Imagine: You walk into a small ramen shop in a Tokyo backstreet only to realize that there's no English menu...
Instead, there's just a ticket machine with a bunch of buttons on it:
At least there are photos on a couple of the buttons, but what's the difference between each?
And what about all the little buttons below?
Is there a slot to pay with a credit card?
How do I ask for extra-firm noodles?
...There might be many unfamiliar things you will encounter—and this is just a ramen shop! There are so many other types of restaurants in Japan serving different varieties of food with different customs and different methods of ordering.
Even in 2022, there are still many restaurants in Japan that don't have English information
If you're like us, then you're the type who likes to explore and discover great places on your own.
However, if you don't know Japanese, you'll be limited to the English information available online.
Sure you can explore and walk into random restaurants, but if you want to have a bit more control over your food experiences and choices while in Japan, you'll want to learn the basics of the many types of eateries found here, as well as how to decipher menus and order in Japanese.
That's why we are writing this book—to give you the tools you need to fully enjoy Japan's restaurants!
We are writing a small, compact guide that will help you explore and discover restaurants on your own. It's designed to stay evergreen, so there will be no recommendations for specific restaurants—just tips and tools so you can feel confident about exploring the country's incredible food scene on your own terms.
We are planning to get funding for the book by launching a crowdfunding project, which is why we need your help!
Our plan is to make a slim paperback guidebook as well as an e-book. The first few pages will be a general guide to restaurants in Japan, with information that is applicable to any type of restaurant. After that, the rest of the book will feature in-depth information about 21 different types of restaurants/cuisine found here in Japan:
Shabushabu / sukiyaki / nabe
Okonomiyaki / monjayaki
High-end Washoku/ Ryokan
Each page of the book will include illustrations and real-world photos that will serve as a useful reference.
Here's an example of what the pages will look like (an excerpt from the section about ramen):
Writing a book is a time-consuming challenge! We are confident that we can make a stellar book, but it's a big risk to write and illustrate the whole book before knowing if people will even want to buy it.
That's why we decided to create just a few of the sections as a sample and then launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money needed to finish the whole book before doing all the work.
This will not only lower our risk of putting a ton of time and energy into something that doesn't sell but will also mean that we can create the book while tweaking it with input and feedback from the people who support the campaign!
It's a win-win for everyone involved.
Sign Up to Get Notified When the Project Launches
Register your email address to stay in the loop. We'll let you know when the project launches on Kickstarter so you can get in on the early bird discounts that will last only for the first 3 days!
Early supporters of a crowdfunding campaign are crucial to setting the momentum of the project and helping it get funded, so your support means so much to us!
Who Are We?
We are Chris, Kim, and Takako, three members of the tsunagu Japan team.
We all have different backgrounds and skills, but share a passion for good Japanese food. We've spent years writing and designing in the digital space at tsunagu, but this will be our first foray into the world of paper publication.
We're excited to share our knowledge with people around the world and hope that it contributes to an amazing time during their next trip to Japan!