Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Robot Restaurant....or....what in the world did we just witness?!?

Godzilla tearing through the buildings of Shinjuku
I'm not even sure where to start with this post...partly because it was so insane.  But, also because I've never witnessed anything like this ever in my life before.  And, then there was all the alcohol we consumed before, during and after the show. And, WOW...what a show!!!

Ok, so I guesss I'll just start at the beginning and go until I can't remember anymore :)
We met Mary Kay and Neil in the morning and took the train to Shinjuku.  ~Morgan took the opportunity to hang out with the littles on their own...and, they cleaned my house while I was gone!  How can I make this happen every day?!

The first stop of the day was Hooters for what can only be described as one of the best "American" meals I've had since we've been here.  I had fish and chips that were out of this world!  Maybe fish and chips aren't exactly 'American'....hmm...  We started with a drink here.  They were a little pricey, so we tried to find another place where drinks were a little cheaper.  We found a bar just around the corner from the Robot Restaurant.  Bonus...he had Jose Cuervo chocolates!  So chocolate-y and very Jose Cuervo-y.  Only slightly yummy.

Ok.  It's time to make our way to the show.  I feel like I should be putting quotation marks around 'show'.  Some sort of punctuation that allows you to get some sort of idea that this *show* is more than a &show&.  This ~show~ is an #experience#.  This ^show^ is something you will NEVER forget.  This {show} will live on in your dreams (maybe even nightmares) for the rest of your life! I mean, the ticket itself says, "The most awesome place in the world.  Giant Robot Entertainment".  What else can I say to sell you on this idea??
But, seriously, how could you ever pass up an opportunity to have your eardrums blasted out by ladies and gentlemen in robot costumes banging on drums, fighting....wait....I'm getting ahead of myself.  

We walked around the Robot Block and found the entrance (passing a few doors that said "this is not the entrance").  After purchasing tickets we made our way across the street to the real deal entrance (FYI~it was about 8,000 Yen per ticket, but we found coupons in the Metropolis magazine that took 2,000 Yen off each ticket).  And, a robot, then with the robots.  Unfortunately, the guy monitoring the lines for the robot chairs didn't tell us until we were already getting out of the seats that we could have controlled the robots' arms from the seats.  Thanks for looking out.  

After entering through the brightest hallway I've ever entered in my whole life, we made it to the shiny, fluorescent, loud, reflective holding room.  Here, we listened to a star-studded robot play guitar for about half an hour while we drank some more before the ~show~ started.  
Our table
The chairs

No words.  No.  Words.  Okay...who am I kidding...I have words...what in the world is this?!  Shiney, flashy, reflective, bright, loud, a shiny robot playing Michael Jackson?!  

It doesn't get better than this!  Or does it...

Finally, we get the 'ok' to make our way down to the *show* room.  Down the insanely-lit stairs we go.  I'm not sure if it's the wine I've had, or the room we're in, but I'm pretty sure the designs on the floor were moving!
The flashy stairs
I tried to get a pano of the room so you could get an idea of the size.  The panoramic didn't turn out very well. I think it took me four steps to make it from the bottom of our seating area to the bottom of the seating area across from us.  This place is smaller than you think.  Small enough that there are people that come out and teach the front row how to lean back, waaaay back, like almost a backbend, back and out of the way of the robots that will be spinning dangerously close to their necks.  ~At first I was sad that we were in the very back row.  But, then after my third, maybe fourth drink, I realized, even in my inebriated state, that I probably would have lost a head in this madness.  

