5 more things in Japan are gone forever

It’s been a difficult time for entertainment as the COVID-19 restrictions and economic slowdown have meant people simply aren’t attending events in the numbers required.

We used to look at attractions that no longer exist, like the Palette Town projects. Still, we wanted to revisit the topic and look at popular events that have disappeared or whose days are numbered. While there is always hope that one day these events and hotspots will come back, but let’s pour one for those unique experiences of Japan long gone.

1. Shinjuku’s Robot Restaurant

One of the must-see events in Tokyo for the sheer madness of his performances. Photo: WikiCommons/ Cory Doctorow

The Robot Cafe used to be one of Tokyo’s must-see events because of the sheer craziness of its performances. Alongside the giant robots that could move and even dance, robotic dinosaurs, sharks, Japanese-style tanks and floats performed alongside ninjas, taiko drummers and metal guitarists, making it seem like a deleted scene from a whole -Neon version of Mad Max: Fury Road.

Unfortunately, writing was on the wall for the company when keen-eyed social media sleuths noticed its signage being removed, and the website followed shortly thereafter. The Robot Restaurant had two things that made it vulnerable to pandemic problems: it had a large cast of non-robot performers in a small space, and it relied on tourists for much of its income.

2. Akihabara’s Gundam Cafe


Photo: WikiCommons/Toru Watanabe

Another popular event for robot fans was the Gundam themed cafes, where you could pretend to be Amuro Ray. The café in Tokyo was particularly distinguished by its exclusive theme menu, theme nights and daily shows.

The highlight of the show was a building-sized Gundam robot that walked out in front of stunned fans, took a knee, and then struck a power pose. While the robot showed the best of Japanese ingenuity, its need for constant maintenance and coronavirus-related issues meant the entire chain ended after an initial respite in 2023.

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