Why Japanese Restaurants Choose to Close on Mondays…

Millions of people travel to Tokyo every single year, with many things to see and do on their itinerary. However, a major thing to do in Tokyo for food lovers is to try traditional and modern Japanese restaurants. Whether that be sushi, izakaya, gyoza or shabu-shabu; there is so much to try. However, you will notice that a huge majority of Japanese restaurants seem to follow a common tradition. This is the fact that they are closed on a day that is not common in Western countries. Why do Japanese restaurants choose to close on Mondays?

To save money and resources for busier days of the week, Japanese restaurants tend to close on Mondays as it is the quietest day of the week. It is also known to be a day for staff days off and deliveries. They do this on a Monday so that they don’t miss out on the busier sections of the week.

There are multiple reasons for Japanese restaurants closing on a Monday, despite the more common Western culture that we are used to. From saving money to resting staff, the restaurant owners have their reasoning for shutting up shop on this day. Read on to find out why 

Why Japanese Restaurants Close On Mondays

Whether you’re a fan of sushi or traditional Izakaya, when looking for food in Tokyo or Japan as a whole you may find that most of your options are extremely limited on a Monday. The Japanese have many traditions and cultural rules that they like to follow, and this one applies to restaurants, whether modern or new. 

It is extremely common for Japanese restaurants, vendors, and cafes to close on a Monday. It is something that they have done for many years now, and for good reasons. Let’s take a look.

Check out my article “Why Do Japanese Restaurants Open Late?

Resting Staff After A Busy Weekend Shift

One of the main reasons for restaurant owners to close up on a Monday is to rest their hard-working staff. Weekends are undoubtedly the busiest time of the week for restaurants all over the world, let alone in Japan. 

To ensure staff are performing well on the weekend and the rest of the week, owners and managers allow for Mondays to be the rest day of the week. Some establishments will also close up on Tuesdays. 


A key point that attracts people to Japanese restaurants is the fresh ingredients that they supply and use in their meals. This is especially the case for Sushi restaurants. To ensure they can keep receiving fresh ingredients, they receive deliveries every single week.  

As the shop is closed up on Monday, it is not unusual for this to be the set day for deliveries. If the restaurant doesn’t use the delivery method, then a staff member/chef will go to the famous fish markets and select their ingredients from there and bring them into storage ready for the week ahead. 

With such a huge population in the city of Tokyo, it is important that stock checks are done properly, and that they have enough fresh ingredients for everyone. 

Save Money & Resources For Busier Days Of The Week

Probably the most important reason for Japanese restaurants to close on Mondays is the fact that it simply saves time, money, energy and resources. Due to the weekends being the busiest times for restaurants, the Japanese would rather be open for them days and then close on a much less busy day, which is in fact a Monday.

This, therefore, saves money as they won’t be wasting fresh ingredients due to a low number of customers and orders. 

 Check out this article to see how much an average meal costs in Tokyo.

Do All Japanese Restaurants Close On Mondays?

After reading this article, you may be wondering if all Japanese restaurants are closed on Mondays, and the simple answer is no. There are many 24-hour, 24/7 restaurants in Tokyo and Japan that remain open. 

To find the restaurants that are open on Monday, you can look online at sites like Trip Advisor. Or alternatively, you can take a look around different restaurants and check for their signs outside the building, and see what days they are actually open.

Check out my article on “The Most Welcoming English Speaking Restaurants In Tokyo

The majority of restaurants that do close on Mondays are Izakaya and Sushi places. 

If you are a smoker and planning to eat an Izakaya, check out this article I wrote on “can you smoke in an Izakaya?

What Is The Best Day To Go To A Japanese Restaurant

To find out what the best day to go to a Japanese restaurant is, you need to think about what it is that you would prefer. From a chilled-out midday lunch to a buzzing atmosphere with an evening weekend meal, there are a few things to consider. 

Best Days & Times To Go To A Japanese Restaurant For A Chilled-Out Experience

The best days and times to go for a more relaxed dining experience are wednesday-thursday lunch times. Lunchtime usually starts at around 12pm and ends at approximately 2pm depending on the establishment. These are the least busy days of the week and especially when going at the times listed above.

You can expect a more relaxing experience, so it would be best for a buffet situation where you have to get up and collect your food. Usually, you’ll be fighting through busy crowds to pick your food, but going at these times will avoid that.

Obviously, some restaurants are extremely busy pretty much all the time. So, sometimes big busy crowds are unavoidable!

Best Days & Times To Go To A Japanese Restaurant For A Good Atmosphere

If you are wanting to have a buzzing atmosphere around you while eating your meal, then going in the evening for dinner on any day is the best option for you. However, the atmosphere is even better on an evening o the weekend, but finding a table will definitely be more challenging, so keep that in mind!

Best Days & Times To Go To A Japanese Restaurant For Fresher Food

Without a doubt, the best time to go to a restaurant in Tokyo for fresh food would be a Tuesday lunchtime. This is because, for most Japanese restaurants, the first serving for the fresh delivery which comes on a Monday would be Tuesday breakfast or lunchtime serving times.


Many Japanese restaurants in Toky close on a Monday for many reasons such as to save money, rest staff and receive deliveries of fresh ingredients. Not all restaurants follow this rule, but a large majority do. Make sure that if you plan to eat out on a Monday, you research if your chosen restaurant is actually open or not!

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