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Solo in Tokyo... Is eating alone taboo?

koshie Oct 29, 2007 09:30 PM

I will be visiting Tokyo solo for 6 days in the middle of November. Since I am alone, I fear that my meal may be limited to quick Japanese eats (i.e. ramen, Mos Burger, 7-11...etc). Is it frowned upon the eat alone in a restaurant? I definitely dont want to miss out on a great sushi experience but I dont want people looking at me funny if I am lone. I love all types of Japanese food

Can anyone recommend any places? I will be staying at the Keio Plaza in Shinjuku but will be visiting all areas of Tokyo.


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  1. Silverjay RE: koshie Oct 29, 2007 09:47 PM

    Someone asked this exact question a couple of months ago. You should do a search. There's no taboo against eating alone. Most places have counter seating, where you'll often find solo diners. I think Tokyo is actually a good city for eating alone.

    1. l
      lost squirrel RE: koshie Oct 30, 2007 12:59 AM

      You'll be fine, I eat alone all the time.

      As SilverJay said, tons of places have counters to sit at.

      Good luck.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lost squirrel
        Debbie M RE: lost squirrel Oct 30, 2007 06:50 PM

        I almost always dine alone when I'm in Tokyo, and from fast food to high end, I've never had a problem. It's an excellent city for solo diners.

      2. o
        Orchid64 RE: koshie Nov 1, 2007 06:19 AM

        Since there is no tipping in Japan, dining alone isn't a problem. Waiters and waitresses don't care how many people occupy a space since it is all the same to them. It's quite common for solo diners to occupy tables for extended periods of time in some restaurants. Unless the place is super busy, they don't care what customers do for the most part.

        1. k
          koshie RE: koshie Nov 2, 2007 05:09 PM

          Thanks guys! I cant wait!

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            Chow Penguin RE: koshie Nov 7, 2007 08:42 AM

            I don't know if it's taboo but I was in Tokyo alone for most of October 1999 and eating solo didn't seem to be a problem except the occasion I ducked into a noodle bar in some central Tokyo station. As I was eating, I realized I was the only female in there and it dawned on me that this dining establishment was really for the "salarymen", i.e. a working man's lunch spot and not for women. I didn't feel that uncomfortable but on hindsight, I should've scoped the place before sitting down.

            1. m
              miffy RE: koshie Nov 20, 2007 10:46 PM

              Do not fear! That is almost the way of life in Japan. My mom eats alone or go to movies alone sometimes. You will see plenty of men eating alone too. It is sometimes too hard to schedule things in busy city. But try to avoid clubs/bar type places to dine alone (I mean younger crowd bars - not izakaya- izakaya: you are better alone)

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