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Dress code for Mizutani, Jiro, Aragawa, Ukaitei ?

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Hi chowhounders! So I'm not really familiar with the dress code in Japan....

For example, in NYC it's usually (not all) always strict or they won't allow you in.

And then in SF, it's a bit more lenient and casual?

I'd appreciate if anyone could give me info on the dress code in Japan! Also, main questions are : Are jeans okay at sushi places such as Mizutani? How about steakhouses like Aragawa or teppanyaki at Ukaitei? Would wearing dresses make me seem out of place? Thank you!

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  1. Sparkerly - I am probably not the best person to answer you - but I'm probably better than no one.

    Reading some of your other messages - I've concluded that you are a young woman from the west coast of the United States. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I am a 65 year old woman from the east coast of the United States.

    Tokyo is a somewhat formal business oriented city. And no tourist from anywhere should dress like a slob there.

    I think business casual is always ok. Especially for a woman. A nice pair of pants and a nice top. Dresses would not be out of place - but I'm not especially comfortable sitting on counter stools in a dress (dresses aren't exactly my style either).

    If you're going to a place that is younger and not traditional - jeans might work - but only if you are young and stylish enough and have a good enough body to pull off a great expensive jeans look (complete with leather jacket). I'm afraid that at my age - that look simply doesn't work for me. Your mileage may vary :). I don't think the restaurants you mentioned are in that category. Other people here who know more than I do can correct me if I'm wrong.

    One thing that I noted on my first trip to Japan (second will be this year) is that Japanese women - especially younger women but older ones too - are *very* stylish - and very big into designer labels. So whatever style you can personally pull off the best - go with it. For me - that's nice black pants with (usually) black tops. And my best shoes and handbags (Japanese women never buy fakes :)).

    Have fun - Robyn

    1 Reply
    1. re: pvgirl

      ... "Tokyo is a somewhat formal business oriented city. And no tourist from anywhere should dress like a slob there."...

      Well said!

    2. tablelog doesnt always have a ton of pictures of "people" (though it does have tons of pictures of food, and very usefully, the entrance to restaurants). if you go on tabelog and find the proper characters for the restaurant name you can whack it into google.jp (or google.com for that matter) and you may luck out and find pictures that people take of each other in the restaurants and then blog about.

      1. Jeans are absolutely fine in sushi places. Generally, restaurants in Japan are a lot less strict and snobbish than many other countries when it comes to dress code. You will see businessmen after work in suits and casually dressed diners mingling. But the "casual" diners are still dressed well - you won't see anyone in ripped jeans etc in a nice restaurant.

        Much more important than dress code in sushi places is not to wear perfume. Daisan Harumi for example does not admit people with strong perfume or aftershave as it interferes with the delicate flavours and ruins it for the other diners.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Asomaniac

          Do you think the same applies for sneakers?

          I like to take long walks before and after dinner, and would rather not carry a second pair of shoes with me.

          it seems tatami room places just have me remove my shoes upon entering anyway. so maybe it only matters for formal sit-down french-type restaurants?

          thanks.

          1. re: Dustin_E

            are you talking nikes or some cool campers?

            Ditch the former, but the latter would be fine.

            1. re: prasantrin

              damn, i was talking about tennis shoes / nikes / new balance. :-)

              1. re: Dustin_E

                I wouldn't wear those anywhere in Tokyo unless I was a middle-aged lady with a sun-hat doing the Imperial Palace jogging circuit. And even then I'd take them off immediately afterwards.

                1. re: Uncle Yabai

                  hmmm... guess i'll need to find some other shoes i can walk in. thanks.

                  1. re: Uncle Yabai

                    me neither, and I am practically a middle-aged lady (sans sun-hat--hats just don't suit me).

                    splurge on a pair of campers. they're comfortable *and* stylish.

                    Like anything from the peu line, or the brothers line.

                2. re: prasantrin

                  +1.

                  Almost a dead giveaway to spot American tourists - workout shoes.

            2. Thank you all for the replies and advice! (_ _ )