Monday, July 4, 2016

Lasers, and Mirrors, and Robots...Oh My!

Well after a little heat sickness last night (from the 117° temps yesterday), I am back to my good old self!  I will be spending much of today in air conditioning for obvious reasons.  I have been dying to share with you the final event during my stay in Japan, though.  It was Japanese pop culture at its best.  I of course speak of the famed Robot Restaurant, which you may have seen featured on Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown.  The best way to describe this place is the greatest attack on your senses you will every experience!

As I approached the building, seeing the giant flashing sound and loud music, I knew I was in for something special.  Located in the somewhat sketchy red light district of Kabukichō, the restaurant stood out as a hotspot for both tourists and locals.  Which, I should probably clear something up right away, the Robot Restaurant is in no way a restaurant.  Their food was pretty much limited to popcorn and drinks.  It should probably be called the Robot Show, but a name like is much less exciting!

After confirming my reservation taking an elevator up to a waiting room, I was getting more excited by the minute.  The waiting room was the most gaudy, over the top room I have ever seen in my life....I loved it!!  Mirrored floors, golden seashell seats, lights everywhere, and of course robot hosts greeting you....what's not to like??  I waited here and chatted with a couple other tourists as we waited for the show to begin.  The consensus seemed to be that most people had heard of the place the same way I did, through Anthony Bourdain's show.  After spending some time in this one room, it was quite clear how the owners of the restaurant were able to spend 10 million dollars outfitting the small venue for the robot show.

When they were ready for us in the show room, the crowd of exactly 180 people filed into a very tight space that seemed impossibly small for the show I knew that was about to happen.  Three rows of seats lined each side of a black runway in the middle of the room.  Massive TVs lined the walls of the room.  These would come in handy later as they attempted to form a plot for the crazy show.  

After what seemed like hours, the show was finally ready to begin.  First, of course, they shared MANY safety warnings and even offered up noise cancelling headphones to people who wanted them.  Finally, the show began.  There were 4 acts to the show with breaks in between so they could change the sets.  Each act was unique and, of course, completely over the top.  

All in all, I had so much fun at the Robot Restaurant.  It is an experience that could never be replicated, and such a great way to experience Japanese pop culture.  If you are ever in Tokyo, this is a must do attraction, especially if you like bizarre futuristic things like me :)

Well, that does it for my trip to Japan!  The next time you visit my blog it will be all about China.  I have been having a wonderful time in Hangzhou and am really looking forward to the next two and a half weeks here!!

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