The flashy Go to Travel campaign, which provides domestic travel discounts up to 50 percent, has taken up the spotlight in recent months. The deal sounds too good to pass up, but what if you don’t have the time for a trip? The Go to Eat campaign, which is being rolled out nationwide this month, is the perfect alternative to those staying put. Similar to Go to Travel, Go to Eat gives diners discounts while helping business at participating restaurants – another win-win.
The process is a bit more confusing than Go to Travel, where you can easily book accommodation in English on Booking.com. Basically, you’ll receive discounts up to 25 percent on your meal in two ways: by purchasing vouchers in advance or using a points system.
These vouchers, available to purchase online, cost ¥10,000 each but come with a value of ¥12,500. You’ll use the voucher to pay for your meals but you won’t get any change back, so make sure the bill is as close to ¥12,500 as possible. Vouchers are confined to their respective regions, and it looks like Tokyo and Kansai have yet to set up their websites, so keep an eye out on Go to Eat’s official website. Here are the voucher websites for Kyoto and Saitama.
The points system is offered through an online booking service like Gurunavi, Tabelog, Hot Pepper and other Japanese sites. Every time you book a lunch or dinner, you’ll receive points for future meals: 500 points for lunch and 1,000 points for dinner. You can then use the points to offset your future reservations. However, point redemption may differ from booking site to booking site. Do note that you’ll only get those sweet points after you’ve eaten and paid for your meal, so expect to be dining out a lot.
The points system is currently available throughout Japan, from Hokkaido to Okinawa, and you simply choose your prefecture from the dropdown menu. You can also filter restaurants by option such as all-you-can-eat-or-drink or private rooms.
Sales of vouchers and the accumulation of points will stop on January 31 2021 but you can still use them until they expire on March 31 2021.
For more information, see the official Go to Eat website.
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