International cuisine in Japan

There are many international restaurants in all the major cities in Japan, including of course Nagoya, and diners can enjoy a rich variety of cuisines. Since in many cases national cuisines are prepared with a Japanese touch, foreign visitors might like to try having their own country's cuisine in Japan and comparing the differences. Credit cards can be used at higher-class restaurants and specialty restaurants. Most restaurants usually have stickers displayed at the entrance or near the cash register showing which credit cards they accept. For cheaper, more popular restaurants, many accept payment only in cash.

Chinese cuisine

Next to Japanese restaurants, there are more Chinese restaurants in Japan than any other nation’s cuisine. Japanese people like Chinese food very much, and it is no exaggeration to say that even in small towns in Japan there is always at least one Chinese restaurant .


Ordinary restaurants

These restaurants usually have menus with a wide variety of Chinese dishes, such as ramen, chahan (fried rice), gyoza (pot sticker dumplings), and shumai (steamed dumplings). Dishes are reasonably priced at from 500 to 1,000 yen a dish. Most of these shops hang a short red cloth curtain (noren ) in front of the shop to indicate the entrance. The space inside is rather small and the atmosphere family-like and congenial. Many shops have voluminous set courses that include rice or noodles, and diners can enjoy a relaxed, satisfying meal. Since these shops are rarely listed in guidebooks, travelers should try to search them out in the places they visit. Payment is usually only by cash.

Regional-specialty restaurants

Some restaurants offer regional cuisine such as Beijing, Szechwan, or Shanghai cuisine. There are also specialty restaurants that offer one-dish special-of-the-house items like yamucha (dim sum) or gyoza. Compared to ordinary Chinese restaurants, these specialty restaurants are on the pricier side. Top-class regional-specialty restaurants in hotels and restaurants with famous chefs are listed in guidebooks. These restaurants usually also offer set courses, which almost always run from 3,000 yen per person.

Japan’s Chinatowns

There are Chinatowns in Yokohama, Kobe, and Nagasaki. These districts have restaurants serving authentic cuisine from many regions in China and restaurants specializing in foods like dim sum and Chinese-style rice gruel (okayu ). With their wide range of restaurants, from spacious elegant restaurants to small shops, visitors to Japan’s Chinatowns can surely find the kind of restaurant that fits their taste and pocketbook.

Korean cuisine

The most popular type of Korean cuisine in Japan is yakiniku , or Korean barbecue, so for those wanting to enjoy Korean cuisine the easiest way is to head for a Korean barbecue restaurant (yakiniku-ya ). Eating in groups is economical, and at the many chain restaurants or ordinary restaurants serving yakiniku throughout Japan, the charge will be about 1,000 yen per person. At first-class restaurants serving top-quality meat (prime Japanese beef), the bill will run in most cases to over 3,000 yen per person, and some of these restaurants require reservations.

French cuisine

Many restaurants serving high-quality French cuisine can be found in first-class hotels and large commercial buildings all over Japan. Reservations should be made at restaurants offering authentic French cooking and having extensive wine selections. Dinner courses usually run from 5,000 yen per person and up. Diners can enjoy lunch in the 1,000-yen range at more casual bistro-type or family-style restaurants.


Italian cuisine

With the popularity of Italian cuisine even surpassing that of French cuisine recently, the number of all types of Italian restaurants, from very sophisticated to simple and rustic, is increasing in Japan. There are many restaurants serving regional Italian dishes or specializing in pastas or pizzas, and diners can eat at those restaurants for under 1,000 yen per person.


Spanish cuisine

Most of the restaurants serving authentic Spanish cuisine are located in the major cities. Dishes like paella, which uses a lot of seafood, and tortilla (Spanish omelet) are especially popular dishes in Japan, and there are western-style restaurants (yoshoku-ya restaurants serving Japanized western food) offering Spanish-style dishes. Lunches are around 1,000 yen per person at such restaurants.

Russian and German cuisine

Russian restaurants can be found in the largest cities, and there are also western-style restaurants serving items like borsch stew and piroshki. German dishes are often served at beer restaurants, especially items like sausages, hamburger steak, and sauerkraut.

Indian and Asian cuisine

Although there are few restaurants specializing in Indian cuisine, there are many “curry shops” offering Japanese-style curry dishes. There are also restaurants with take-out service averaging around 500 yen per dish.

Recently the numbers of Taiwanese, Vietnamese, and other Asian restaurants have been increasing in Japan. With their casual atmosphere and cheaper prices, these restaurants have become particularly popular among young people.