Restaurant Review Travel Review

Ordering food by sign language in Nikko

This week I was in Japan along with my co-workers for a client meeting. During one of the free days we decided to do some sight-seeing to near-by tourist city of Nikko. From Tokyo we traveled to Nikko by train. Immediately on reaching Nikko we wanted to have brunch, everywhere we looked we only saw Japanese restaurants (what else you expect in Japan). None of us spoke Japanese and 3 out of 4 of us were vegetarian as well. Our hunger took the best of our judgement and we went into a small restaurant.

Nikko - Local Japanese restaurant

Like everywhere else in Japan, though the restaurant was small, probably 2 to 3 tables (4 seating each) it was sparklingly clean. It was run by a mother and daughter (its our guess and we are smart you know), they seem to understand if we spoke on signs than using English. We managed to communicate through some pictures that we want rice to eat and some side dish to go with it. But how do we communicate we wanted only vegetarian – no fish, no chicken, no meat. That was a challenge. No Internet in our phones and we didn’t have our laptops to show pictures of Fish/Chicken/Meat. After ten minutes of repeating in English slowly and all the signs we could manage we were convinced we made it.

Thankfully the food that we were served was easy to confirm that it was all vegetarian. It was a variety of boiled vegetables, rice and some chilly sauces. All Tasty. Eating to our fill, we paid and before leaving thanked them profoundly.

After we ate and walked for 15 minutes over the corner, I remember it to near Lake Chensunki we were taken a back to see a Pakistani and a Bangladeshi restaurant. We were not Unhappy as we all know the experience we got was a worthy story to tell friends and family back home for years to come.