Nowadays, it is popular among Japanese people to check restaurant’s buzz marketing sites before you make a booking at fancy good restaurant. Unfortunately, many of those good restaurants are not fully ready to welcome foreign customers (ex. no English menu, no English speaking staffs but of course you can go and enjoy meals). But here we are going to show how to make a booking even you do not speak Japanese.

How to make an online reservation on the Japanese word-of-mouth website, ‘Tabelog’

Hi everyone! Today, I will teach you the best way to make a reliable reservation for popular restaurants in Japan.

There are many great restaurants in the urban areas like Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka with developed food service industries. So we Japanese love finding good restaurants. We get as much information as possible and go to one of the most popular restaurants.

As a result, all of the good restaurants are full with reservations nowadays. If you want to go to a popular place, It is common sense that you should always make a reservation beforehand in Japan.

You can’t use English! It’s difficult to make a reservation for a Japanese restaurant

Even if you want to make a reservation, many Japanese restaurants are still not able to communicate in English. If it’s in person, they might be able to understand with body language, but if on the phone, it can be quite difficult.

So, what we want to recommend is an online reservation. With the internet, you don’t have to worry about the language, and you’ll also be able to reserve a seat before you come to Japan.

Our best recommendation is Tabelog, the most popular word-of-mouth website

Tabelog is a word-of-mouth service website that is used the most in Japan. There are currently about 6,650,000 opinions on this site. The opinions are all in Japanese, so you might not get that much reference there, but the ratings and more info on restaurants are very useful. Please read this article and find a good place.

1st STEP: Check if a seat is open tonight

Tabelog corresponds to English, Chinese and Korean.

English: http://tabelog.com/en/

Taiwanese: http://tabelog.com/tw/

Chinese: http://tabelog.com/cn/

Korean: http://tabelog.com/kr/

What’s really convenient is that you can check if there are seats that are currently open.

〇(Vacant seats available), △(Few seats left), and ☓(Full) is shown on the site, so use this as reference.

Unfortunately, the foreign language version isn’t corresponding to the internet reservation yet.

So today we will teach you how to use the Japanese version Tabelog (http://tabelog.com/) to make a reservation.

2nd STEP: Make a reservation online on the Japanse version Tabelog

When you find a place you want to reserve a seat at on the Japanese version Tabelog, tap this bottom left button.

Then the reservation form to fill in the date, time and the number of people will come out. Fill them in.

Next, there will be a more precise form to fill in.

Don’t forget to put in the international number when you fill in the phone number.

Lastly, scroll down and push the green button. Reservation completed.The reservation details will be sent to your email address you registered with.

How to convert to Hiragana names

You must put in your name in Hiragana in the space that says Name(Hiragana). Use the tool below.

1) http://abc-kana.assassin.jp/

You type in your name in English. Click the button in the middle, and your name in katakana will come out. Copy that.

2) http://tool.muzin.org/hirakata/
Paste the katakana name here, and click the button outlines in red. Then they will convert that into Hiragana. There, now you have your name in Hiragana.

When you make a reservation

In Japan, making a reservation means you’re going there 100%.

The restaurants will prepare their food according to the number of reservations, so please do not cancel on the day you were supposed to go, without informing them.

Use proper manners, and enjoy your gourmet life!

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