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Question re. November Reservations - Restaurants I'm waiting to book and likelihood of availability/issues


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Restaurants & Bars Japan Tokyo Trip Planning

Question re. November Reservations - Restaurants I'm waiting to book and likelihood of availability/issues

OliverB | | Aug 7, 2014 08:19 AM

Most of our reservations for Kyoto and Osaka are already booked, with one or two exceptions. Unfortunately, I've had no success for Tokyo. It seems that most of the restaurants in Tokyo have not yet opened their calendars for early November seating yet, which I find strange considering we have bookings at popular restaurants for mid-November in Kyoto and Osaka already.

I'm not sure if this is relevent, but I'm somewhat concerned due to my experience with booking Sushi Saito. Perhaps Saito is an exceptional circumstance. I had been trying to get a reservation at Saito for 6 months and had been told time and again that it was far too soon to book. Now the entire restaurant has been booked solid through to year's end. I've contacted a regular of Sushi Saito whom I invited to join my wife and myself for dinner, but after having called Saito to inquire, the person wrote back to apologize and say that it's impossible and we should have done this months ago. I wish I had the knowledge months ago. I know I shouldn't be too disappointed given the difficulty of obtaining a reservation at Saito, but I can't help but feel frustrated because I've planned everything else so thoughtfully and this was really "number one" on my list.

I really do not want to make the same mistake with any of our other dining plans. That's why I'm posting this thread and requesting feedback on my itinerary. I would like to know if there's likelihood or possibility of a similar encounter with any of the places that I've not yet been able to obtain reservations for.

Here's a list of restaurants that are not yet booked:

- RyuGin - (too early for OCT. 30 reservation?)

- Sushi Sawada - (accept booking for OCT. 31 one month prior to date according to The Peninsula)

- Ginza Okuda - (too early for NOV. 01 reservation?)

- 7chome Kyoboshi - (accept booking for NOV. 04 from SEPT. 01 according to The Peninsula)

- Kagurazaka Ishikawa - (accept booking for NOV. 05 from SEPT. 01 according to The Peninsula)

- Sushi Yoshitake - (accept booking for NOV. 06 from OCT. 01 according to The Peninsula)

- Kamigamo Akiyama - (accept booking for NOV. 18 from OCT. 02 according to The Hyatt)

- Fujiya 1935 - (accept booking for NOV. 24 from SEPT. 25 according to St. Regis)

Does all of this information seem accurate? Are any of the above restaurants particularly competetive when it comes to obtaining reservations and are there any others that we may have difficulty getting reservations for if waiting until "calendars open" according to our concierge?

Is Sawada especially difficult to book and does it operate similarly to Saito wherein it could get fully booked by regulars months in advance? I will be extremely disappointed if we're not able to get into Sawada at this point.

I believe the person that I previously contacted for Saito is also a regular at Sawada. I'm considering asking for his assistance with this reservation as well, however it's quite expensive and if there's strong likelihood of obtaining a reservation through our hotel in September (for an Oct. 31 booking) then I'd prefer to go that route. If it's a similar situation to Saito however, then I'd rather not chance disappointment and I will eagerly extend an offer to join us for dinner. I hope that doesn't make me sound like a cheapskate as I love to take part in 'meet and eats' when travelling, but it comes at a price and I would like to know if I should just let it ride and have faith in my concierge or if there's a good chance of letdown?

What about other restaurants like 7chome, Ishikawa, RyuGin, Okuda, Fujiya1935, etc? Are these difficult to get into and do the calendar dates that were passed along from our concierge seems to correspond with our desired reservations? Does it all seem kosher?

Again, the only reason for my slight skepticism, is because I've been able to book equally big-name restaurants in Kyoto and Osaka as of several weeks ago, all the way through the end of November. I find it odd that I have to wait another 1-2 months for Tokyo reservations in late-October/early-November. As long as the informed members of Chowhound offer reassurance that all seems A-OK then I'll rest easy and wait for our hotels to sort everything out in the dining department.

Thanks so much for your input and feedback!