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Is Greek food popular in Japan? 2006/3/9 00:44
Hello everybody. I am just thinking of opening a Greek restaurant in Japan. Is it a good idea? I understand that Greek cuisine might not be so popular in Japan, but my girlfriend keeps saying that Greek-mediterranean cuisine is getting more and more popular in Japan. What do you think? Thank you for your attention.
by Girishajin  

A few 2006/3/9 19:24
There are a few Greek restaurants in Tokyo (trying doing a search for ''greek'' on this page:
http://www.bento.com/tokyofood.html) but I don't think Greek food is very well known compared to other European cuisines - there are countless French and Italian restaurants, and quite a lot of Spanish and German ones.

The restaurant market in Japan is very competitive - new restaurants open every day, and many of them don't survive the first year, so you would have to have a very clear business plan and money to invest.
by tokyoite rate this post as useful

Arigato. 2006/3/9 21:33
Thank you for your information, my friend. As, i thought, Greek food is not widely popular in Japan. I will rethink about my decision. If i finally decide to open a Greek restaurant, i will do the best i can to make it nice and clean, so it will be able for Japanese people to enjoy the wonderful Greek cuisine.
by Girishajin rate this post as useful

.... 2006/3/11 09:20
Never seen any retaurant specialize in Greek dish. How are they different than other foods?
by cc rate this post as useful

Girisharyouri 2006/3/11 16:03
Well, Greek cuisine has the reputation of a very tasty and healthy cuisine. I think that people from USA or European countries know only 'suvlaki', Greek salad, Musakas and...thats it. This is absolutely wrong...every region in Greece has its own specialities and tradition of food. I can cook specialities from a small island in Aegean sea which has the same square miles like 'O-shima' near Izu Hanto. However, this small island has hundreds of specialities which are unique and i can say that they are very tasty. Moreover, a basic ingredient for most of the specialities is pure olive oil, something very healthy which can help with problems in the heart and so on. Finally, i have to say that Greece has a history of Greek cuisine of 3000+ years old, since some of the specialities that Homer and Hesiod describes, exist in the Greek countryside on the same form. Specialities which Socrates, Platon and other philosophers had eaten, were described in Platon's Symposium and we can know EXACTLY what those men ate. This is something very fascinating, i think. To sum up, i think that Greek cuisine is very unique and i believe that it would be a great experience for Japanese people to try it, in its origin form! Especially, if you add some live Greek music from Aegean sea...i think that every Japanese would like to come and dance in the rythm of 'syrtaki' and 'balos'. ^-^
by Girishajin rate this post as useful

info 2006/3/11 17:58
hi i will like to have some more info about opening a greek restaurant in japan i am french living in the greek "cuisine" for over 25 years now managing a hotel in santorini , but ready to move to japan
by jean marc rate this post as useful

umm..... 2006/3/12 01:23
I like those grilled or seared eggplant over a salad tossed with olive oil and vinegar dressing, is that Greek?
by cc rate this post as useful

Greek salad 2006/3/12 14:14
Yes, this is one of the types of the Greek salad. However, you should try the original Greek salad (Horiatiki). This is much more tasty and healthy. Moreover, it is one of the most popular Greek foods.
by Girishajin rate this post as useful

Souvlaki desu yo!! 2006/3/16 21:35
Yes, do it now preferably in Osaka, preferably serving souvlaki's after a big night out. Great idea, will back you to the hilt. Patron No.1
by souva's on lygon rate this post as useful

Souvlaki in Japan? 2006/3/17 00:38
Haha, i dont know if souvlaki would be popular in Japan. Indeed, souvlaki is very popular among tourists who visit Greece, but in the land of the rising sun..it's a different story. I was thinking something like healthier cuisine based in olive oil. However, since souvlaki is the most popular food in Greece and it is easily cooked, i might add it in the menu. Hmm...now, i am thinking of the place where i can open the restaurant. Perhaps, it would be better to open it in countryside and not in a big city like Tokyo. Restaurants in Tokyo dont survive easily, but i am sure it would be very popular among young couples. My friends can play Greek music and a restaurant with live music is very popular among young couples, i think.
by Girishajin rate this post as useful

. 2006/3/20 01:25

When I was working in Japan (Tokyo), I tried to look for Greek restaurant to bring my friends to. Didn't go out of my way to find one, but definitely none popped up in magazines as much as French and Italians did.

There is practically a French and Italian restaurant every 2nd suburb in Tokyo.... but never seen a Greek one.

I PERSONALLY think, it is possible that Japanese taste buds might not be able to enjoy Greek food to the full. Look, I love Soulakis, Musakas, Homus Dips and bread, Saganakis, White Baits, Prawn Saganakis, Meat Platters, all kinds of greek salads with a bit of fetta chucked in.... Its too bold?

But Japanese tasters want really delicate food. Even the Italian meals you eat in Japan are completely changed from what they are used to be.

And Spanish food in Japan are very toned down there as well, less spices, less flavours, etc,. Or Mexican food in that respect.

