Japan’s Top 20 Restaurants According to International Visitors
The top 20 restaurants in Japan according to bookings by international visitors have been announced by global restaurant booking website, OpenTable.
The global online restaurant booking website has published a list of the top 20 Japanese restaurants according to number of reservations by international visitors. The ranking is based on a survey of over 1,600 Japanese restaurants listed on the website, and includes a wide variety of cuisines, from Japanese kaiseki ryori (traditional multi-course meal) to American, French and Italian food.
As part of the survey, the results were analysed to find common characteristics of restaurants that were popular with international visitors from two key aspects: “food” and “service”. For the “food” aspect, perhaps unsurprisingly, the common feature of restaurants favoured by international visitors was “food that can only be eaten in Japan”. Restaurants offering meals such as kaiseki ryori, sushi, tempura, yakitori or dishes and ingredients that can only be enjoyed in Japan, such as Kobe beef steak, tended to be more popular. The survey also found that offering wine improved a restaurant’s chances of being highly rated by users.
Owner-chef at Kaikaya, the top-ranked izakaya (Japanese pub) in the Open Table ranking, Mr. Tange, said, “It seems that international visitors are gathering information about restaurants in advance before they come to Japan in search of unique dining experiences that they can only have in Japan. Quite a few people come to our restaurant after reading reviews and comments on booking websites. If we can get them hooked then we can get even international visitors to come back again.”
For the “service” aspect, it was found that providing polite and friendly customer service, English menus and staff who can provide customer service in English, and good views while eating improved restaurants’ ratings. For example, at Kaikaya, which is based in Tokyo’s central Shibuya district, illustrated English-language pamphlets with hand-drawn illustrations by Mr. Tange himself showing the cooking methods of the food served by the restaurant and the best ways to eat each dish are placed at each table.
Meanwhile, at in-house Japanese restaurant Touzan, based inside Kyoto’s Hyatt Regency hotel, the chefs chat with customers across the kitchen counter as they work, explaining the menu in English. Since the restaurant is in-house, multi-lingual tablets are also placed in guest rooms, creating an environment in which it is easy for staying guests to find and order what they want to eat.
Although the majority of the restaurants on OpenTable’s list are based in Tokyo, there are a handful of entries in Kyoto too. In Tokyo, Japan’s most popular restaurants are based in a mix of neighbourhoods that are popular with international visitors and residents alike, such as Shinjuku, Shibuya, Hiro and Roppongi, and upscale neighbourhoods that are well-known for their high-class culinary and other offerings, such as Ginza, Azabu, Aoyama and Daikanyama.
If you’re planning to visit Japan and are in search of a memorable and unique Japanese dining experience from both the point of view of food and service, then you could do much worse than by booking an unforgettable meal at one of these top 20 restaurants in Japan. All of the restaurants on the list can be booked simply and easily via OpenTable's English interface: https://m.opentable.com/
|Eatrip||Organic food||Shibuya, Tokyo||restaurant-eatrip.com/|
|Kaikaya||Izakaya||Shibuya, Tokyo|| www.kaikaya.com/
|Kobe beef Kaiseki 511||Kaiseki ryori||Akasaka, Tokyo||www.a511.tokyo/|
|Kozue Park Hyatt Tokyo||Kaiseki ryori||Shinjuku, Tokyo||tokyo.park.hyatt.com/Kozue|
|Zaou Shinjuku||Seafood/kaiseki ryori||Shinjuku, Tokyo||www.zauo.com/|
|Cedros||Seafood/kaiseki ryori||Daikanyama, Tokyo||cedros.jp/|
|Charcoal grill Kobe beef Ikuta||Yakiniku (grilled meat)||Shinjuku, Tokyo||www.oztable.net/ikuta (Japanese only)|
|Zurriola||Spanish food||Ginza, Tokyo||zurriola.jp/ (Japanese only)|
|Touzan - Hyatt Regency Kyoto||Japanese food||Kyoto||kyoto.regency.hyatt.com/Touzan|
|Two Rooms Grill Bar||American food||Aoyama, Tokyo||www.tworooms.jp/|
|Trattoria Sette - Hyatt Regency Kyoto||Italian food||Kyoto||kyoto.regency.hyatt.com/TrattoriaSette|
|Nadaman Shangri La Hotel Tokyo||Japanese food||Marunouchi, Tokyo||www.shangri-la.com/nadaman/|
|New York Grill Park Hyatt Tokyo||American food||Shinjuku, Tokyo||tokyo.park.hyatt.com/NewYorkGrill|
|NOBU Tokyo||Fusion food||Toranomon, Tokyo||www.noburestaurants.com/tokyo/|
|Birdland Ginza||Yakitori (grilled chicken)||Ginza, Tokyo||ginza-birdland.sakura.ne.jp/ (Japanese only)|
|Mikawa Zezankyo||Tempura||Fukuzumi, Tokyo||mikawa-zezankyo.jimdo.com/|
|Union Square Tokyo||American food||Roppongi, Tokyo||www.unionsquaretokyo.com/|
|La Bisboccia||Italian food||Hiro, Tokyo||labisboccia.tokyo/ (Japanese only)|
|L’Effervescence||French food||Nishi-azabu, Tokyo||www.leffervescence.jp/|