5 Fascinating Places for Dinner and a Show in Tokyo

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5 Fascinating Places for Dinner and a Show in Tokyo

Dinner theater may be coming back in style, as this timeless form of entertainment has been experiencing a surge in popularity since the early 2000s. Unlike movies or television, stage dramas, dances and concerts are performed in a single take - no stunt doubles, special effects or director's cuts. Tokyo dinner theater is an excellent way to spend an evening with friends or family, try out new local cuisines and learn about traditional Japanese culture, modern pop culture and performing arts. Indulge in dinner and a show at one of these top theaters in Tokyo.

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5 Fascinating Places for Dinner and a Show in Tokyo

Kaguwa, Roppongi

Kaguwa is a blend of traditional Japanese and modern dance, using stories from pop culture as well as tales of local myths and legends. Since the actors tell their stories through music and dance, it's easy for anyone to follow along and understand. Featuring stories of elegant courtesans and vengeful lovers, powerful gods and almighty goddesses, Kaguwa is both humorous and touching, leaving the audience enraptured from start to end.

It's often called 'cabaret', and although some scenes may be considered suggestive, it's entirely tasteful and suitable for couples, adult families and friends of both genders to enjoy. Rates start at 7,000 yen for all-you-can-drink and snack plans, with dinner buffets adding an extra 8,000 yen.

Robot Restaurant, Shinjuku

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The Robot Restaurant is the quintessential 'wacky Japan' experience and one of the most-visited venues in Shinjuku. Featuring an energetic cast of actors performing under bright neon lights, dancing to thumping techno and of course, robots, the show is over-the-top in every possible way, and that's why people love it. The venue does an excellent job with costumes, lighting and setting the stages to keep the audience engaged, entertained and mind-boggled. The shows range from epic robot battles to music and drumming performances based on traditional Japanese taiko and festival floats. A ticket to the show and a small boxed meal is 10,000 yen (about 100 USD).

Suigian, Nihonbashi

One of Tokyo's newest dinner theaters, Suigian is a sleek, stylish theater and downtown lounge in Nihombashi, not far from Tokyo Station. Suigian breathes new life into some of Japan's oldest performing arts, including Noh, Kyogen and kabuki, as well as musical performances and dances based on traditional styles.

The banquets feature authentic local cuisines based on dishes from the Edo, Meiji and Taisho periods like conger eel rice and Edo-style sushi catered by upscale restaurants in the Nihombashi area. Basic theater seating starts 5,000 yen per person, plus one compulsory drink and meals are extra. After 8:30 PM, Suigian switches operates as an evening lounge and the cover charge is just 1,000 yen.

Kabuki-za, Ginza

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A type of stage drama featuring elaborate moving sets, dramatic makeup and colorful costumes, kabuki is possibly Japan's best known performing art. The Kabuki-za theater is Tokyo's premier kabuki theater, and the impressive five-story structure features a rooftop garden, multiple shops selling souvenirs and sweets as well as bars, restaurants, cafes and multiple concession stands. All specialize in traditional Japanese fare and recommend making reservations in advance to enjoy a quick bite during intermission. Special boxed meals can also be pre-ordered and enjoyed in your seat during the break. Kabuki-za's basic seat tickets start as low as 4,000 yen each.

Kawaii Monster Cafe, Harajuku

Kawaii Monster Cafe is inspired by the crazy fashions and offbeat trends of Harajuku, a busy commercial district known for its bizarre clothing, stereotypical 'kawaii' souvenirs and eye-catching colors at every turn.

The cafe is split into four themed sections, including the Mushroom Disco, pop art and dessert-themed Mel-Tea Room, the neon blue Bar Experiment and Milk Stand, a 'crazy baby' room featuring birthday cake tables and baby bottle light fixtures. At the center is the Sweets Go Round, a working carousel where the 'Monster Girls' perform the hourly show and pose for photos with the audience.

Dinner service starts at 6:00 PM and features more adult-orientated stage shows. Entry is just 500 yen, or 2,000 yen on Thursdays for Burlesque Night.

In Conclusion

Classy and sophisticated, dinner theater is the perfect way to add a little luxury to the evening. Tokyo's dinner theater performances range from lengthy but meaningful traditional kabuki dramas to colorful tributes to the city's internationally famous pop culture scene. For a chance to experience Japanese culture and traditional cuisine while enjoying a show, these dinner theaters fit the bill.