The “famous” Tokyo Robot Show is simply a must miss attraction.
This is despite (because?) the fact that the robot show/restaurant in Tokyo is one of the most consistently cited tourist attractions that you must see when traveling to the city. Literally dozens of articles and reviews gush about the spectacle. It has a 4.1 out of 5 on google reviews with over 5,400 people submitting.
Either the restaurant is seeding hundreds of reviews, people are looking at cool google images and not actually going to the show, or something is seriously wrong with people. Maybe it’s all of the above. Whatever.
Do NOT waste your time and money going here. It sucks. Actually, that’s not descriptive enough.
The Robot Show is one of the worst spectacles I’ve ever had the misfortune to sit through.
Why does the Robot Show suck so much?
Let’s start with the basics of why it’s so terrible.
Reason 1: There are No Robots
First, there are pretty much NO ROBOTS. Yes, you read that right. To be fair, there are some “floats” with arcade-y theme-style puppet like things that move a little bit but that’s pretty much it. One of these floats had a stage-hand following it with a remote control while another was literally being pushed by humans. Good stuff.
So OK, there are some machines in various states of disrepair involved. But there are no battle bots style confrontations! Don’t expect something cool like this:
Instead what you get is a show of bad actors dressed up in costume moving around a tiny rectangular space that would be better re-purposed into a dump for all the trash they throw your way for two hours.
Reason 2: Enforced Confinement
The second reason the Robot show sucks so much is the “pre-show” that they force you to sit through. By claiming you won’t get into the show unless you show up 90 minutes early they manage to usher you into a captive audience experience from hell. Be prepared for a tasteless performance filled with a shocking lack of talented performers.
Two specifics come to mind here to help paint the picture:
- One, there’s your 65 year old wannabe Elvis screaming into a microphone the entire time at such volume you can get free headphones at the over-priced bar to cover your ears.
- Two, there’s the 20 scantily clad young women with no dancing talent trouping around to various songs in culturally insensitive costumes that just make you want to cringe on their behalf while awkwardly avoiding looking around at all the other white people in the room who are wondering what the hell they signed up for and why guidebooks call this family appropriate entertainment (except for the few enthusiastic people videotaping it all).
If you read that sentence again you’ll notice I said “white people.” That’s not entirely fair. What I really mean to say is all the other non-Japanese people in the audience. This Shinjuku spectacle is 100% designed to sucker tourists out of their money.
If you want to see no locals, this is the place to be.
Reason 3: They’re only here to take your $$$
Finally, the show doesn’t just suck because it’s boring and the venue is uncomfortable and your eardrums will take a week to recover. It also sucks because they stop the show every 20 minutes to trot out beer and food carts to try and sell you more stuff. Actually, this was the best part of the show. The takoyaki wasn’t half bad. In fact, we left as soon as we finished eating it before the last 30 minutes could trap us for any longer.
Is the Robot Show Worth Going to?
In summary, because I’ve already wasted too much of my life thinking about this stupid show, avoid the Robot Restaurant. Take that money and spend it on some good sushi or a ryokan or you know, at least somewhere you’ll see a local.