In Tokyo: The Robot Restaurant

The madness that is The Robot Restaurant.

I had heard of this place and as a solo traveller I didn’t think I’d ever go but I’m starting to realise, never say never. I learned that one of my favourite people was going to be in Japan at the same time and she asked if I want to go to the Robot Restaurant. I said yeah, lets give it a go. I probably wont have the best time but I will be with my besto, all would be fine.PhoebeGill-180403-060When you get into the central area of Shinjuku, the Robot Restaurant is pretty easy to spot, you see it’s neon, it’s in your face and it’s mental. The tickets on the official website cost 8,000 Yen plus tax (Roughly €62 before tax). Please note that the first two rows of seats come at an extra cost or you are randomly allocated seats in the back two rows. If you have a look on Go Voyagin you can get a discount, usually for about 28% off and a drink.  When you are in Japan everything can seem like it costs a lot so any amount of saving is good!

When you arrive at the Robot Restaurant you will have to queue up in different lines, as I choose to pay before hand and I chose seats, we were directed to the middle section and got to check in first. After we got our tickets we went over to the main building and were directed to the bar.

PhoebeGill-180403-025.jpgNow this is where the fun begins. Imagine a long room with plush chairs and a bar, you are probably thinking about some grand, expensive lounge. Oh no! Destroy that idea because you get out of the lift and you are greeted by so many lights it’s as if you stepped into a Las Vegas casino on steroids. Neon bulbs of every colour are the back drop for the bar entertainment. While ordering the wonderfully strong rum and cokes, a Daft Punk type robot backing band and a delightfully energetic woman signing classic hits are on the stage. After a good sing song and a shoulder dance in our gilded chairs it was time to go down to the show. Now bear in mind I was still not sure if I was going to like this show but I was curious to see what was going to happen.

PhoebeGill-180403-079.jpgLittle did I know that within the first 20 seconds I would change my tune. I loved every second. The room is small and it doesn’t look like this show will be very big. I can’t describe what actually happened in the show but’s what I will say it’s there an impressive amount of floor to ceiling robotics, lasers, pyrotechnics and never ending dancing. I think there’s a storyline to the show but to be honest I wasn’t following along, I was too enamoured with the lights and the glow sticks.

You have to go, it’s so much fun. Definitely an activity to do with friends. Have a few drinks and enjoy the madness.

Happy Travels!

In Tokyo: Where Did I Go?

Going from Kyoto to Tokyo was a bit of a shock to the system. I got into Shinjuku station at rush hour, trying to navigate to my hotel after a long day of travel I was ready to check into my hotel and relax. I only had three days to explore which I have just decided is never enough time in Japan, I don’t think a lifetime is enough. I still dream of CoCo Curry. There is so much left to see but it’s a start. Here is what i did in my three days in Tokyo!

Shinjuku

This is the area I stayed in, it’s a really busy, bright area, the Shinjuku station is huge and has so many exits so it’s a little hectic at first but once you get the hang of it you’ll be flying along. PhoebeGill1610272875-1.jpg

Kichijoji

I watch Simon and Martina, they have great taste in food so definitely check out their blog and YouTube because they will give you loads of inspiration on where to eat in Japan. Satou was somewhere I had to go. It is steak house restaurant but there will be a queue down the street for an amazing pork cutlet that is freshly made in front of you. So join the line, the wait will be worth it, you can pick up a whole bag of incredibly delicious crispy pork spheres! PhoebeGill1610272870.jpg

So it’s no secret that I love Studio Ghibli. There are some of my favourite films and in my top three companies in the world. As a teenager the Studio Ghibli Museum seemed like a far off dream but I am a goal oriented gal so I got there. It was a great experience check out my guide to the Ghibli Museum here. PhoebeGill1610272841.jpg

Harajuku

So you have to visit Takeshita Street when you go to Harajuku but to be honest, if you don’t want a crepe or clothes than this might not be the street for you. Now the area behind Takeshita is the main shopping area if you want the big brands. It’s a lot prettier and feels a lot more interesting than the one street. PhoebeGill161029039.jpg

Yogogi Park is a big park in the middle of Tokyo and I definitely wanted to have a walk through. I took the entrance just behind Harajuku station. It is really beautiful and has so many beautiful Torii and shrines. Most special of all is that I got to see some wedding moments. I saw the photographs of a bride and groom. I saw the procession that happens after the ceremony. It was absolutely beautiful and one of my favourite moments in Tokyo.PhoebeGill161029042.jpg

Shibuya

So I was going to explore Shibuya but I got anxiety and decided I would sit with a crappy coffee from Starbucks and watch people on the crossing. You have to see it. PhoebeGill161028026-1

Nakano

I wanted to find gatchapon in Nakano but nothing was open in the shopping arcade but I did get to explore all the shop fronts with lots of figures.

