Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How To Eat FANCY But CHEAP In Japan



I am a big fan of nice restaurants, but I'm not a big fan of spending too much on eating out.
When looking into forums or blogs I always read about great restaurants that go weeelllll beyond the 50$ a person mark. My maximum budget is mostly around 10$ per person or maximum under 50 bucks a person for when it's a really really special occasion, but luckily I still manage to experience completely luxurious dining in expensive hotels and michelin starred restaurants.
For example?



* All you can eat foi gras, roast beef, crabs, sushi, hams, other different meats and seafood, soups, salads and lots of cakes in a major hotel's restaurant for less than 30$.

* All you can eat lobsters, roast beef, foi gras, crabs, other different meats and seafood, soups, salads and lots of cakes in a major hotel's restaurant for less than 40$.

* All you can eat fillet steak, crabs, lambs, iberiko pork, other meats and seafood, soups, salad and lots of cakes in a major hotel's restaurant (+ great view as it's on a very high floor) for less than 50$.

How?
....Coupons!

As simple as it sounds, many people actually don't think of checking coupons when visiting a restaurant, especially the very nice ones. But very often, even those expensive places have very generous discounts ( like even 80% off!)

There are numerous coupon sites on the web, but my favorite ones are http://restaurant.ikyu.com/ and http://ozmall.co.jp/  as it gives most generous discounts and got a points earning system as well.

If your restaurant of choice isn't featured in the above sites tabelog, gurunabi and hotpepper could have some coupons (usually giving 10~15% off and/or free drink), as well as http://reservation.yahoo.co.jp/restaurant/ and http://hitosara.com .

Of course, I also recommend checking the restaurant's official website as restaurants ( especially hotel restaurants) have what's called "lady's day" when you either get a nice discount (up to 10$ off) or a free drink.

One thing I noticed is that while tabelog,gurunabi and hotpepper often share the same coupons, other sites can feature different coupons by the same restaurant. So be careful and check every site (if you don't mind that it's time consuming) , otherwise you might end up with less worthy coupon.

Finally, even if the restaurant you want to visit doesn't have any available coupons, it's always cheaper to visit during lunch hours (and preferably on weekdays). Restaurants in Japan make most of their earnings during dinner time and don't really hope to earn much during lunch, so places with 10,000yen+ dinner can sometimes have 1000~2000yen lunch courses/sets. And in some cases not only the atmosphere, but also some of the dinner's dishes are identical to the ones during lunch time!

Bon apetite!



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