Sensory Overload at Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant

Sensory Overload at Tokyo’s Robot Restaurant

Rushing through the streets of the Kabukicho, I kept glancing at the time on my phone. I had a bad feeling that we were going to be late.

Blindly winding through the small alleyways, I had begun to regret my decision of not writing down directions. At this point, we could only hope that we were headed the right way.

Not being in the greatest area to stop and ask for directions, we spotted a convenience store and decided to head there. As we turned the corner, the whole street was flooded with bright neon lights and flashing LEDs. And I instantly knew that we had managed to find our way– and with just a few minutes to spare.

Tokyo, Japan

There, tucked away in one of Tokyo’s most infamous neighborhoods was the Robot Restaurant.

Tokyo has long been known as an innovator in the technological world—especially when it comes to anything robotic. From robots that do mundane assembly line tasks to those who man ticket counters, Japan is certainly leading the robot revolution. But these robots, these robots are different.

The Robot Restaurant is not a restaurant where robots serve you food. No, here food takes a backseat to the eccentric entertainment that will engulf you. Here is a feast for your senses.

Tokyo, Japan

It all started when we visited some friends in Tokyo last year. They went on and on about a show with larger than life fembots, bikini-clad girls fighting robots and beer. Lots of beer. It sounded beyond ridiculous, but I knew we needed to see this show.

Unfortunately for us it was our last night in Tokyo, so I was forced to put it in the back of my mind for a future visit.

Fast-forward one year later and finally, it was our turn. We touched down in Tokyo for a mere 3-night layover with only one activity planned— visiting, no, experiencing the Robot Restaurant.

As we arrived, we were led upstairs to an over the top waiting room. I’m talking floor to ceiling mirrors, crystal, and gold… anything that could reflect light and sparkle.

Tokyo, Japan

We were taken to our table where a new friend awaited us—a tiny robotic dinosaur. Soaking up the atmosphere and glitzy environment, while we waited for the main event, a futuristic cabaret performance ensued.

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan  Tokyo, Japan

Then, the announcement was made. It was time to head downstairs for the show.

People funneled down multiple stories filled with childlike excitement. As we took our seats and the lights dimmed, our anticipation only grew stronger.

In what seemed like only a few minutes later, it had ended. It was like I didn’t know what hit me. I was left speechless and in awe. What had I just watched?

For the past hour I had been consumed by my senses and the mind-altering chaos around me. There were robots and half-naked taiko drummers and girls dangling from neon-lit airplanes.

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

All of that was followed by roller skating robots with rainbow afros, fire-shooting pterodactyls, and let’s not forget the subtle Captain America and Kung-fu Panda references. Of course all of this was complete with animations on LED screens, synchronized lights, lasers and other fancy futuristic effects. This is Japan after all.

There were bits of traditional Japanese culture with taiko and kabuki elements entangled with the futuristic. Yet somehow it all worked together.

Tokyo, Japan  Tokyo, Japan

As one scene quickly progressed into the next, it had me wondering if there was really any story at all. The randomness of it all was glorious, and I began to see why my friends raved about their experience.

And then the glow sticks were busted out. How can you not join in when glow sticks are involved? By this point in the show the whole audience was cheering for the bikini-clad girls to defeat the evil robots while waving their glow sticks in time with the beat.

I really don’t even want to talk more about the experience because I don’t want to give it away. Although, I don’t think I could explain it all even if I tried. It’s one of those places you need to see for yourself to believe.

So next time you go to Tokyo, why not give the Robot Restaurant a try? Between the crowd’s energy and the girl’s smiling faces, it’s a fun time for all involved. I promise you won’t regret it!

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan

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Would you visit the eccentric Robot Restaurant?

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75 Comments

  1. March 17, 2015 / 8:34 am

    Oh wow,that is a sensory overload! All the different colors and such! Wow!

    • Beth Williams
      March 19, 2015 / 12:08 pm

      It was quite the experience!

  2. March 15, 2015 / 5:47 pm

    Your photos are truly amazing. I would LOVE to visit this place. This looks like it has everything I could ever want in one place! ;)

    • Beth Williams
      March 19, 2015 / 12:09 pm

      It was pretty epic! I hope you get to visit someday :D

  3. March 13, 2015 / 1:36 pm

    Wow! looks like there’s a whole lot going on in there. Definitely sensory overload, but looks like tons of fun.

    • Beth Williams
      March 19, 2015 / 12:12 pm

      Definitely a lot of fun!

  4. March 12, 2015 / 8:29 pm

    That looks like it would be a fun date night. When I make to Japan I will have to stop in and try some of the food.

    • Beth Williams
      March 19, 2015 / 12:11 pm

      You def don’t go for the food, but the electric atmosphere is just contagious!

  5. March 12, 2015 / 8:03 am

    Great looking restaurant, I’m loving all your pictures!

    • Beth Williams
      March 19, 2015 / 12:11 pm

      Thanks Alyssa. It was a cool experience!