Tiato

So I had to do some shopping for my family. Japanese knives are some of the most beautiful kitchen utensils in the world. The process of it all is so interesting and intricate. Kamata Knife Shop was where I was asked to go. Tiato is the cooking district, if you want any sort of cooking/kitchen thing than go to this area and you will get everything you’ll ever need. PhoebeGill1610292966-1.jpg

Ikebukuro

Ikebukuro is big, tall, bright and has lots of streets. I got lost walking around and around until I found what I was looking for, Sunshine City. The Pokemon Centre is upstairs in the shopping mall and it took me far too long to find but I got there. My 7 year old self was extremely pleased with how much stuff you could buy. Of course I went a bit nuts but would love more original 150 merch.PhoebeGill1610282896.jpg

I don’t think I could talk about Tokyo without mentioning CoCo Curry. Oh my god it is delicious. I recommend the beef based sauce and beef cutlet. There are loads of extra toppings that you could add but as I have no Japanese I just went bog standard. It was amazing. I wish I had a CoCo Curry around me at all times. It’s not elegant or intricate but it is damn tasty! PhoebeGill1610242700.jpg

There are so many things I didn’t do this time around but fret not because I have a funny feeling I will be back soon enough. Till next time Tokyo!

Happy Travels!

In Tokyo: Studio Ghibli Museum

I don’t care for Disneyland. Now I love a Disney movie like the rest of the world but I can’t deal with people in costume and the ‘magic’ of it all. I went to Paris on a school trip and had maybe three hours in the park and although the Tower of Terror was the first and last roller coaster I have been on, I don’t really care if I go on one again, what I do care about is it cost so much to get in, so much to eat and if you wanted to buy anything your wallet cried. As I say, not a big fan. However, there is one company that I adore and will fully endorse with my money. Studio Ghibli has been something I have loved since I was 14 and getting to go to the Ghibli Museum seemed like something I’d never get to see. PhoebeGill161027212I should have had more faith in myself that I’d get there! I had it all planned, I had three days in Tokyo and one of the days was going to be filled with Ghibli. I was so excited. The only snag is that to get tickets you have to be up late at night, agile, have great internet and a steely determination. Ok that sounds a bit severe but at least be prepared to get tickets. As I am from Ireland I only had one option to get my tickets. The Lawson ticket site is a really easy to navigate website. The tickets go on sale the 10th day at 10am (Japan time) for the next month. So on the 10th of April, May tickets go on sale. There are 4 entry times, the person who booked the tickets must be in the group and you need to bring your passport. I know sounds a bit much but it weeds out the reselling of tickets which is great.

Now the website will crash as there are so many people using this site to get tickets but if you refresh like a pro you’ll be fine. Best of all, the tickets only cost ‎¥‎1000, roughly €10. So cheap!! PhoebeGill161027242So this is a wonderful experience so I don’t want to spoil anything for you. You aren’t allowed to take pictures inside the building but outside is fair game. So after entering, there are multiple levels and rooms to explore, two gift shops, a sit down restaurant and a kiosk with quick bites to eat. I went the quick and easy option which tasted great. They are not big portions so if you aren’t planning to go to the sit down cafe, you might want to bring a snack (There is a konbini across from the museum)PhoebeGill161027254I definitely recommend this museum, it was such a lovely experience and I will definitely be back. There is such amazing attention to detail, the outside is as thought of and decorative as the inside. Hayao Miyazaki has to be one of my favourite humans, for the stunning art he creates, his female protagonists and his incredible ideas. Now that is something to celebrate. Arigatou gozaimasu Miyazaki san. PhoebeGill1610272853To get to the Museum, I took the train to Kichijoji and walked, it’s a really pretty walk and will take about 20 minutes.

Happy Travels!