Robot Restaurant, typically Tokyo?

Update: Robot Restaurant closed in 2021.

Robot Restaurant is listed in most “Top 10 things to do in Tokyo” articles and videos you can find. It is a very popular attraction and often described as a kind of “only in Japan” experience. Typically Japanese. Is it really though?

Well, brace yourselves, because here’s what I think: Robot Restaurant sucks. It is, to me, one of the least Japanese things I’ve experienced in Tokyo. Is it entertaining? It might be. Only in Japan? I doubt it. Is it worth the 60 euro entrance fee? I don’t think so. Typically Japanese? When I went, the audience was 90% tourists. The only Japanese people there were entertaining foreign business partners.

But robots!

Robots? Robots are cool! Yeah. Here’s what a Robot Restaurant show is like: In a small and really rather dingy venue, extravagantly clad men and women parade from one end to the other between two rows of spectators, occasionally riding fantasy animals and monsters. What you see is a cross between a Caribbean carnival and the Amsterdam Pride boat parade if both were staged in Las Vegas. What you definitely don’t get? Robots.

That’s right. There are no robots in Robot Restaurant. Animatronics, maybe. Fire spewing snakes. Giant ponies. A shark. A Ninja turtle? It’s pretty random. You know what else sucks? Every five minutes there is a break to sell the audience as much food, drink and merchandising as possible. It got old fast. The whole thing was a bit of a let down and quite obviously not my thang.

Still interested despite my experience?

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.