Robot Cafe, Tokyo | Should you Visit the Robot Cafe with Kids

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho robot cafe dancer

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Booking Tickets in Advance

For the evening I had bought tickets in advance online for the Robot Café Show in Shinjuku’s Kabuki-Cho, the craziest show in Japan.

Only in Tokyo

I had seen plenty of photos and videos from friends and online. It looked like the kind of show that would only be able possible to stage here in Tokyo. I had not been sure if visit the Robot Cafe and its mad show with an 11 year old but after reading a few comments online I had decided to give it a go and find out for ourselves.

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho taxi

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho zebra crossing

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho panda dress

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho camera store

The Maze of Shinjuku Station

I have always found Shinjuku station a bit confusing with all the different train lines and exits, plus miles and miles of tunnels. You can walk for perhaps 2 or 3km underground literally from one stop east or north of the station to one stop south or west, and with all the shops in the underground passages it is easy to get lost. It is perhaps the busiest station in the world in terms of numbers of passengers per day.

Exit at Kabuki-Cho

This time we quickly found the right exit and got out into the mayhem of Kabuki-Cho. This part of Shinjuku is famous for its bars, restaurants and entertainment clubs and the Robot Cafe. There are neon lights and signs on every building which make it easier to find what you are looking for. It is unusual for us foreigners to find restaurants and shops on each floor of a building, in Europe almost all shops and restaurants are located at street level apart from in some department stores or malls. In Tokyo you see businesses on every level advertised in bight colours or on the entrance boards.

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho architecture

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho signs

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho alley

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho food menu

Collecting the Tickets

The Robot Café was not that hard to find and once we had collected our tickets (6.800 Yen per ticket) for the show we crossed from the ticket booth to the entrance.

Meeting the Robots

Outside the entrance were two huge robots, which you could climb onto and have your photo taken as a souvenir. It also gave us an idea of what we were about to experience. Walking into the building we entered a bright hallway with many lights leading us into the bar below.

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho robot cafe statues

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho robot cafe entrance

The Bar at the Robot Cafe

The bar at the Robot Cafe is, most likely, the fanciest and most over the top bar ever, gold swivel chairs, enormous chandeliers and mirrors from floor to ceiling. Our eyes did not know where to look at first; it was a complete sense overload.  It felt like being in Gaspar Noe’s film “Enter the Void”. Every ticket includes a first drink free so we collected our drinks and took a seat to listen to the “robotic” guitar players.  Jerome and inspected the two robots near the door that give you instructions.

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho robot cafe bar

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho robot cafe bar mirrors on floor and ceiling

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho robot cafe

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho robot cafe selfie

Four Shows Every Day

About 15 minutes before the start of our show – there are normally four shows every day – we were guided down steps to the basement showroom. It is worth knowing the steps down are near the bar end. We took our seats in the front row and waited for the show to start. The first act was bikini-clad girls playing the traditional Japanese Taiko drums. Afterwards we saw a laser show and then finally the first giant robots came out.

Visiting the Show with Children

Initially Jerome seemed to be annoyed by the very loud music, but they did provide ear covers for children. We had thought Jerome might be the only child, but there were a range of others, and certainly most over 11 year olds would enjoy the craziness and robots. One part of the show could be quite scary for younger children as it included a giant shark robot, smoke coming out of its mouth and there was a lot of play fighting going on.

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho robot cafe taiko drummer

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho robot cafe taiko drums

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho robot cafe laser show

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho robot cafe laser

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho robot cafe

An Incredible Show

Half way through the show we were all given glow sticks and encouraged to wave and cheer with the robots and dancers. We did not notice how fast time flew by and the show came to its end. It was definitely an incredible show to watch, just once is probably enough though! We did feel though that some of the robots and costumes looked a bit dated and should be updated or renewed soon.

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho robot cafe horse

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho robot cafe

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho robot cafe dancer

Shinjuku tokyo kabukicho puddle

Seeing the Neon Lights

Most parents would probably not consider Kabukicho an appropriate place to go with children in the later evening, but you always have the option to go for the afternoon show at the Robot Cafe and come out just as the neon lights up. Check their website for dates and times as they may vary from day to day. Back outside Kabukicho was getting busy with people heading out for dinner or a drink and it took us a while to adjust back to normality after this crazy but wonderful show.


12 thoughts on “Robot Cafe, Tokyo | Should you Visit the Robot Cafe with Kids

  1. LOVE the photos! I think it is terrific that you take an 11 year old with you on your travels. We always took our two children ( who are now 28 and 30) with us. Travel is marvelous for young minds and it is great to be able to sahere travel experiences with your kids.

    1. Anne,
      I am happy to hear that you loved the photos and thanks for stopping by. I have always felt that taking our son with us from early on was the most natural thing. We never had any problems traveling with him and it is a different experience to see the world through these little eyes. He loves it as much as we do and can’t wait to go away again when we get back. Do you still go on holidays with your children now? I’m always worried he’ll get to the point where he doesn’t want to travel with us anymore.

    1. It was ridiculous but definitely worth going. I hope you get a chance to experience it (maybe a xmas present from someone?) for yourself sometime and of course I want to hear about it ☺️

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