LWIF EP53: What a Japanese Family Restaurant is Like

Have you ever wondered what a regular family restaurant is like in Japan. We visit Yumean, which is a franchise restaurant in Japan.

What’s a family restaurant like where you’re from?


¥3864 (~$40USD) for the food? That’s for two adult meals (Aiko and I), one kid’s meal (Shin), three drink bars, and three desserts. If you took out the drink bars and dessert it would have been about half the price.

Do you have to pay for all the drinks? No, the water and green tea are free. Those are on the left side of the drink bar and you can get them yourself. In restaurants water is always free and often tea (usually green) is as well.

Paying for food. Every time you order food, you’re brought a new receipt and leave it where the ordering button is. When you’re done, you bring it up to the cashier to pay, and they usually scan a barcode or QR code to pull up the order on the computer. You don’t tip in Japan and only pay the price shown on the screen. You can split bills if you like. This restaurant is part of a company that owns many different family franchise restaurants, so you can pay with credit card and cash. If you go to smaller restaurants, they may only take cash.

How do you write your name on the wait list if you don’t know Japanese? If you stand around someone will help you (at least that’s my experience). If not, just gesture to some staff when you see them come by and I’m sure you’ll be able to get buy. These franchise family restaurants all have great picture menus, so you can easily point and get by.

How do the wooden keys work for the shoe lockers? If you watch the video again, you’ll see how they work. You take it out of the slot to lock the door, and put it in the slot to open it.

Can an adult order from the kids menu? You’re not supposed to. Some have the age range written on the menu. If you have kids with you and want to order something for an adult, I’m sure you can get away with it.

Does everyone share the bathroom slippers?

I was surprised that there was a smoking section in the restaurant.
Yeah, that’s one of the things that really gets to me when eating out at restaurants in Japan. I’m allergic to smoke, and don’t want the kids exposed, so we end up eating at franchise restaurants a lot as they tend to have divided areas that have OK ventilation.

Where is the mom? She wasn’t at the restaurant this time, otherwise we probably would have shown her food. She was chilling at home.

4 comments on LWIF EP53: What a Japanese Family Restaurant is Like

  • Andy

    Hi Greg,
    Awesome content as always! The food you’ve ordered looks delicious and had me craving for Japanese cuisine, which is something I definitely have to indulge in soon.
    Anyway, midway through watching the video, a thought came to my mind which I think may be an interesting topic to be explored, if it isn’t already your plan to. It’s regarding veganism/ vegetarianism in Japan. For example, the quantity and quality of food options available for people with such dietary restrictions. Or any other type of restrictions people may have due to personal or religious beliefs. Just a thought I wanted to share from watching the video.
    Also, I’m looking forward to more documentary type productions as well as new videos starring Aiko; she is doing an amazing job in these! Needless to say, new videos of you and Shin too.
    Thanks for reading and I wish you the best for you and your family.

    Take care
    Your subscriber

  • Jenny

    We are followers from Germany and have been to Japan twice last year. We tried to find this family restaurant but had to discover that there are many Yumean restaurants in the Tokyo Area but not all of them have tatami seating. Which address did you go to that has tatami seating?
    Another question: since you do so many videos of comparisons between Canada and Japan, especially with food, would you be interested in some German candy to try with your family on camera and compare to Japanese candy?

    Love your videos!

  • isari akimoto


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