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Making Restaurant Reservations

Making Restaurant Reservations

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Old Aug 10, 09, 10:25 pm
  #1  
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Making Restaurant Reservations

Hi All.

I'm headed to Tokyo next month and I have a few restaurant reservations I'd like to make. Unfortunately I speak zero Japanese and very few of the restaurant websites have an email address I can contact. Is there a service (or friendly Japanese speaking FT-er) who I could contact to help me make reservations?

Yes I know I should make them through my hotel concierge but I haven't decided which hotel to stay at yet (waiting to see who has a better promo at the time) and I don't want to risk making reservations too late.

Thanks!
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Old Aug 11, 09, 1:23 am
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Roping in someone to help with something like this is something I've only ever done 'in extremis'.

Have you tried faxing the restaurants? That's what I've done in the past and it tends to work very well.

Your request should be simple.

Make sure the reply you want is obvious.

Only when this approach fails and I exhaust other options do I get a friend involved.
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Old Aug 11, 09, 4:27 am
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Try phoning in English. Quite a few high-end restaurants will have no problem with that. And if you're SOL, what have you lost? (Answer: The cost of an international call).
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Old Aug 11, 09, 4:42 am
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Originally Posted by jib71 View Post
(Answer: The cost of an international call).
And depending where the OP is based even this might not be necessary.

For instance, UK residents can use a company such as Telediscount to call (and even fax) numbers in Japan for the price of a local call.

It doesn't cost much to exhaust all those options first (including an initial phone enquiry)
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Old Aug 11, 09, 6:13 am
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Depends where the OP is considering to make reservations, I'd do them if the OP invites us to dinner.
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Old Aug 11, 09, 7:57 am
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I briefly got excited when Open Table had a link for Japan, only to discover that the resulting page is entirely in Japanese.
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Old Aug 11, 09, 8:42 am
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Originally Posted by Pickles View Post
Depends where the OP is considering to make reservations, I'd do them if the OP invites us to dinner.
We really gotta invite the cat too?
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Old Aug 11, 09, 10:49 am
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
We really gotta invite the cat too?
Smidgen is a very well-behaved fellow.
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Old Aug 11, 09, 11:53 am
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If you do make reservations, make sure you keep them.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/japan...servation.html
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Old Aug 11, 09, 12:01 pm
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Are the restaurants SO trendy that they're booked months in advance?

If not, just wait till you arrive, and even if you don't get into exactly the restaurants you want, have your concierge make suggestions for places that aren't trendy but still represent an excellent value. You may even have a better experience, especially if the trendy, highly-rated places have allowed their standards to slip, as sometimes happens with places that become too popular.

One thing Tokyo has no shortage of is restaurants for every conceivable cuisine and in every conceivable price range.
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Old Aug 11, 09, 8:05 pm
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Contrary to popular opinion, Coco Ichibanya does not require reservations.
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Old Aug 11, 09, 8:23 pm
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Originally Posted by kcvt750 View Post
Contrary to popular opinion, Coco Ichibanya does not require reservations.
Just a strong stomach...
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Old Aug 11, 09, 8:58 pm
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Originally Posted by ksandness View Post
Are the restaurants SO trendy that they're booked months in advance?

If not, just wait till you arrive, and even if you don't get into exactly the restaurants you want, have your concierge make suggestions for places that aren't trendy but still represent an excellent value. You may even have a better experience, especially if the trendy, highly-rated places have allowed their standards to slip, as sometimes happens with places that become too popular.

One thing Tokyo has no shortage of is restaurants for every conceivable cuisine and in every conceivable price range.
Sure, there is trendy (more like "new", anything new will see a surge), but once the dust settles, there are many places of long-standing reputation that remain booked solid weeks (or even months) in advance. These kinds of places usually do not let their standards slip. The Japanese are very picky eaters, and will turn on a restaurant on a dime if it disappoints them.
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