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What kind of restaurant would you like to go? 2015/1/22 22:34
I am wondering what foreign travelers who do not speak English would experience when they go to restaurants in Japan. I would like to hear your or your friends' experience in Japan.

- How would you choose a restaurant to eat at? Do you need English menu or pictures in the menu?

- Would you go to a restaurant that has neither an English menu nor pictures in the menu?

- How would you order food at a non-English speaking restaurant? (Where they have no English menu and pictures)

- Have you experienced any trouble?

- Good experience? What do you like about restaurants in Japan?

I would appreciate your comments, answers, or anything else.

Thanks a lot,
Nozomu Tsuchiya
by Panda2015  

Re: What kind of restaurant would you like to go? 2015/1/23 09:09
At first I thought you were non japanese trying to get info for a trip but i'm going to guess you're doing research or you are curious about the japanese experience through a non japanese.

I am going to give you my own experience, as someone that spoke minimal japanese. The only thing I said when I went to restaurants was "this and this, thank you"

Anyways, first night I went to pepper grill in higashi shinjuku. Basically asked for the english menu and pointed with what I said above.

I had problems when I was in kabukicho at a Ramen vending machine resto. I picked according to the picture but I picked two different ramens but what came was identical. Also, the waitress kept asking me something (no idea) and she didn't speak english, I nodded and said ok.

I was recommended to a tempura place in Ginza (3 levels), I asked for the english menu and the donburi with fish dish was not on there. Later did I learn the english menu is limited.

In Hiroshima, I went to an okonomiyaki place, was told they had a lunchtime special for $5, but on the english menu it was $11 and our okonomiyaki was served on a plate as opposed to a grill.

My next trip to Japan, I would learn more japanese and research pllaces before I go so I can get the full experience.
by sillyhead rate this post as useful

Re: What kind of restaurant would you like to go? 2015/1/23 10:39
I've had a couple of experiences when we've been at a restaurant with no pictures on the menu. One didn't have numbers in English on it, so not only did I not know what I was ordering, but I didn't know the price. We were seated before we realised, but in that case (restaurant at the top of the Prince Hotel at Otsu) we pointed at food being served and got it, it was awesome though at $100 per person it was an expensive night for the 4 of us.
It is handy when there is an english menu though the translations are not particularly reliable. Pictures are great. We know enough words to order in a basic restaurant, but anything more extravagant is a problem if there isn't anything we can point at.
One thing we've learned very early is to keep it simple when ordering, not to try asking for any variation. It just seems to stress everyone out.
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What kind of restaurant would you like to go? 2015/1/23 17:12
I go to restaurants with wax replica of their food in the windows, or menus with photos posted outside the restaurant.
by Red frog (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What kind of restaurant would you like to go? 2015/1/24 20:06
It's all good. There are plenty of places with English or picture menus if you need them.
If you're happy to take a step into the unknown, the "point, smile, wait and see what you get" approach can be an extra adventure.
by Winter Visitor (guest) rate this post as useful

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