I like the idea of the Music and Dances that you proposed. With the food, I think it will succeed - but you got to plan carefully to cater for Japanese taste. And lots of wine and ouzos will help too :D

by Rouge rate this post as useful

Thanks again. 2006/3/21 06:00
Thank you, my friend for your useful advice. As you said, Japanese tastes are surely different than Greeks. Greek modern cuisine is mainly come from the cuisine of Middle east. However, i can tell you that there are many delicate foods in Greek cuisine too. These foods might not be widely popular like the ones you said but they are surely very healthy and delicate. Dont forget that the basic ingredient for these foods is pure olive oil. (now you know why the people in the mountainous villages of Crete live more than 90 or even 100 years old). How about the place in which i should open the restaurant? I have a lot of money to invest but i dont know where should i open it? Is it better in big cities like Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka or in the Japanese countryside?
by Girishajin rate this post as useful

.. 2006/3/25 01:03
Sounds great - I'm sure there are some more subtle dishes out of Greece too :)

I think taste you can think about. Also plating and decoration of food is very important in Japan. The Italian food in Japan are plated BETTER than dishes in Italy.

French food well they're always presented well, but I think French food in Japan is lighter than French French food too, especially the provincial stuff.

As to where you open it, I'm not Japanese so I can't help you.

I guess, either Kyushuu or Tokyo will be good.

In Kyushuu, I find a lot of people actually go out and spend their money on food. It is just the right city to do it in in my personal opinion (it might be wrong).
It only has a few major streets, so its pretty concentrated, but people there are 'classy'. It is kind of like Melbourne of Australia.

Tokyo, more people, but more competition (hard to stand out from every restaurant?). But it should succeed, as long as the food is good. But then again, it will be judged against other international cuisines, of which Tokyo has the best of them. You figure it out! and rent and set up cost, might be expensive?

Osaka? I don't like the vibe of Osaka personally. It might be good or might not be?

Nagoya is boring city, the whole place sucks (again in my opinion) that's why I don't think it will be good there.

Kyoto - I think French goes with Kyoto, but Kyoto is very traditional so if you bring new stuff there, not sure if it will prove a hit? I think Kyoto is you might succeed very well or you might be doomed. Can go both ways?

I think in Kobe, people will go out and spend lots of money on shopping and food too, but I don't know the place that well. Kobe might be good... especially if it is near hot springs?

I don't really know anything, sorry, everything on here is my personal opinion haha.

Hopefully some Japanese person can answer this for you!

by Rouge rate this post as useful

Thank you. 2006/3/27 19:26
Thank you again, my friend. Hmm...so, you think that the best place for a Greek restaurant is in a big city. Perhaps, you are right. As i know, Kobe is an international city with lots of restaurants with foreign cuisine, especially, Indian and Chinese. So, perhaps, it is a good place for a Greek restaurant. I will visit Japan next year, search for Greek restaurants and ask the owners or people living in Japan. I should also visit the restaurants in Kobe (if i finally decide to open it there), and check their quality, cuisine and so on. Thanks for your advice!
by Girishajin rate this post as useful

Souvlaki 2006/4/21 09:42
Souvlaki would be great to have in Tokyo. It is great food for after the bar.
by Chris rate this post as useful

From Greece 2006/4/25 00:06
Now, here's a Greek trying to answer. Of course I can't offer an opinion on whether Japenese restaurant-goers will enjoy Greek food, but I can assure you that most of the Japenese tourists in Greece do like Greek dishes, though they rarely have the chance to taste real traditional Greek recipes of the non-commercial, non-intended-for-tourist-consumption cooking. Not all Greek cuisine is heavily spiced and, yes, you're right about it being healthy as it is based on olive-oil and fresh vegetables.
by georgia rate this post as useful

hello from Thessaloniki-Greece 2006/4/28 21:53
its great hearing about a Greek restaurant in Tokyo.I have been in Japan before 15 years and i was really impressd from Japanese people, civilisation and cuisine of corse!!!
by Michael rate this post as useful

good idea but wit ha few buts 2006/5/4 17:39
Hi.. I am Greek-Japanese, visinting Japan couples of times a year. There are only 2 Greek restaurants in Tokyo at the moment. I havent visited non (cause when in Japan I eat anything but Greek food :p) but my Japanese firneds always tell me that they d interested i a fun Greek restaurant..

I dont agree wit hthe idea of the restaurant being very "traditional", with Parthenon copies etc... I d like to see a funky - hip restaurnt that would attarcted OLs and young salarymen. those who have money to spent, that is.

You could have the "popular" dishes , except a bit Japan-ized..

However, I am sure u know is deadly expensive to import "pita", feta and all from Greece... its an expensive project and u will need to spent A LOT on adevrtising..

Which ever yur desicion, good luck!
by maeku rate this post as useful

No-Uzo 2006/5/5 12:33
Can't find any Uzo in the whole country if that says anything.

by Jupiter Rising rate this post as useful

import food 2006/5/7 14:29
you could import feta and pita made be Greeks living in Australia or New Zealand. Lower freight costs?
by feta head rate this post as useful

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