Whenever people ask us what to do in Tokyo, we give them a list a mile long. At the very top is Robot Restaurant (ロボットレストラン) in Shinjuku. You don’t go here to eat, of course; the bento boxes taste like poison. You’re here for the show. The totally bananas, absurdly over-the-top, Japanese-gameshow-on-crack, three-hour show that involves neon-lit army tanks, bikini girls romping around in animal costumes, giant motorized fembots, glowstick-waving otaku, throbbing techno, more mirrors than a Vegas strip club, and whatever else was left on the cutting-room floor of Gaspar Noe’s Enter the Void. Truly, there is nothing else like it anywhere in the world. (Charli XCX must agree; she shot her “SuperLove” video here.)
Robot Restaurant stages four shows per day (holidays excluded), starting at 4 p.m., 5:55 p.m., 7:50 p.m., and 9:45 p.m. Admission is steep: 8,000 yen (around $71 USD) per person. Meals cost an extra 1,000 yen ($9)—don’t do it, man! Guests must arrive 30 minutes before their pre-booked showtime; failure to do so will result in the cancellation of your reservation and you getting slapped with a cancellation fee. Robot Restaurant has a strict dress code, too. No sunglasses, no over-the-top outfits or wigs, and no tattoos. If you have any, you must cover them before entering. It’s a yakuza thing.
1-7-1 Kabukicho, B2F, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan; +81-3-3200-5500.