Tuesday, 7th January 2020
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Finding the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku was a little difficult despite it only being 3 minutes from my hotel. Hotel Gracery was in a seamier area of Tokyo, and there were dubious people around like an African who kept pestering me as I tried to find the right place. I almost gave up, and if I had done I would have missed something rich and strange.

Despite its name the Robot Restaurant is really a weird show, a cross between pantomime and Japanese manga and idol groups. Intended originally for Japanese businessmen but the audience when I went were all foreign tourists. On entering you go to a waiting area upstairs with a warmup act which is strange enough. Then you descend deep to the basement where the show is performed between two banks of seats. The people in the front row have the best view but have to keep clear of the performance antics. You can buy food and merchandise, a European girl was selling drinks in lit up light bulbs.

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The show is in three sections, the first has two drum teams battling it out, the second has fantastic animals battling robotic armies, and the last was clever with lights but I'm not sure what was going on. There is a finale where we got lights to wave as giant fish had their day to silly songs. I recognised one piece of music as by Perfume.

Perhaps a little worn and tacky, but totally wonderful and one of a kind.