Maybe the chains will save the
heads of the front row prisoners.
So, there are three rows of seats on each side.  Two seats share a little tray like the picture below.  They conveniently thought to put drink holes in the trays so silly drunks wouldn't spill their (three times as pricey) drinks on the floor.  Smrt.  I do have to mention here that the aisles to arrive at your seat are not really aisles.  They are more like small spaces between seats close enough to give bigger-hipped Americans bruises if they don't go up or down at the right angle.  I know this because I had proof.  I also know this because the hubs volunteered me to go back and forth to get drinks....I also learned the hard way that there is a time limit for getting said drinks or else the mean lady with the German accent yells at you to go to your seat.  😡

Ooohhhhhh......So, we're sitting in our seats wondering when the ⇸show⇷ will start when we realize those colorful people, I mean robots, have entered the room!  And, then it begins.  Drumming like you've never heard drumming before.  Drumming while they spin around in circles.  Drumming while they smile and whirl dangerously close to that brave front row!

After the drummers (bare with me here) we see clown robots, monkeys, snakes, dragons, Michael Jackson dancing robots, laser robots, panda robots (I'm pretty sure this is what Hashtag the Panda does when he isn't working on the Tonight Show), and even cow robots!  I'm not totally sure I can explain to you all that went on.  There seemed to be some sort of storyline to the ⥀show⥁.  During the second act (yes, darn it!  This is a ⭆show⭅!  There are three acts!)  The first is full of music and fun robots.  The second is full of poor, Earthly animals who seem to be overpowered by the greedy robots out to destroy them and their world.  So, the animals fight back.  Hashtag Panda does a wonderful job dancing as the other animals fight to save the world!  I'm not going to tell you how the story ends...I can't ruin something as magical as this!  You have to go and experience this 🔺show🔻 on your own!

There's Hashtag!  It's Hashtag!  And, he's riding a crazy ... cow?

There was quite a battle in the middle of the ⍈show⍇ !  Fire bursting from robots.  Girl warriors battling to the death.  It was...awesome (you have to sing that...did you sing 'awesome'...go back, start the sentence over and sing the word awweeessooommmmeee)!!!!  

Kris and I laughed through this entire thing!  I'm not sure I've laughed this much in a long time!  The Japanese couple beside us kept laughing with us and when the ꧓show꧓ ended they told us that they liked sitting next to us because we knew how to have fun.  How can you not have fun when there are ROBOTS battling giant SNAKES three feet from your seat?!  

We ended the show with lasers.  Not just from the robots, but...

Also from us!  

We went to a pretty early show.  I think it was the earliest show of the day, maybe 5, I can't remember.  This is billed as a family show.  It wasn't violent or even risqué, so I can see where families could bring their kids.  Mine wouldn't have lasted through the loudness of the first drum beat.  Friends of ours went a few weeks ahead of us and talked about the Japanese Salarymen across the room from them dancing and waving their lights and having such a good time.  We didn't have that much energy for our fact, it looked like some were sleeping.  Some of the kids had headphones on to drown out the sound.  Our group of four, and the Japanese couple next to us, had the most energy in the entire room.  So. Much. Fun!!!!!!!

I mean, how can you not giggle at a rubber headed horse wearing a cowboy hat and riding on top of a robot?

Our evening didn't end there, folks.  No way!  We had a big sister in town who was so excited to hang out with her siblings, so we took the chance to make a day and night of it!  

Up next was Kirin City in Shinjuku.  We walked in and were able to get seats at the bar right away, which surprised me.  After giving the menu a quick look over we all ordered Kirin beer.  I'm not much of a beer drinker...ok, I can probably count the number of beers I've had since I've turned 21 on one hand.  But, this beer was amazing!!!  I guess it should be a hint that you're going to get a good beer when there are directions for ordering as well as detailed descriptions about how and why the bartender does it the way she does.  Speaking of bartender....she was incredibly sweet.  She knew enough English that she could chat with us about what we were doing, what we were ordering and where we were from.  
In case you ever need to order in Japanese :)

"First, feast your eyes
on the thick foam."

A few illuminations on the way back to the train station.  I'm pretty sure this was supposed to be Mount Fuji.

And....the last shot of the night...probably very near the last sane thought of the we chug our Chu-Hai's on the train.