  6. March 12, 2015 / 12:52 am

    It looks fun, and unique. I definitely would go to experience it at least once!

    • Beth Williams
      March 19, 2015 / 12:11 pm

      I hope you get to. Unique for sure!

  7. March 11, 2015 / 10:51 pm

    It looks Tokyo knows how to have a good time, but I don’t believe I could be to visit a restaurant like that. It would be sensory overload for me, too.

    • Beth Williams
      March 19, 2015 / 12:10 pm

      It was so much fun though!

  8. kendall
    March 11, 2015 / 2:36 pm

    Wow! That place looks amazing! What a cool experience to have had!

    • Beth Williams
      March 19, 2015 / 12:10 pm

      It was! It was a lot of fun.

  9. March 11, 2015 / 10:12 am

    Wow, that is a busy looking but fun restaurant. I think I’d be a bit too overwhelmed with it though.

    • Beth Williams
      March 19, 2015 / 12:10 pm

      It was a bit overwhelming, but in the best of ways!

  10. March 11, 2015 / 9:13 am

    Wow, I didn’t even know it existed! So cool and different! Definitely want to check it out. I can’t get over that there is actually something like this… Welcome to the future….

    • Beth Williams
      March 19, 2015 / 12:12 pm

      Welcome to the future indeed ;)
      #OnlyinJapan…

  11. March 11, 2015 / 8:03 am

    I have been wanting to go to Tokyo for as long as I can remember. The restaurant looks so much fun and amazing, with robots serving us I would be squeaking from excitement.

    • Beth Williams
      April 8, 2015 / 4:55 am

      It was certainly an exciting place!!

  12. Bonnie @ wemake7
    March 11, 2015 / 6:08 am

    Wow that’s some pretty interesting stuff, nothing like I have ever seen before. I love all the lights and cool robots.

    • Beth Williams
      April 8, 2015 / 4:55 am

      Nothing like I’ve ever seen before for sure!

  13. March 11, 2015 / 2:43 am

    I think this would be fun for awhile, but I would get dizzy eventually! I’m glad you had so much fun though!!

    • Beth Williams
      April 8, 2015 / 4:55 am

      Haha, it is a bit overwhelming. All in good fun though!

  14. March 10, 2015 / 11:25 pm

    I would love to go to Tokyo, it’s places like this that really interest me!

    • Beth Williams
      April 8, 2015 / 4:56 am

      It is an interesting city!

  15. March 10, 2015 / 10:58 pm

    That is a seriously awesome sensory overload. As a flute player I am so glad to see some flute entertainment!

    • Beth Williams
      April 8, 2015 / 4:56 am

      I loved hearing the robotic ensemble play during the intermissions ;D

  16. March 10, 2015 / 8:33 pm

    I had never heard of this before, but I would love to visit! The colorful and sparkly atmosphere looks like a lot of fun.

    • Beth Williams
      April 8, 2015 / 5:00 am

      It was incredibly fun and such a unique experience! If you’re ever in Tokyo, look it up!

  17. March 10, 2015 / 6:31 pm

    Awesome photos. Very cool atmosphere. Would love to visit there someday. Thank you for sharing.

    • Beth Williams
      March 10, 2015 / 7:15 pm

      Thanks Digna, it was a fun experience!

  18. March 10, 2015 / 6:23 pm

    I had no idea there were places like this. I would definitely have to give this place a visit!

    • Beth Williams
      March 10, 2015 / 7:16 pm

      It’s an exciting place for sure!

  19. March 10, 2015 / 4:52 pm

    Now that is an adventure!
    I would definitely want the experience
    Have fun!

    • Beth Williams
      March 10, 2015 / 7:16 pm

      It was an adventure!

  20. March 10, 2015 / 4:47 pm

    I am very much intrigued and definitely want to visit the robot restaurant in Japan. I was thinking it was a place robots served people food etc but glad I read till the end, sounds awesome and the pictures are just gorgeous.

    • Beth Williams
      March 10, 2015 / 7:17 pm

      Thanks Myrabev! It’s truly a unique place, haha.

  21. March 10, 2015 / 3:50 pm

    Wow! This is so colorful and kind of overwhelming! Looks neat though.

    • Beth Williams
      March 10, 2015 / 7:17 pm

      It was a bit overwhelming– but in a good way!

  22. Lisa Bristol
    March 10, 2015 / 3:42 pm

    I would love to visit The Eccentric Robot Restaurant. It looks like it would be so much fun. I have always wanted to travel to Tokyo.

    • Beth Williams
      March 10, 2015 / 7:18 pm

      The Robot Restaurant was super fun! One of my favorite experiences in Tokyo.

  23. March 10, 2015 / 1:16 pm

    That place looks amazing. I can’t believe all the colors. And the energy of that place. It’s just so kinetic.

    • Beth Williams
      March 10, 2015 / 7:19 pm

      It was! It was pretty insane, but awesome.

