Disclosure: I received two tickets for review but paid full price for the rest of my family and for all concessions.
Recently I tried to explain the word “Campy” to a non-native English Speaker. Urban Dictionary does a good job: Being so extreme that it has an amusing and sometimes perversely sophisticated appeal. I could have also just said “Tokyo Robot Restaurant” because the show there is my new definition of High Camp. The show contains 90 jam packed minutes of every Japanese cliché you could possibly imagine. I’m not going to write a traditional Tokyo Robot Restaurant review: that’s taking it too seriously. Instead I’ll offer some tips if you have an interest in going…and you know who you are.
- The arena is small and shows are frequent. No need to buy tickets too far in advance. You might find a small price advantage with Viator.com. , especially using one of their frequent coupons. Or you can buy them from the website or at the door.
- The restaurant is NOT at the same location as the ticket office: it’s around the corner. The street is pedestrianized in what I’d call a “Yellow Light District”. It wasn’t skeevy or unsafe, but I still wasn’t 100% comfortable with my kids doing too much window shopping. If you have time to kill, there’s a kid safe arcade right across from the ticket office.
- You can arrive up to 30-45 minutes early for a pre-show, and it’s worth it for the setting alone. I won’t spoil it for you but will say two words: sensory overload.
- Speaking of senses, bring earplugs! Not just for kids, but for everyone. The decibel level reaches Rock Concert and the stadium has only three rows!
- Plan on eating before or after unless you can make a meal of popcorn. They did sell Sushi Bento boxes but I’d wait or eat before hand. Drinks are plentiful and 500 Yen for alcohol and 250 for soda. You’re encouraged to buy tickets for drinks before the show but you can pay cash during the intermissions.
- Is it kid-friendly? Depends on your kid. The Deal Kids at 8 and 11 LOVED it, but I’d consider the 8 year old an outlier. After the show I asked the kids what age they would recommend and they agreed on 10. But no matter the age, if your kid has any sensory issues, STAY AWAY. Content wise there’s Robot on Robot violence and some mildly suggestive cheerleader, um, cheering, but I’d call it PG- definitely no nudity or anything I needed to explain.
Bottom Line- Would I recommend Robot Restaurant?
Absolutely, positively, Yes- for the right person. I just happen to be that person, and I think many of you are, too. If you’re looking to sample High Art- might I suggest Kabuki? However, if you want a taste of Tokyo and an experience you can get no where else, The Robot Restaurant is for you.
Have you been to Robot Restaurant? What were your thoughts? Please share in the comments.
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