1) How frequently do you go out for dinner?
everyday 7.0%
every other day 4.2%
1-2 per week 30.0%
every other week 24.8%
once per month 21.5%
every other month 6.0%
1-5 per year 5.3%
less than once per year 1.2%

2) With whom do you usually dine out?
friends 59.8%
family 44.4%
alone 19.5%
co-workers 13.4%

3) In what type of restaurant(s) do you usually dine out?
family 47.8%
izakaya 43.5%
italian 32.9%
fast food 29.7%
korean bbq 29.3%
noodle 26.8%
chinese 24.1%
sushi 20.5%
south asian 12.8%
okonomiyaki 10.0%
donburi 10.0%
other western 7.8%
yakitori 6.8%
french 4.6%
kaiseki 3.7%
tempura 2.0%
food stand 1.6%

4) How much do you usually spend per person?
-500 Yen 0.5%
500-999 Yen 21.4%
1000-1999 Yen 34.8%
2000-2999 Yen 16.6%
3000-3999 Yen 15.2%
4000-4999 Yen 6.8%
5000-5999 Yen 2.4%
6000-7999 Yen 1.0%
8000-10000 Yen 0.9%
10000+ Yen 0.5%
In August 2001, we sent questionnaires to about 5700 people who were registered in the category of Japan of our pen pal service, and who indicated that they are willing to participate in surveys. We received 726 valid responses from Japanese people who live in Japan. As always, about 75% of the respondents were between 20 and 40 years old, i.e. this survey is in no way representative for the whole Japanese population. However, it shows the trends among the younger Japanese generations.

The survey results show that a majority of 55 percent go out for dinner between two and eight times per month. About 10 percent dine out even more frequently, especially men: 18 percent of male survey participants indicated to go out for dinner three times or more per week. Among women, only 4 percent indicated to dine out equally often. On the other hand, people dining out less than once per month make up 12 percent.

About six out of ten survey participants responded to usually dine out with friends. 44 percent indicated to usually dine out with the family and 13 percent with co-workers. Furthermore, 31 percent of men responded to usually go out alone, compared to only 8 percent of women giving the same answer.

Next we wanted to find out which types of restaurants are most popular for dinner. Family restaurants (48%) and izakaya, (44%), two types of restaurants offering wide varieties of dishes, lead the ranking list clearly. The results also show that the popularity of izakaya, drinking places that also offer various Japanese style dishes, is rising with age while the one of family restaurants is dropping. Following in the popularity list are Italian (33%), fast food (30%), Korean BBQ (30%), noodle (27%), Chinese (24%) and sushi (21%) restaurants. Italian restaurants are particularly popular among women (45% - compared to only 21% among men). Similarly, South East Asian restaurants and fast food restaurants are clearly more popular among women than men while the opposite case is true for donburi and noodle restaurants.

Finally, we calculated that 2275 Yen are in average spent per dinner and person, with a majority of 60 percent of survey respondents spending between 500 and 2000 Yen per dinner and person.