Some restaurants in Japan traditionally cook in front of customers or offer them other entertainment programs during meals. It is unique to Japan and worth experiencing for people from overseas.
Types of food entertainment
Food entertainment is an essential element of Japanese culinary culture. There are roughly two types. One is to show cooking procedures to customers. They can take a close look at chef's culinary skills and appreciate the true value of dishes, or enjoy cooking a part of their food with the chef. The other type is to enjoy other entertainment programs prepared by restaurants. A variety of entertainment programs including shows and performances are available. You can experience unique Japanese culture while having a meal.
Entertainment through cooking
Sushi, which is one of Japan's signature dishes, is a perfect example of cooking entertainment. Customers sit at a counter seat facing a sushi chef. The chef makes sushi according to the customers’ order in front of them and they can witness his skills. Also, conveyor belt sushi restaurants where the plates with sushi are placed on a rotating conveyor belt and move past every customer are typical in Japan. At teppanyaki (cuisine grilling food on an iron plate) or okonomiyaki (savory pancake) restaurants, a chef cooks dishes on an iron plate in front of customers. At some places, customers can cook okonomiyaki pancakes themselves.
Other entertainment programs in restaurants
Maid cafes are a good example of a place where you can enjoy added entertainment with your ordered food and drinks. Here, you can also enjoy chatting with waitresses dressed in maid costumes and take photos with them. At a cosplay restaurant in Akasaka, Tokyo, the waiters and waitresses are dressed in ninja costumes. In Shinjuku, Tokyo, there is a restaurant where you can have a meal while watching various robot shows. Comedians mimicking famous singers and actors are very popular in Japan and there are places in Tokyo where you can have a meal while watching their shows.