Apparently, some Japanese men really don’t like to eat alone in public. But are they simply too shy, or is there something else going on?
If you’ve ever popped into a fast food restaurant, conveyor-belt sushi joint, or beef bowl eatery in Japan, you’ll see plenty of people dining alone. In fact, the practice is so widespread, you’d be forgiven for thinking that eating alone is the done thing here. Indeed, many restaurants seem to cater specifically to solo diners, with some even incorporating special seats designed to accommodate one person only.
But a recent survey has shown that quite a hefty percentage of Japanese males actively avoid eating in public places when they’re by themselves.
In the online survey conducted by Life Media, 37.1 percent of men polled claimed to actively avoid eating alone in restaurants. Of these, 22.6 percent claimed to have “reservations” about doing so, while 9.1 percent claimed to have “significant reservations” about eating in public alone. A further 5.4 percent responded that they would never eat alone in public “under any circumstances”.
However, while some people might avoid doing certain things such as eating out or seeing a movie alone out of sheer embarrassment, Japan’s men have a different reason for avoiding dining solo, and unsurprisingly, that reason is financial.
It seems that many working salarymen, some of whom may receive only a small allowance from their own salary doled out by their wife for incidentals, simply don’t want to spare the expense of eating out when they could just go home after work. Even though eating out in Japan at someplace like Yoshinoya or Sukiya is usually quite cheap, it’s still money that many aren’t willing to pay when it’s just them.
So, Rocketeers, what about you? Do you eat alone in public, or do you prefer to do your solitary nomming in the privacy of your own home?