Published On: Mon, Oct 1st, 2018

Restaurant Dining Tips: Eating Japanese in Japan

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Visitors to Japan will find it extremely difficult to avoid visiting at least a few of the specialised restaurants available. Though it may seem daunting to visit new eating establishments, especially when a new language, cuisine and expected etiquette is concerned, travellers to Japan should still endeavour to visit as many of these restaurants as possible in order to enjoy the memorable experiences of Japanese dining.

Restaurant Dining Tips- Eating Japanese in Japan

Restaurant Pricing In Japan

The meal prices in Japan vary greatly depending on the type of restaurant, its location and what diners choose to order. Due to Japan having the ability of being an incredibly expensive place to visit, it is important that travellers take note of meal prices in order to keep a decent hold over the budget.

The most expensive meals will be provided at the Europeanised establishments including restaurants located in hotels or brand-name store malls. On the other hand restaurants that look extremely traditional, but in the upper class sense are often equally as expensive.

Those travelling on a budget or looking for more should visit the smaller, family owned eating locations which serve up extremely good food at only a fraction of the cost. These can be spotted easily as there are often plastic models of the meals displayed in front of the store, the hanging red lanterns and chalkboards with prices displayed are also good signs.

These smaller establishments will often specialise in one particular dish or ingredient cooked in a specific way, making them almost unbeatable in style and technique, therefore the state of the food is of little worry as it is unlikely visitors will be served meals of inferior quality in taste or portion size from the larger chain restaurants.

Another trick to remember when trying to avoid paying top Yen for meals is for travellers to try and have their main meal during lunch rather than dinner. Taking care to avoid the noon and one o’clock rush hour, diners can partake in tasty but much cheaper dishes at lunch than they would be able to at dinner.

Where to Find Restaurants in Japan

Restaurants can often be found on the top floors of department stores, malls or large office blocks. Train stations as well as other shopping locations are also well equipped with places to eat.

There are also many street vendors with tiny food stalls with only two or three seats available for people at one time. These are good places to visit for those who have had too much contact with popular Japanese alcoholic beverages.

Japanese Restaurant Etiquette

Upon entry to a restaurant, diners will be greeted immediately with a shout of “Irrashaimase” meaning welcome, a response is usually unnecessary with a polite nod or smile sufficing nicely. Those who wish to be adventurous can give a greeting in response such as “konnichiwa” meaning good afternoon or “konbanwa” meaning good evening.

Waitresses will usually be available on hand to handle seating arrangements, leading diners to their table almost immediately.

Most restaurants will have western style chairs and tables, though some will have lower tables and provide on which to sit on the floor. A few restaurants will have a mixed seating with a traditional side and western side.

How to Order in Japanese Restaurants

The available plastic models usually present at the front of the store usually provides the simplest way to order, tourists unfamiliar with the Japanese language may simply decide upon the look of a dish and can then easily point it out to the waitress. Another simple way is to order is to choose a set meal. These are called teishoku and are often of good value, containing rice, miso soup a main dish and tea.

The bill is brought to the table as the meal is received or after diners finish eating. Diners in Japan are never expected to leave a tip. Instead, diners can say “gouchisousama deshita” meaning thank you for the meal.

About the Author

- Paul Linus is an eminent online journalist who has been writing news, features and editorials on different websites from across the world for about a decade. He can be contacted at

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