Dine In or Take Away? : Dining in Japan During Coronavirus
Despite not entering into full lockdown, Japan has put restrictions in place to encourage social distancing and regulate certain businesses. After restrictions were eased in May, Japanese restaurants have gradually begun to re-open. If you are a non-native living in Japan, you may wonder how the virus has impacted your favourite Japanese restaurants.
When you’ve finished a hard afternoon of coding in the office, it’s nice to unwind and enjoy a good Japanese meal. Food culture is a huge draw to Japan. Not sure whether to dine out or get takeaway in Japan during coronavirus? Read on to find out!
What restrictions have been put in place in Japanese restaurants?
Precautions in Japanese restaurants have been implemented in different ways. To comply with regulations, many businesses have incorporated sanitising stations for customers to wash their hands and staff members have worn masks.
Visitors to the restaurants are generally restricted to small groups at a time, and tables have been spaced further apart in order to maintain distancing. One Tokyo restaurant even sat mannequins at tables to enforce social distancing measures! High-end restaurant Ise Sueyoshi has been offering online cooking classes to keep a close connection with their customers.
Check the website of your favourite restaurant to be sure they’re staying open. If you decide to dine out, follow guidelines closely - keeping 2 meters apart and sanitising your hands for 20 seconds when you enter and leave the restaurant.
Can you get a takeaway in Japan?
Generally, smaller restaurants don’t offer takeaways, though more have begun to offer online takeaways in response to the coronavirus.
There are online takeaway services where you can order from a wide variety of different restaurants in many types of cuisine, from traditional Japanese dishes, to Korean, Chinese, French, English, American and many other national dishes. Maishoku delivers across Tokyo and many other Japanese cities, offering free delivery for orders.
Other options include UberEats, which will be the most familiar with worldwide audiences. The website is very intuitive for non-natives, and you can narrow down by city and preferred type of cuisine. The website also displays available deals, so you can find a good discount on certain meals!
Popular Traditional Japanese Cuisine for Takeaway
It’s easy to get stuck into eating habits, so here are some popular Japanese dishes to try next time you get a takeaway in Japan:
Gyudon is literally a ‘beef bowl’ made up of rice, layered with beef and onions. The meat and onions are cooked in a sweet sauce, containing mirin, soy sauce and sugar. Ginger, green onions and egg are sometimes added as garnishes.
Ramen is a popular dish comprised of noodles in a soup, normally made of broth. There are a variety of different soups, including shoyu and miso. Toppings are often added to ramen, including braised pork, chopped leeks, and eggs.
This dish is not as well known outside of Japan, but it’s absolutely delicious! Okonomiyaki is a type of savoury pancake made with batter and cabbage, with fillings including seafood and pork. Sauce and toppings, such as mayonnaise, are often added.
Precautions in Japanese restaurants are helping to keep customers safe during these unprecedented times. Japanese take-outs are some of the best in the world, so if you go out or #stayathome, you’ll always enjoy great Japanese food!
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