Get ready for an exuberant new show from the creators of the legendary Robot Restaurant. The brand-new Samurai Restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo features cartwheeling samurai, breakdancing ghosts, and taiko-drumming geisha — among other madness and fun.
The Samurai Restaurant just opened on October 10, 2023, and we got a front-row preview of all it has to offer — including discounted tickets.
What is the Samurai Restaurant?
The Samurai Restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo is a vibrant — slightly crazy — two-hour experience from the makers of the old Robot Restaurant. Like that show, it’s also a wild affair with wacky costumes, talented dancers, choreographed fight scenes, and cheesy dialogue. But there is one main difference: less, eh, robots.
Be warned that it’s not actually a restaurant at all. If you’re hungry, you can order a simple meal to go with the show, though.
Note: The Samurai Restaurant is for strictly over 18s, and the venue is inside the building ギラギラガールズ (GiraGiraGirls), which offers adult entertainment.
There is also a Samurai Café in Osaka, which is totally unrelated. It seems a little less crazy and a little more historical than the Samurai Restaurant in Shinjuku, but a fun time too.
What happened to the Robot Restaurant in Tokyo?
You may be confused; the last time we talked about the Robot Restaurant we announced its comeback. But unfortunately because of a mechanical malfunction, that was postponed. It is still planning on reopening though, so watch this space.
However, those looking for the same adrenaline shot will not be disappointed with the new Samurai Restaurant in Shinjuku.
Getting tickets to the Samurai Restaurant in Tokyo
Tickets to the Samurai Restaurant are best bought online. Reservations can be made until 10 a.m. on the day of the show, via the official website. You can then pay cash or credit card on arrival. But aside from not getting the best prices, the website is confusing to use.
How much does it cost?
The full price of a Samurai Restaurant ticket may seem steep at ¥10,000, but there’s a lot that goes into the show, including machines, lasers, and professional dancers. This price also includes a simple meal (bento) or two drinks (alcohol included).
But don’t fret, there are always discounts to be found.
Discount tickets for the Samurai Restaurant
The best deal can be found on Rakuten Travel Experiences. Tickets normally cost ¥8,900 — an 11% discount — and also include a bento or two drinks. They’re currently running a promotion of 15% off for bookings placed in December, for shows in 2024.
The official website also has ¥1,000 off at the moment. But again — we found it confusing to use.
What to expect at the Samurai Restaurant in Tokyo
The Samurai Restaurant is a sensory explosion: Imagine LED lights, animatronic floating heads, energetic dancing, live singers, and swordplay. Some may call it over-the-top, but we call it inspired, and were pleasantly surprised by the talent on display.
Tip: Join in the performers’ enthusiasm by shaking the glow stick given to you when you enter.
How long does the show last?
Currently, there is only one show a day at the Samurai Restaurant, and doors open at 1:00 p.m. Sit back and relax with some on-stage entertainment until the real theatrics start at 2:30 p.m. It is closed on Thursday and Sunday.
The whole performance lasts around two hours, finishing just before 5 p.m., but you may stay until 5:30 p.m. Use this time for an extra drink or to check out the souvenirs, such as original t-shirts.
The show is split into three acts or “stories”, with two intervals (around 15 minutes) spliced in between. During the breaks, you can dash to the toilet and order snacks or drinks from the menu — but don’t miss the lively interval demonstrations.
What are the seats like?
The seats are booths and stools in front of the stage, and there aren’t many. It can be a little tight getting in and out of your spot, so you are asked not to move around during the show.
Is it suitable for families?
The show itself is very PG-13 (minus a few curse words), but because the Samurai Restaurant is part of an adult entertainment establishment called GiraGiraGirls — you may even see a few workers in the audience — you must be over 18 years of age to enter.
Note: The drinking age is 20 in Japan.
Food and drinks at the Samurai Restaurant
Be prepared. As we mentioned earlier, this isn’t actually a restaurant.
But you can eat during the show, and remember, your ticket gives you the option of either a bento or two drinks.
Note that you have to book at least one day in advance to reserve a bento, but if you book late you can still get ramen, udon, or the drink set.
What can I eat? How much does it cost?
If you opt for a bento instead of two drinks with your ticket, then you’ll be given a choice between a steak bento, sushi bento, appetizer bento, ramen, or udon noodles. We tried all of them and our favorite was the steak bento — by far the best value for your money.
If you want to focus on the show, then we recommend getting there just after doors open at around 1:30 p.m. while the lights are up.
If you want to pay for snacks separately, prices start from a rather eye-watering ¥700 for tortilla chips and go up to ¥1,500 for ramen. They have an English-language menu.
Are there vegetarian options at the Samurai Restaurant?
They currently have no vegetarian or vegan options, but they do have popcorn and mochi on the regular menu.
What about drinks?
You could always skip the meal and opt for the two-drink option with your ticket instead. (There are plenty of great places to eat in Shinjuku.) You can choose from a range of alcohol (beer, wine, sake, highball) and soft drinks.
On the menu, a large beer is ¥800 and a glass of wine ¥500.
What else to see and do around the Samurai Restaurant in Tokyo
The area around the Samurai Restaurant in Kabukichō can have naughty connotations but the newly opened Kabukichō Tower has shown that this area is more than just the dark side. Make sure to check out our handy guide to Kabukichō for more things to do.
While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change.