Julie is the author of a number of guidebooks, including 'Melbourne's Best Bush Bay and City Walks' & 'Melbourne for Dogs' (with RSPCA). Read more of her adventures at her walks blog: walksmelbourne.com
Published January 12th 2015
Cabaret robots and dancers a go-go: seriously
One of the 'Big Guys' at the Robot Restaurant, Tokyo
Just when you thought Japan couldn't get any crazier, along comes Robot Restaurant. This Shinjuku night time entertainment institution is Japan's 16th most popular attraction according to Trip Advisor. Tucked away in a flashing alley of neon just 5 minutes walk from Shinjuku Station, there is definitely a good time to be had by all at this totally over-the-top cabaret-technology fusion.
Taiko drumming on steroids at the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku
Think Japanese pop culture on steroids, with neon, laser lights, death metal, J-pop, taiko drumming, dancing girls and enormous fighting robots thrown in. Clash and tack and very loud music are the order of the day, and it really works. The dancing girls are not too scantily clad that you'll be squirming in embarrassment in the seats next to your teenagers - they are fabulous dancers and very cute-poi in that very Japanese way of things. The highlight for us, other than the towering dancing robots themselves (think transformers-plus), was the use of segways, wheelies, enormous tech-hoops and other wacky high-tech vehicles to move the performers around. It's not for the faint hearted, and being a little bit deaf won't do you any harm, as the volume - especially for the death-metal rock band is VERY LOUD, as you might expect/hope! But guaranteed, you'll love every minute of the hour long show, and come out feeling just a little bit dazed!
It's important you book in advance for the shows, as they are wildly popular. You can do so on-line through their English-lanuage website. You turn up half an hour before, and there are lots of people to point you in the right direction to collect your tickets and get you seated. You can order a box bento to be served at your seats for an additional Y1000. There are also beer girls and popcorn/soft drink boys (the popcorn is beyond delicious!) who skate out regularly between costume changes to keep you entertained - and pleasantly, the prices for food and drink are very reasonable. Tickets are Y6000 per person, though you can get a Y500 discount per person if you book online. It's very good value and a lot of fun - go for it!