Ok, we have a crazy attraction here. The Samurai Restaurant in Shinjuku (not to be confused with the Samurai Rock Restaurant located in Akihabara) serves up flashy martial arts theatrics along with your meal—giving you a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For similar reasons, it is becoming one of Tokyo’s hottest attractions.

But what if we told you it’s not a new attraction? In fact, it has been around for many years, just with a different name. Read on to learn what we mean—plus where to find cheap Samurai Restaurant tickets! (Spoiler: It’s not their official website).

What is the Samurai Restaurant?

Don’t be fooled by the name: the Samurai Restaurant in Shinjuku is not actually a restaurant. It’s a 2-hour experience where you enjoy the thrill of a flashy martial arts and acrobatics show. And if you’re hungry, you can have a simple meal to go along with it.

Where is the Samurai Restaurant Located?

The Samurai Restaurant is situated in the red-light district of Kabukicho, in Shinjuku. The show itself is suitable for people over 13 years of age (except there are a few cheeky curse words). But because it is part of an adult entertainment establishment called GiraGiraGirls—it is ranked as an 18+ affair. 

Entrance of Samurai Restaurant show in Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo
The entrance of the Samurai Restaurant is hard to miss and still shows “GiraGiraGirls” (summer 2023)

What to Expect at the Samurai Restaurant Tokyo

At the Samurai Restaurant, you can expect a lively—hear “crazy”—experience giving you adrenaline rushes throughout! Quirky costumes, choreographed fight scenes, skilled dancers, and entertaining dialogue just begin to explain the 2-hour-long experience. It’s quite similar to what was earlier famous as the Robot Restaurant, except with lesser… robots.

The sensory experience, with LED lights, energetic dances, live singing, and swordplay, is sometimes called over-the-top. But I’d call it so the good way; the energy during the show will have you feeling the youngest you’ve been!

Performers on the scene of Samurai Restaurant show in Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Costume selection is on another level:)

The show is split into three ‘stories’, with two breaks of 15 minutes in between. While you can have a bathroom break during this time (I actually recommend you to have a bathroom break, as the throne room is as flashy as the rest of the establishment and with reflecting golden walls so that you can, well… look at yourself while doing your business), be sure to rush back and enjoy the lively interval demonstrations, too.

During the show, you will be seated on stools and booths in front of the stage. You’ll be encouraged to stay on your spot during the performance—if you’re immersed in the experience, you wouldn’t wanna move anyway.

What are the Show Timings?

The timings are 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. throughout the week, except Thursday and Sunday when it is closed. You get to sit back and enjoy some entertainment until the real theatrics start at 2:30 p.m. The show ends a little before 5, but you can stick around to enjoy a drink or check out souvenirs.

Food and Drinks at the Samurai Restaurant

You’re not coming here for a Michelin-starred meal, but of course, you’ll still get something to munch on during the show. Your ticket originally includes either a bento meal or a set of two drinks. The bento has options to choose from: steak, sushi, appetizer, ramen, or udon noodles.

And to my surprise, the food was actually decent. Portions might be a bit small, but it’s the middle of the afternoon anyway so I doubt you’ll be really hungry.

Ramen food at Samurai Restaurant show in Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Surprisingly, these ramen were pretty good

The drinks include a range of alcohol (yes, you can also call this place the Samurai Bar) as well as soft drinks. Honestly, if you like drinking I’d recommend going for it. This show is pretty crazy, the flashes and loud music make it a great place to get tipsy. Plus you’ll be out in Kabukicho in Shinjuku by around 5 p.m. Sounds to me like the perfect occasion to head to a nearby bar and keep the night going until early morning.

You can also choose to pay separately for snacks from their English-language menu. Tortilla chips and ramen are crowd favorites. And if you’re vegetarian—they have popcorn and mochi on their menu.

However, note that you’d need to book your ticket at least one day earlier to choose a bento. If you book late, you can choose from one of: ramen, udon, or a pair of drinks.

How to Find Cheap Tickets for the Samurai Restaurant

Looking for a Samurai Restaurant Tokyo reservation? You may consider booking tickets on their official website and paying at the door—but hold up! You can find cheaper tickets when using a booking platform. So, skip the official website’s 10,000 JPY price tag and head to Rakuten Travel Experiences for robot restaurant Tokyo discount tickets priced at 8,900 JPY. That’s 11% OFF, and that’s definitely welcome.

Prices are sometimes discounted on their official website, too. However, the website is a little confusing to use—well, especially for English-speaking people. So, Rakuten Travel Experiences not only saves money, but also makes the booking process simpler.

For now, Samurai Restaurant works exclusively with Rakuten Travel Experiences to distribute tickets, so online tickets are not available anywhere else!

But… What Happened to the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku?

Ok, here comes the story time. You might have heard about Tokyo’s “Robot Restaurant”. It also went by the unofficial names Robot Cafe, Robot Bar, Robot Show, you name it. This was one of the most popular attractions in Tokyo and even Japan. But the clientele was almost exclusively international tourists.

So it won’t surprise you that soon after COVID-19 started and Japan closed its border to foreign visitors, the establishment closed down indefinitely.

Well, indefinitely until the managing company (the same people managing GiraGiraGirls) decided to re-launch the show in June 2023, keeping the name Robot Restaurant, but using a scene on a different floor of the same building where Robot Restaurant was. New show, new performers, a few new machines, but the same vibe.

And here is the funny part. After some successful pre-shows with the press and business partners, on the day of the opening to the public… one of the central mechanical pieces of the scene broke down.

And Robot Restaurant had to once again close its doors for repair. But they actually used this time to change the show again and re-brand it as “Samurai Restaurant”, which they reopened in October 2023.

Things To Do Around After The Samurai Restaurant

After a crazy ride at the Samurai Restaurant, you’ll probably be left hanging for some party time. The good news is, you’re in the perfect area for this. It is filled with bars, izakaya, attractions, and other naughty establishments (we’re in Kabukicho after all, the red-light district of Tokyo).

Beyond the naughty connotations of Kabukicho, there are plenty of great nearby places to visit to after the Samurai Restaurant. You can check out the newly built Kabukicho Tower, enjoy a drink at the famous Golden Gai district, or try your luck at a Pachinko parlor to stay in the flashy and noisy theme. And if you’re a shopaholic, Don Quijote is where to head. So, once you’re done with your show at the Samurai Restaurant Tokyo… you know where to head next! (And next, and next.)

Final Thoughts

I went two times to Samurai Restaurant: the first time before COVID-19 when it was still a Robot Restaurant, and a second time after its reopening in 2023. And I have to say, I had a blast each time. This might not be the most family-friendly place – although kids and teenagers would probably enjoy all the craziness – and anyway it’s at the moment strictly for over 18s due to the GiraGiraGirls bar, but it’s a must-visit for those who want to taste a bit of this WTF Tokyo vibe you’ve heard so much about.

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