Monthly Archives: March 2015

Cherry Blossoms ~ Nakameguro

Sunday we ventured to one of the most famous and most popular spots for hanami (cherry blossom viewing), Nakameguro. By this time next week, they might all be gone for another year. 

 

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Robot Restaurant

Last night, with a visitor in town from Orlando, we made our way for the first time to the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku. Until moving to Japan, we had not heard of this place; but, it has been featured on Anthony Bourdain’s shows and is often talked about as a place you just gotta see.

Although Shinjuku can be quite confusing and is a place where you don’t really want to find yourself down the wrong alley; the Robot Restaurant is pretty easy to get to. From the Shinjuku Metro Station, take exit B12 and go straight – up the street, across the intersection, and continue until you are blinded by the lights. It is also very clearly marquee’d and bi-lingual greeters are abundant.

You can make a reservation and pay with a creadit card on the internet via an English website, which will save you some time once you are there (and, we have heard that booking via the website gets you ‘better’ seats; but, there really aren’t any ‘bad’ ones). 

After picking up your tickets, you head into one of the best waiting rooms/lounges/lobbys/bars we have ever seen…something directly out of Liberace’s dream. It comes complete with a robot band (actually humans dressed as robots; but, still fun). We would recommend you get there about 45 minutes before the show, this is something you don’t want to miss.

 

As for the Main Event…where to start? First, this establshment is not really a restaurant; in fact, as of recently, the pre-packaged bento boxes are no longer mandatory. But, if you are so inclined, you can purchase them at an up-charge (which we would not recommend). They also sell snacks (chips, freshly popped popcorn, etc.) and drinks (beer, sours, water, etc.).

The theater is a long hallway with three rows of seats on each side. This place is small and the pre-show safety demonstration needs to be taken seriously. Especially if you are seated in the first row, there are several times you will have to duck or lean-back in order to avoid a moving set piece and keeping your feet behind the toeguard is critical.

The show is in three acts, with intermissions between for refreshments and set changes. Any attempt to derive continuity between the three acts is a fools task. The first act was a lot of drumming. The second was a nature vs. robots battle. And, the third was a marching band, more robots, and even more robots. What they pack into this 90 minute experience in this little space is truly amazing. It was simply and unquestionably fun!

 

Now, a brief commentary. We had heard that this might be a little too risque for younger audiences. It really wasn’t all that bad in this regard. There are girls in tight outfits and short shorts; but, nothing worse than that. A mature teenager should have no problem. And, if you are in doubt, you can always watch some of the videos on YouTube.