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What sites do locals use to rate restaurants? 2017/10/15 15:23
Hi all,

I've had a quick search online and it looks like Tabelog, Tripadvisor & Yelp are used by locals to rate restaurants (source: https://en.kikou.io/entries/128)

Are there any locals that may know if this is a correct view and which is the most popular?

I've generally used Tripadvisor for travelling in the past but I get the feeling that some places are quite 'touristy' and really prefer to eat like a local.

Prefer there to be a website / app in English but if there is some sort of location-based functionality, I can probably deal with it too!

Thanks
by thedunnyman  

Re: What sites do locals use to rate restaurants? 2017/10/15 19:02
Most Japanese use tabelog. Tripadvisor is more for foreigners therefore touristy. Sometimes cities or prefectures have their own local restaurant magazines where you can find all kinds of good restaurants.
by restaurant (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What sites do locals use to rate restaurants? 2017/10/15 19:16
Oh yeah and I forgot to mention another Japanese restaurant rating website is hotpepper.jp
by restaurant (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What sites do locals use to rate restaurants? 2017/10/15 22:44
I'm a Japanese resident, but I've never heard of a local actually reading the Japanese versions of Tripadvisor or Yelp to find out more about restaurants in Japan. If one were to use a review site, it would be Tabelog or Gurunavi. Maybe younger people tend to use Hotpepper more.

But the media tells us that many of the reviews can be fake, and personally I believe that. For example, I would go to a restaurant with good reviews, and end up seeing that the quality is terrible, or vice versa.

Also, there are many restaurants that do not wish to have themselves registered on review sites, and speaking from experience, those are the restaurants that I can really recommend to close friends. Additionally, most restaurants I've been to aren't listed on Tripadvisor (although I rarely check Yelp). Maybe they only list ones that request to be listed.

In any case, logically speaking, the more popular a restaurant becomes the more difficult it becomes to maintain its quality for the many customers that keep coming. For that reason, I avoid restaurants that have just been on TV (I wait a while until things cool down). In other words, restaurants that are commercial enough to be tourist-y can manage the crowd of customers they get.

If you "really prefer to eat like a local", ask recommendations to actual people such as your hotel clerk, your tour guide, or best, a friend who actually dine in Japan regularly.

But one good thing about review sites is that once you find a reviewer with same taste as you, you can follow that reviewer's reviews to find more along that line. Note, however, that the stars at the top is the "average". I try to read reviews by those who gave worst stars. If what that reviewer finds bad is not a problem for me, then I look at the good reviews so that I'll know what to expect before trying that place.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: What sites do locals use to rate restaurants? 2017/10/16 12:12
Tripadvisor reviews are better than nothing, but often wildly inconsistent. Like with Amazon.com reviews, if the overwhelming reviews are positive, then I would tend to give a lot less weight to the negative ones.
by Susan (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What sites do locals use to rate restaurants? 2017/10/16 12:56
@Susan Japanese don't tend to use Tripadvisor (or yelp) the few that do tend to write about how they brought their foreign clients or foreign guest friends to a cheesy tourist restaurant. Japanese use tabelog, gurunavi and hotpepper even though ratings/reviews might not always be accurate they are still a better source than Tripadvisor and yelp.
by Ann (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: What sites do locals use to rate restaurants? 2017/10/17 07:56
I use tabelog sometimes, but also consult gurunavi and hotpepper websites for other reasons so I know they are around. I have some friends that also reference Tablelog quite a bit.

Tripadvisor you either request to be listed or someone puts the property on their site. and the results can be quite weird. As an example, one of the small towns I go to in Nagano prefecture has a particular style of soba noodle and there is one restaurant listed on both TA on Google maps. Guess which restaurant has a two hour queue? The other restaurants I have been to in that small town have also had great food/service but don't have the tourist queues because they were not listed and people were over-reliant on the review sites that had English language reviews.

(and I do put some reviews onto TA, but not all the places I go - just a few)
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

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