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Jan 29, 2013 01:27 PM

Tokyo restaurant refused to seat me

I went to a restaurant in the Akasaka area last night and was told the two seats at the bar were for two only. When I gestured to sit at a table the server said they were for two people only. Was it couples nighty out last night or do they not like Americans? Should I hire a date to eat there? Feeling discriminated against because I am American.

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    1. haven't been back to Japan in yrs (was born and raised there) but natives do discriminate against gaijin. i think it's gotten better or so i've been told. even as an ex-pat living in the US, when going back, they treat me slightly different than my fellow natives. so that said, i wouldn't be surprised. but who knows. some restaurants have such arbitrary rules that anything is possible.

      1. before starting about 'foreigner unfriendly', how about more basic economic reason ? just one customer can not pay for the service ... it may make economic sense to refuse just one customer (close earlier, take a rest, cut air conditionning, ...)

        3 Replies
        1. re: Ninisix

          Ninisix is right.

          Some restaurants, like Takazawa, do not take bookings for one person at all. Others may refuse to seat one person if they are confident that they will fill the table(s) for two they have available. Doesn't mean that was necessarily the case for you, but I'd be careful to jump to conclusions with the limited information you have.

          1. re: Asomaniac

            I don't know about taking reservations, but when I went to Takazawa, there was a diner eating there solo.

            1. re: killersmile

              Maybe that person's date didn't make it or they changed their policy. They definitely did not use to accept solo reservations in 2008 or whenever I checked. Then again, they only used to seat two parties per evening, now they are flexible and seat more, so may be happy to accept solo diners' reservations.

        2. The original comment has been removed