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Restaurant Etiquette 2010/7/9 04:24
For my trip next year I will be travelling alone, and hence will be dining solo throughout the time I am in Japan. When I dine alone here in the US I typically will bring along a book or something to pass the time while I wait for my food to arrive, and was wondering if this would be considered appropriate or not in Japan as well.
by frippscratch  

Restaurant etiquette 2010/7/9 11:36

No problem at all - unless you are going to really high-class places.
by Dave in Saitama (guest) rate this post as useful

no need 2010/7/9 14:25
It is Japanese efficiency that you won't be waiting long for your food at most restaurants. It is usually 5-10 min. or less and you don't have to leave any tips.
The bill comes with the dish and when you are ready, you take it to the casher at the exit and pay. You don't pay at the table. No need for a book(unless you want) and many are solo customers so you won't be out of place being alone.
by amazinga (guest) rate this post as useful

Books and Conversation 2010/7/9 21:16
I'm a Japanese women who eats solo in Japan all the time and a book is a necessity for me. Sure, you don't wait like an hour, but it is the norm to wait for ten or fifteen minutes unless you're at a fast food place. It's also healthier to relax for a while after a meal and your book will be handy there, too.

But keep in mind. Restaurant owners have told me that it was hard to talk to me at first, because I was always reading. You might want to put your book down if you're looking for conversation. You also don't want to miss the window views or the interior of some of the eat-ins!
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

Thanks 2010/7/10 01:21
Thank you all for the responses. Glad to see I won't be considered rude by reading while I wait. I suppose it could even be a conversation starter depending on what I'm reading at the time.

Good to see wait times are relatively short, but even a five minute wait can seem long if there's nothing to do but sit there and try not to look like I'm staring at the other customers, which I imagine would be considered even more rude.

Thanks again.
by frippscratch rate this post as useful

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