Dining Alone in Japan – Top Tips for Solo Travelers to Tokyo

If you’re traveling solo to Tokyo, then trying some of the incredible Japanese food the city has to offer should be high on your list of things to do! Whilst dining alone may seem a little intimidating for some people, in Tokyo, it’s easy to find different kinds of restaurants where dining alone is just as fun as dining in a group. Check out our top tips for solo dining in Tokyo and start planning your foodie adventure now!

Pull Up A Counter Seat at An Izakaya

Izakayas are Japanese style-bars that serve drinks, small plates, and snacks and can be found all over Tokyo. They are often visited by solo diners stopping by for a drink or something to eat on the way from work, so entering alone is not an issue. There’s also plenty of chain izakayas such as Torikizoku and Kin No Kura that have English language menus if you’re worried about translation difficulties.

Try Some Sashimi at A Kaiten Sushi Restaurant

For seafood lovers, eating sushi in Japan is a not-to-be-missed experience. Sushi train restaurants, known as kaiten-zushi in Japanese are an easy option for solo travelers as you can just sit at the counter and choose which plates to try as they work their way around the conveyor belt. Tourist friendly (and wallet-friendly) chains include Sushiro and Genki Sushi.

‘Hitori’ Specialist Restaurants

Recently, a new wave of restaurants has started to open in Tokyo designed to cater for solo diners in restaurants that were traditionally reserved for groups. For example, yakiniku restaurants have long been viewed as more of a social dining experience but now there are yakiniku restaurants such as Yakinikulike and Aka To Shimo that feature individual grills for people who want to eat alone.

The Yamawarau restaurants have taken another Japanese group dining experience, shabu shabu (hotpot), and tailored it to serve the solos market by providing diners with individual nabe pots. The chain now has restaurants in Omotesando and Ginza.

After dinner, the fun doesn’t need to stop. Another one of Japan’s favorite past times, karaoke, is an activity that doesn’t require recruiting a group of friends to go with. Karaoke chain 1Kara is designed for those visitors who want to unleash their inner Beyonce without an audience. The booths are designed for one person, so there’s no need to feel embarrassed about performing alone!

Meetup Groups & Tourist Friendly Bars in Tokyo

Even for tourists traveling by themselves, there are plenty of ways to meet people to socialize within Tokyo without spending a lot of money on expensive food tours. Joining a Meetup group is an easy way to meet other tourists and locals, there are usually events going on every night of the week somewhere in Tokyo.

Another popular hangout for expats, tourists, and Japanese people are The Hub bars. Based loosely on a British pub concept, there are locations all over Tokyo and it’s often very easy to strike up a conversation with other customers here.

Download the OodyMate App and Meet with Locals for Dinner

OodyMate is a free app that was designed to connect travelers with locals over food. Simply download the app to find locals who you can meet up with whilst traveling. Using OodyMate will allow you to discover all those off-the-beaten-path restaurants that you can’t find on the internet! Download the app for free here now.

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