  24. March 10, 2015 / 12:09 pm

    There are so much to explore in Japan doesn’t it? That is one colorful place to go to and it look so much fun!

    • Beth Williams
      March 10, 2015 / 7:20 pm

      Colorful is certainly one way to describe it! :)

  25. March 10, 2015 / 11:49 am

    That is sensory overload for sure! I have a child with special needs and he would not last one minute in a place like that lol. I think I am on the same page with him!

    • Beth Williams
      March 10, 2015 / 7:22 pm

      Haha, it’s definitely not for everyone!

  26. Robin (Masshole Mommy)
    March 10, 2015 / 10:40 am

    I have major sensory issues, so it looks really cool in all your pictures, but I am afraid I wouldn’t do so well in a place like that in real life!

    • Beth Williams
      March 10, 2015 / 7:23 pm

      Definitely understand! I have a few friends who also would never be able to visit such a place!

  27. March 10, 2015 / 10:24 am

    OMG, that’s so cool! This restaurant is EXACTLY why I want to visit Tokyo. They have the coolest ideas ever!

    • Beth Williams
      March 10, 2015 / 7:24 pm

      They do!! It’s just so awesome.

  28. August 5, 2014 / 5:39 am

    Vibrant and so much color! Wow, this post really inspires you to want to head to Tokyo to experience it for yourself. I can certainly imagine that these types of restaurants really get a lot of visitors especially from tourists who are looking to see what all the fuss is about.

    • Beth Williams
      September 28, 2014 / 11:35 am

      Tons of color, tons of vibrance, tons of energy. It was like a weird, robot disco from the future… in a good way!

  29. August 1, 2014 / 1:58 pm

    Oh wow! This place looks crazy, but pretty intriguing! We are heading to Tokyo next spring, and I think this just made it on the list :) Would definitely be an interesting evening!

    • Beth Williams
      September 28, 2014 / 11:34 am

      I’m super excited to hear you’re going to Tokyo in spring! That’s one of my favorite times of year with the sakura blossoms.

      Let me know if you make it to Robot Restaurant– I’d be curious to hear how others enjoyed it! :)

  30. July 31, 2014 / 11:36 pm

    This is… wow, a lot!
    A sort of half way between science-fiction and a circus… or perhaps the way a circus might be in science fiction ;)
    Might feel a bit overwhelming, maybe… but I guess it must well reflect a side of Japan, with all these sparkles, colours… and robot, of course.

    • Beth Williams
      September 28, 2014 / 11:34 am

      I like that… a sci-fi circus. It describes it pretty accurately!

  31. July 31, 2014 / 10:24 pm

    This is beyond awesome! I will definitely be checking out the Robot Restaurant when we make it to Japan because something this weird is definitely right up our alley! Thanks for sharing!

    • Beth Williams
      September 28, 2014 / 11:33 am

      I can’t wait to hear all about what you get up to in Japan! And what you think of the Robot Restaurant :)

  32. July 31, 2014 / 5:24 pm

    What an interesting concept! I’m more used to going to the traditional cultural restaurants, but this robot restaurant, in my mind, occupies a similar place in terms of importance. I love the mix of technology and hamming it up – I’d definitely go there and would probably need all that beer, too.

    • Beth Williams
      September 28, 2014 / 11:32 am

      I loved being able to experience both sides of the culture. This was an interesting concept all right!

  33. July 31, 2014 / 1:35 pm

    We might go to Japan next year so I’ll keep this in mind, however at first sight I’d say it wouldn’t be our first choice. However, if you say it’s worth it, we’ll trust you on that :-)

    • Beth Williams
      September 28, 2014 / 11:30 am

      Do keep it in mind. I promise you’ll at least find nothing else like it!

  34. July 31, 2014 / 1:26 pm

    LOL how incredibly RANDOM!! Awesome though – this is definitely a place I would check out when we finally get to Tokyo!

    • Beth Williams
      September 28, 2014 / 11:30 am

      Do it! It’s so random it was glorious, haha. I’d go again in a heartbeat.

  35. July 22, 2014 / 7:23 am

    Lol- I feel overwhelmed by the pictures! I think I would have a panic attack there! I always picture Japan as really peaceful with lots of temples and bamboo… Its good to remember there is a modern side!

    • Beth Williams
      September 28, 2014 / 11:29 am

      The two contrasting sides of zen and futuristic really make Japan what it is– special! :)

  36. July 22, 2014 / 6:26 am

    Oh my gosh… I wish I would have known about this when I was in Tokyo! This is amazing.

    PS. I can see your comment form again :)

    • Beth Williams
      September 28, 2014 / 11:29 am

      Next time! You have to go there!

  37. Stacy Forgue
    July 22, 2014 / 2:13 am

    The instant I saw the pictures I realized I had seen this place before.

    It was used in a music video for Muse. Now I really want to go!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uBK5kvakD8

    • Beth Williams
      July 22, 2014 / 3:44 am

      Really? Which song? I’ll have to go look for it now :)