for more info on discounted tickets.
Yes, you can take all the photos you’d like. We both brought our cameras to the show and took photos of everything. Staff and performers don’t mind, and expect tourists to take photos. Just be careful not to stand up during the show or otherwise obstruct the view for other guests. And don’t use your flash!
Casual clothing is fine, but there is a limited dress code for the Robot Restaurant. You cannot wear sunglasses, costumes or large wigs. In addition, they may refuse entry if you’re drunk or they believe you’re a member of the Yakuza. See the full entry restrictions on their website here.
There are multiple options to see a show at the Robot Restaurant. You can purchase retail price tickets through their website, discounted tickets through Voyagin (see above for more info), or simply show up and see if there are any available tickets for that day. Advance reservations are not strictly necessary, however, shows frequently sell out in advance. We’d recommend booking ahead of time, and purchasing through Voyagin, as you’ll save $30 a ticket!
Shows are 90 minutes long, and are divided into multiple sets. There’s 2-3 breaks in between, usually with one longer break to allow for a quick trip to the bathroom if necessary.
There is only one Robot Restaurant in Tokyo. It’s located in the Shinjuku neighborhood. You might see mentions of robot restaurants in other countries, but those generally refer to restaurants where your food is brought to you by a robot, rather than the crazy floor show you’ll find in Tokyo.
The Robot Restaurant opened in 2012. It was a huge 10 billion yen (93 million US dollars!) project, and was originally imagined as a dinner cabaret for Japanese businessmen. Word quickly got around about the unique experience, and nowadays you’ll see far more foreign tourists than Japanese people in attendance. Though they kept the moniker, they’ve also shifted away from the restaurant concept. The food was never very popular, and is now an optional add-on to the show.
While dinner was originally part of the ticket, you must now order food ahead of time if you’d like a bento with your show. Don’t do it. The food has consistently been described as mediocre, and there’s so many better restaurants in Shinjuku. Grab a drink (and popcorn if you’re starving), enjoy the show and get dinner afterwards.