Restaurant Hours In Tokyo: Deciphering The Confusing Opening & Closing Times


Restaurant times can be a bit tricky when visiting Tokyo (although Tokyo tends to have more opening hours than the rural areas of Japan).

In general, restaurants in Tokyo open at approximately 11:00 AM daily and close between 11:00 PM and midnight. Izakayas open about 5:00 PM and many fast food shops are open 24 hours.

Some restaurants will open earlier, some later, some split the day. But then they’ll be closed Monday and Tuesday — or Wednesday. Some will be open holidays, some won’t. As a visitor, it may feel like a bit of a mess.

At the very least it’s confusing. Nothing worse than heading out for date night only to discover the restaurant you picked isn’t open.

Of course, given the mayhem caused by  COVID-19, restaurant hours are in disarray. Double-check reservations and specific restaurant hours before visiting.

In this guide we want to share some common themes you’ll find with the opening and closing times of restaurants in Tokyo. 

But before we get into it, remember this is for Tokyo, not Osaka or Kyoto — while we suspect hours are very similar, there could be differences we aren’t aware of.

Oh, one more thing. When we say “restaurant” we mean any shop serving food and beverages, including izakaya (Japanese pubs).

Restaurant Opening Times in Tokyo

The general rule of thumb is family restaurants open approximately 11:00 AM. Some will open at 10:00 AM — while some are 24 hours (some Jonathan’s and Denny’s are 24-hours for example). 

Izakayas usually begin opening at 5:00 PM, some will open at 6:00 PM. Izakaya are pubs with amazing food (such as yakitori, tamagoyaki, or snacks like edamame), but since they are drinking establishments, much like a bar, they are open late through the night.

Many bakeries will often open much earlier, around 8:00 AM. Perhaps this is to reach the crowd heading to work.

Yakiniku restaurants (grilled meat) are often open late evening, opening about 5:00 PM — but some do have lunch hours too, which would be 11:00 AM. Often the yakiniku restaurants with lunch hours will close about 2:00 PM to prepare for dinner.

Ramen shops tend to open around 11:00 AM, but many are also 24-hour. 

Restaurant Closing Times in Tokyo

Family restaurants will shut their doors about 11:30 PM – 2:00 AM unless of course, they are the 24-hour variety (though it seems more aren’t right now with the COVID conditions).

Normally izakayas will be open until the wee hours of the morning, but again, COVID is messing with schedules. More and more are closing at around 11:00 PM. Before the virus, some izakayas would be open until the last patron leaves (sometimes after 5:00 AM so they could catch the morning train home).

The first train in the morning run at 5:00 AM. So if you do miss the last train, duck into an izakaya that stays up late and enjoy the night.

Cafes close their shops usually about 11:00 PM and are still doing so during these times. 

Bakeries usually close a little early, between 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

Tokyo Mall Hours

Keep in mind restaurants will have different hours if they are inside of a mall, as shops follow the schedule set by mall policies. Usually, regular retail shops close early while restaurants will remain open until approximately 10:00 PM.

Mom and Pops

The little hole in the wall places locals love usually close quite early in comparison to the big chain restaurants. They tend to have fewer hours open during the day — opening later and closing sooner. Obviously not every mom and pop, but in general.

Lunch Time in Tokyo

Lunch hours are typically from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. During these times you’ll find local bento shops and Japanese fast-food shops very busy as workers leave their offices for a lunch break.

On a side note, you’ll also find the best prices during these times so if you’re looking to save while exploring Tokyo, lunchtime is the time to do it.

Dinner Time in Tokyo

Dinner time in Tokyo is from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM — and on weekends this may be extended an hour.

Monday Tuesday “Weekends”

You’ll sometimes find restaurants closed Monday or Tuesday (sometimes both). This is because that would be their “weekend.” They open on Saturday-Sunday to service everyone else who is off and then take their time on Monday-Tuesday.

Pretty simple concept, until you start having national holidays get into the mix. Always be sure to check the restaurant schedule to see if they’ll be open the day and time you wish to visit.

Summary

Tokyo actually, under normal circumstances, has very liberal hours. There are plenty of restaurants open well after midnight. 

Izakayas are famous for having patrons stay until the morning trains start running again.

Bakeries are ready for breakfast and even a quick lunch. Tip: if you go to bakeries an hour or two before closing you might find they are running big discounts to clear stock for the next day.

If you’re looking for the best restaurants in Tokyo you should check out our recommendations. If you’re not sure what cuisine you want, we have a Japanese food guide that will help you with that problem too.

Enjoy Tokyo!