Ordering Food from a Vending Machine
A lot of small restaurants use vending machines to order.
You put your money in, press the buttons of the items you want then pull the handle down to collect your change.
If you can’t read Japanese or the items don’t have numbers that correspond to a poster with pictures… you’re in big trouble!
Then give the tickets to the cook/waiter behind the table.
You should learn the kana for (chisai) SMALL and (Ooki) LARGE , as this should be your only difficulty when ordering.
Here are two videos, the first is for the old style machine and the 2nd for the HD version!
If you’re stuck, again, use hand gestures, Tokyo restaurants will help you out, but avoid causing a fuss when it’s busy.
If you’re hanging out in Akiba, a cheap place to eat is the Yoshinoya chain.
It’s really not that good, but good enough when you’re on a budget.
There’s one near HEY/SEGA on Chuo Dori in Akihabara that is always useful between battle sessions.
Mos Burger is great!
We don’t have melon soda in the UK, so it’s always a treat. Teriyaki burgers are recommended.
Ordering / table service
When you’re brave enough to go into a proper restaurant, just point at item menus and use fingers to explain how many you want.
You’ll get through using hand gestures and generally the bigger restaurants will have someone who knows a little English if they don’t understand you.
Many restaurants have English menus – ask for that: “Ego no menu ga arimasu ka?” or “English menu???”
Otherwise, don’t make things difficult and ask “what is this” because the average waiter’s vocabulary won’t go that far!
Just check the price, order it with the occasional “kore, kudasai” (this, please), smile and eat it! If you have allergies or restrictions, it’s best to go to a place with an English menu.
If you want to act like a local, you should vocally compliment the food in a restaurant (not a chain) and say stuff like “oishii!” (delicious) while you’re eating it, especially if the chef who cooked it is nearby.
They will be pleased, if you are.
Here’s a video about ordering