Every night in a basement in Shinjuku's Kabukicho district, the dressed-up crews stage mock battles using enormous robots – though it's more steroid-enhanced fairground attraction than modern-day Gundam. Fitted out at a cost of ¥10 billion, Robot Restaurant looks like something straight out of Gaspar Noé's Enter the Void, all migraine-inducing neon, video screens and mirrors. Customers pay a ¥8,500 charge (see the discount below if you bring our magazine), and once you're in your seats you can order a bento box and other snacks to go along with the evening's lively show. The drink menu extends as far as canned beer, chu-hai and bottled tea, sold at the kind of prices you'd expect at a baseball game. There are four 90-minute shows each night, in which the nubile staff take to the floor on giant robots, including everything from neon tanks and enormous female 'borgs to giant sushi boat floats and flashing daruma dolls fit with drum sets. When Time Out visited, the customers seemed a little too gob-smacked to know what to do at first, but by the end they were waving their glowsticks like hardened para-para dancers. Give it a chance, and you might find yourself doing the same thing too.
Heading to the Robot Restaurant? Bring a copy of our print magazine and get a ¥2,000 discount!