Everyone knows about the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku. It’s where you go to watch giant mechanized spiders fight robo-sharks in mid-air, while your senses are traumatized and your adrenaline is triggered. While you’ll no doubt be seeing plenty of the traditional side of Japan on your travels, this is the other side of the coin: the “weird japan” featuring girls, robots and all-round crazy vibes. Designed to satisfy tourist desire for the neon, modern and odd, you have to take the place for what it is—and leave any expectations at home. Here’s how to get cheap tickets for the Robot Restaurant experience.
If you are keen to see (and be blinded by) the bright lights and robots, there are a couple of ways to save money on tickets for what should be a one-off experience (if only for your brain’s sake). Remember though, it won’t ever actually be “cheap”. The place reportedly cost 10 billion yen to fit out and is usually full for each of the night’s four shows, so there’s no need for them to offer crazy deals to match their crazy shows. Discount tickets are available, though.
Spoiler: It’s not actually a restaurant
While the robot part is true, the restaurant part is not. Tickets no longer include a sub-standard bento (it can be added for ¥1,000, but we recommend you don’t bother), although they do have some cinema-priced snacks if you get peckish. Our advice is to eat at a nearby actual restaurant before or after the show. You could see what’s being served up in nearby Golden Gai, perhaps. See what else there is to explore in Kabukicho, Shinjuku.
Robot Restaurant ticket basics
Tickets at face value are ¥8,500 per person, but if you book via the “restaurant’s” own website, with a credit card, they are reduced to ¥7,500. Online bookings can be made until 5pm, and after that you can call. Aside from not getting the best discounts, the place has a strict no-refund policy for credit card cancellations. We say meh. You can do much better with a little searching.
Cheap tickets to the Robot Restaurant
Discounts of 23-38% can be found using booking companies like Voyagin, so you shouldn’t ever need to pay the rather steep prices mentioned above.
Voyagin is the main host for the Robot Restaurant, and their long-standing relationship means they can offer a few extra benefits to make them stand out from the crowd. For example, Voyagin usually has better availability for times and shows, and when you book with them, you are basically booking direct, so you should receive your email confirmation fast. Possibly the best bonus to their service is that tickets start at ¥5,246 and for an extra ¥1,000 to ¥2,000, you can upgrade your booking to get front-row seats that are close to all the action.
Klook also have competitively-priced tickets, so it’s a good idea to look at both sites to compare and see which is offering the better deal when you’re wanting to book.
Alternatives to the Robot Restaurant
For a slightly less intense, more family-friendly version with lower costs but just as much color and craziness, consider checking out the Kawaii Monster Cafe in Harajuku, pictured above.
Note: the Robot Restaurant itself is technically family friendly, with no age restrictions on entry, but in our experience, there may be some scenes that not everyone enjoys equally—we’d ask you to read between the lines, here.
First published in January, 2017. Last updated in October, 2019. Though we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change.
Our video guide to the tuna auctions at the shiny new Toyosu Fish Market