Where and what to eat today? A guide of restaurants in Japan - Waku Waku

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Where and what to eat today? A guide of restaurants in Japan


Where and what to eat today? A guide of restaurants in Japan

When you are in Japan for the purpose of travel, work or study, what type of meals would you like to have? In this article, we are going to introduce some main types of restaurant and food in Japan as well as in which situations you can go to these places.

Waku Waku

Waku Waku

Published on 30 Jun 2020, 12:00

Japan has a rich variety of restaurants including Japanese, European, Asian, African, Middle-Eastern,...which covers all over the world. Also it has different styles of restaurant, including their own "Izakaya (Japanese style bar)" style where you can enjoy dishes and drinking together.

For Japanese people and foreigners who have been living in Japan for a long time would choose a restaurant which goes well with their emotions or needs as when they want to "Enjoy drinking with friends or sweetheart" or "Have a simple meal because they have only a limited amount of time" on a daily basis.

Do you agree that "having a meal" is important in your everyday life, so you want to choose the right one?

What we are introducing here is a simple guide of different styles of restaurants and foods. We would be pleased if it could be useful for you when you have a meal in Japan.

1. Fast food restaurant

Beef Donburi is a kind of fast food in Japan
Beef Donburi is a kind of fast food in Japan

It may not need to explain what "fast food" is here as it is well-known category, a lot of people choose to have fast food worldwide. Thus, it comes as no surprise that there are also a great number of fast food outlets in Japan.

Fast food outlets in Japan serve its national dishes as Sushi, Donburi (Japanese rice bowl), Soba, Ramen and so on. Though you are in a rush or have no time, fast food is an option for you to have your meals.

Sometimes they even don't set chairs, so you have to do "stand-up-meals". You will be surprised how "fast" food restaurants they are, as customers come, eat and leave at the fastest pace. These are normally situated next to or in the station so that a lot of business man who are in hurry use them.

It is common to find a menu with illustrative pictures in fast food restaurants so those who do not know Japanese can find it easy to use. Also, the price is relatively affordable.

A fast food restaurant which serves
A fast food restaurant which serves "standing" Soba

If you go to Japan, the Japanese fast food restaurants can be one of your try. You will find a lot of Japanese fast food lovers there too.

Main categories:

  • Rotation sushi
  • Donburi
  • Udon, Soba, Ramen (Some are standing-up-eating style)

Fast food is recommend when:

  • You want to have simple and easy meals
  • You dine by yourself
  • You are in rush

2. Family restaurant

Hamburg steak dish at Family restaurant
Hamburg steak dish at Family restaurant

Family restaurants are mostly located in urban areas and suburbs of Japan. As its name suggests, "Family restaurant" refers to a dining place for "family" gatherings but it is also suitable for friends or couples. The big Family restaurant signboard may easily catch your eyes and there will be a large parking lot if you go along the road.

Family restaurants offer a variety of cuisines, namely Japanese food, Western food as Hamburg steak, Steak, Pasta, Pizza or Chinese food.

Furthermore, every restaurant with a wide choice of menu is considered as one of the features of the family restaurants. You will be amazed only by opening the menu which displays a great number of stunningly attractive pictures of meals, desserts as cake and ice-cream as well as juices and alcoholic drinks as beer or wine. There are so many things so that you may not be able to make up your mind about what to order soon.

A Family restaurant which seats are big and comfortable to spend long time
A Family restaurant which seats are big and comfortable to spend long time

Almost all family restaurants have an area called "Drink bar". By paying a fixed price, you can refill your soft drinks as juice or coffee as many times as you want. For that reason, families, friends and couples can spend time together longer.

Main categories:

  • Japanese cuisine
  • Western cuisine
  • Chinese cuisine

Family restaurant is recommended when:

  • You want to enjoy a meal with a group of people as friends and families
  • You want to enjoy various of meals

3. Specialty restaurant

A Sushi restaurant which the chef makes Sushi for you at the counter
A Sushi restaurant which the chef makes Sushi for you at the counter

Finally, a specialty restaurant which specializes in something or a particular dish is a place you should not miss when in Japan.

Some restaurants focus on the flavor and serve only one dish while some others are very particular about the atmosphere.

There are also specialty restaurants carrying the same taste of their dishes for hundreds of years thanks to the inheritance of cooking recipes handed down through generations. Finding out your favourite restaurant may be one of your pleasure.

The typical Japanese specialty restaurants serves dishes from national dishes such as Tempura, eel and Soba etc., to the signature dishes of the region.

A restaurant specializing in ramen
A restaurant specializing in ramen

Speciality restaurants sometimes would carry a long history and tend to be loyal for long-time regular customers. So they sometimes even refuse the customer who visits for the first time. You may find that the restaurants looks posh or unfriendly to enter as first comer.

But do not hesitate to visit to experience such special tastes at these particular places, if you can. You will definitely have extraordinary delicious, delectable experience there.

Researching or checking some reputations of the restaurant would be helpful for your first visiting. They can be very popular, it may be better to reserve the seats in advance. The price tends to be higher than other categories.

Main categories:

  • Tempura
  • Sushi (at the counter)
  • Soba, etc.

(There are many kinds of speciality restaurant, so not only the above but all meals are available if you could find!)

The specialty restaurant is recommended:

  • you want to savour particular taste of the restaurant
  • you dine by yourself
  • you have meals with small group (restaurants are usually small-sized)
Enjoy every meals in Japan!
Enjoy every meals in Japan!

As there is a remarkably wide diversity of restaurants in Japan, all types of restaurants which have been introduced above are not the whole story. If you are not familiar with Japan and want to try casually, one of the way is to start with fast food or Family restaurant.

Let’s enjoy Japan by searching for your favourite restaurant and food!


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