Ayumi Kinoshita and restaurant guides in Japan
The following are some restaurant types that offer a broader range of dishes than specialized stores.
Izakaya are drinking places that offer a variety of small dishes, such as robata (grilled food), salads and finger food. It is probably the most popular restaurant type among the Japanese people. Izakaya tend to be informal, and the people at one table usually share all dishes, rather than ordering and eating individually.
* Family Restaurant and Shokudo
Family restaurants (famiresu) offer a variety of Western, Chinese and Japanese dishes in order to please all family members. Shokudo also offer a variety of dishes, however, the term is not commonly used anymore, and the difference to family restaurants is small.
Teishoku-ya are restaurants that sell teishoku (set menus). A set menu usually consists of a main dish such as a fried fish, a bowl of cooked rice and small side dishes. Teishoku-ya are especially numerous in business areas and popular during lunch time.
Many restaurants in Japan specialize in a foreign cuisine. Especially Korean, Chinese and Italian cooking, as well as American style fast food enjoys a great popularity among the Japanese.
Yakiniku-ya specialize in Korean style barbecue, where small pieces of meat are broiled on a grill at the table. Other popular Korean dishes such as bibimba are usually also available at a yakiniku-ya.
* Chinese Restaurants
There are very many Chinese restaurants in Japan. Many of them serve slightly Japanized Chinese dishes, while others offer authentic Chinese food.
* Italian Restaurants
The Italian cuisine is very popular across Japan. Many Italian restaurants have Japanese flavored pasta dishes on their menus besides conventional dishes.
* Hamburger Fast Food
There are many hamburger fast food restaurants across Japan. They include major American chain stores such as McDonald's, but also various Japanese chain stores such as Mos Burger and Lotteria.
Yoshoku-ya specialize in yoshoku ryori (Western Food). The dishes served at yoshoku-ya are heavily Japanized Western dishes, such as omuraisu and hayashiraisu.
* Ethnic Cuisine
In Japan, ethnic cuisine means South East Asian food, such as Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese food.
Other Restaurant Types
* Kissaten and Coffee Shops
Kissaten are coffee shops that offer Western style sweets, such as cakes and ice cream, besides beverages. Coffee chain stores such as Starbucks are also quite numerous.
* Kaiseki Ryori and Ryotei
Kaiseki Ryori may be called "Japanese haute cuisine". It is a refined cooking style related to the tea ceremony, which emphasizes concepts such as simplicity and elegance. It can be enjoyed at special kaiseki ryori restaurants or at ryotei, expensive and exclusive Japanese restaurants for business banquets and similar events.
* Yatai and Rotensho
Yatai are movable food stalls that can be found along busy streets. They sometimes include seating space inside a tent. Dishes commonly offered at yatai include oden and ramen. Rotensho are food stands that are temporarily constructed for festivals and other large events. Okonomiyaki, takoyaki and yakisoba are just a few of the many dishes commonly sold at rotensho.