This week I managed to do the near-impossible. I secured a dinner reservation to what is one of the hardest restaurants in the world to get a seat at — Sukiyabashi Jiro.
My boyfriend and I are spending a week in Japan next month, and my one, big bucket list item of the trip is to eat at the restaurant made famous by the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” (If you haven’t watched this, pull it up on Netflix asap because it is super interesting and gave me such an appreciation for the art of sushi).
Ever since I watched this documentary two years ago, eating at Jiro has been very high on my overall bucket list, but I was skeptical the day would ever come. I did a ton of research on how to snag a reservation and this Business Insider article “Every Single Insane Thing I’ve Done to Score a Reservation in Tokyo” made me really down on my chances.
So, I set out to try and get a seat at the famed restaurant, which only has 10 seats per reservation time, to willingly shell out the $230/head which does not include drinks and taxes. I was so deadset on eating here that I even told my boyfriend that I would take dinner at Jiro over exchanging gifts at Christmas this year, and I love Christmas.
Here’s how getting a reservation works. The restaurant only takes reservations once a month on the first of the month for the entire month after. So, if you want to eat in November, you must call on October 1st. Now, I don’t speak Japanese and the timezone issue is a tough one. I had also heard that they don’t readily grant reservations to people with American accents, unless you are an Obama.
Instead of risking it myself (I mean, I’ve never even placed a call to Japan let alone spoken to someone by phone there), I enlisted the help of my hotel. (Note: Japanese hotels that are four or five stars have the best concierges that will book loads of things for you, so remember to take advantage of this service). We are staying at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo and already their service has been amazing, as will be evidenced below.
I emailed my concierge on September 27th and explained that I would literally do anything to get a dinner reservation at Sushi Jiro. To increase your odds of getting a reservation do the following:
*Make sure to brief your concierge days ahead of the first of the month deadline so they are armed with everything they need to get a reservation.
*Be flexible on which Sushi Jiro location you will eat at. There are two — one run by Jiro, one by his son.
*Be flexible on time and date of your dinner. We said we could eat dinner at any time and on any night we were in Tokyo.
Now, the results. On October 1st, we were made aware by our concierge that we had gotten two seats for dinner service at Sushi Jiro Roppongi at 5:30 pm (!!!). And yes, the reservation is on the early side, and my first choice was to eat at the Father’s restaurant, but still I can’t describe how elated I am. I promise to report back after the meal in a blog post about it (And subsequent blog posts on ALL the food we eat in Japan along with Travel Guides)
Have any suggestions on what we should do, see or eat while in Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org