Restaurants & Bars


Reservation at Sawada - Mission Impossible for a Gaijin


More from Restaurants & Bars

Restaurants & Bars Japan

Reservation at Sawada - Mission Impossible for a Gaijin

Rio Yeti | | Aug 12, 2012 07:00 AM

I'm still preparing for my September trip to Japan. I managed to book Aronia in Tokyo and Hiirajiya Ryokan in Kyoto. My third and last splurge was supposed to be a high-end sushi place.

I asked a Japanese friend to call Sushi Saito, they said to call back in August... My friend called back on the "7th of august" and unsurprisingly it was already full (it's hard to explain to friends that aren't as food-centric as you that some restaurants need to be called the very first day of the month...).

So my second (and significantly more expensive, but also more recommended by this board) choice was Sawada.

Sawada will not take reservation from another country, apparently they've had too many gaijins reserving and not showing up... fine, I send an email to a friend who is currently in Tokyo with his Japanese wife... still not possible.

It seems the only way to make a reservation at Sawada if you don't live in Japan is to have your hotel concierge make the reservation for you (and it has got to be a trustworthy (meaning expensive) hotel, because my Japanese friend living in France told them about a small hotel they haven't heard about, and they wouldn't accept it).
The other way ? Go make the reservation at the restaurant and pay in advance... of course I will not ask my friend to pay 70.000Y for me in advance, so that is out of the question.

I'm pretty saddened by all this... Sawada will surely be full by the time I get to Japan, so I don't think I'll manage to make the reservation myself once there.

Before calling Mizutani, should I expect the reservation policy to be any different ?
And is there a "great" sushi place that has an easy reservation service (Aronia's emailing reservation was dream-like) for foreigners ?

Thank you for your input.