Japan has a slightly different eating atmosphere than some Westerners may be used to. There are some things to make note of and watch out for win dining in Japan. Some of the American chains in Japan have adapted to the cultures more unusual tendencies. Here are just a few things that I have encountered.
1. It is common not to tip the waiter or waitress.
2. McDonald’s is still around and they still have a dollar menu or 100 yen menu. The good thing to note is that at McDonald’s in Japan, the tax is calculated already in the price of the meal. So when you order a 100 yen burger it is actually just 100 yen. which is nice considering the amount of coins you have to carry.
The menu also features some new foods like the teriyaki burger, which is tasty.
3. Izakaya’s or Japanese drinking establishments are very abundant. Drinking is a large part of the culture that I have encountered here. something to watch out for at many Izakaya’s and some restaurants is the snack that they bring you before you order. It is not on the house and can range from 200-400 yen. It will simply be placed in front of you and they will leave without a word and add it to your bill.
4. There are some restaurants and Izakaya’s that offer something called a nomihodai or tabehodai. Nomihodai’s are all you can drink and tabehodai is all you can eat. The prices vary but if you want both then it is somewhere around 1700-3000 yen and lasts either one or two hours. Although you can not have that function and just get a regular meal, if you are with a group then the group that seats together must either all get the buffet or no one orders the buffet.
Sweets Paradis is located in Sakae, Nagoya. for 1700 yen it is an all you can eat spaghetti, cakes and ice cream event. Although it may not be the best quality. There are many different Sweets Paradise establishments located around Japan. Find the best one!
5. Be careful because there are no free refills. Yes, even atMcDonald’s.
6. Pizza is often pricey in Japan especially if you order from Dominoes or pizza hut. If you plan on getting Japanese Pizza, know that while it is tasty, it is small, thin with big crusts and little sauce. Most of the time.
7. Final note, Come to Japan and try Melon Pan. 100 yen for a great snack. They come in many flavors and cream filled.