Tokyo is the most populous city in the world. Apart from people and characters such as Hello Kitty, Godzilla and Hachiko, the city also counts robots as one of its citizens. These cyborgs are a functioning member of the society, too: some work at information desks, others in café, and more put on daily shows at the Robot Restaurant. Don't leave Tokyo without meeting any one (or all) of these technological wonders.
Where to meet robots in Tokyo
From fighting beasts to mechanical baristas and a visitor guide android, these robots walk among us here in the high tech city of Tokyo. By Shiori Kotaki and Tabea Greuner
Go say hello
A humanoid robot who talks and kicks footballs, Honda-created bot ASIMO performs four times a day at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan).
This full-scale Unicorn Gundam replica (also known as RX-78-2 among anime geeks) is located outside the DiverCity Tokyo Plaza shopping mall. It stands at a staggering height of 19.7 metres – and the best part is, it changes its appearance several times a day. Witness the Unicorn Gundam go into its battle mode daily at 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm. There are evening shows too, complete with light effects and music soundtrack, every 30 minutes from 7pm to 9.30pm daily.
This is a bizzare, over the top yet exhilarating show featuring robots and mechanical monsters of all shapes and sizes. Expect giant metal dinosaurs in battle, enormous female cyborgs, larger than life sushi boat floats, flashing daruma dolls fitted with drum sets, and more. Remember to pick your jaw off the floor before you leave.
No amount of android affinity can prepare you for Henn na Hotel (meaning 'strange hotel' in Japanese) in Maihama, staffed by variety of robots. There's a small handful of human staff on standby too, ready to intervene in case the bots decide to take over the world. Yes, those velociraptors you see wearing a lobby boy hat are actually the resident concierges.