All-you-can eat restaurants in Japan


About how often do you go for all-you-can-eat meals? graph of japanese opinionBetween the 1st and 5th of April 2007 MyVoice looked at all-you-can-eat restaurants. This is perhaps a subject dear to many foreigners’ hearts as they can find the portions in Japan a little small. This survey does not, however, cover all-you-can-drink offers.


17,261 members of the MyVoice internet community completed a private internet-based survey. 54% were female, 2% in their teens, 18% in their twenties, 39% in their thirties, 26% in their forties, and 15% in their fifties.

I’ve got a few favourite all-you-can-eat restaurants in the Kansai area, and we tend to visit about twice a month. Rather than just listing them, let’s try a Google Map of the locations.

Click here to visit my custom Google Maps map.

My number one top spot is Solviva atop of the Hankyu Terminal Building in Umeda. It’s 1,890 yen for a varied selection of Japanese farm cooking, with some organic veggies here and there. There’s about forty dishes to choose from, then another ten or so desserts, organic coffee and tea, and a wonderful view from the counter seats looking north over Osaka. There’s also an alcohol menu with interesting shochu, from boring old wheat or potato base to milk via corn and sesame.

I also discovered this interesting page of reviews of other all-you-can-eat locations in Osaka.

Survey results

Q1: About how often do you go for all-you-can-eat meals? (Excluding hotel breakfast buffets) (Sample size=17,261)

Once a week or more0.5%
Twice or thrice a month1.9%
Once a month6.8%
Once every two months7.0%
Once every three or four months11.8%
Once every six months18.6%
Once a year16.0%
Less than that24.5%

Q2: What kind of all-you-can-eat meals do you go for? (Excluding hotel breakfast buffets) (Sample size=those eating them, multiple answer)

Yakiniku (grilled meat)63.6%
All kinds of Western dishes35.4%
Various dishes35.3%
Cake, dessert35.2%
Shabu-shabu, sukiyaki (hot pot)34.8%
All kinds of Japanese dishes22.3%
Natural, organic foods13.2%
Fish, sea food (crab, fugu, etc)12.1%
Kushi-yaki, kushi-age skewers11.0%
Okonomiya, monju (savoury pancakes)5.9%
Asian, ethnic5.6%
Seasonal cooking (matsutake mushroom fair, etc)2.1%
No answer0.3%

Q3: About how much do you usually pay for all-you-can-eat meals? (Sample size=those eating them)

Up to 999 yen1.7%
1,000 to 1,999 yen48.1%
2,000 to 2,999 yen33.9%
3,000 to 3,999 yen12.6%
4,000 to 4,999 yen2.0%
5,000 yen or more1.0%
No answer0.8%

Q4: Who do you go with to all-you-can-eat meals? (Sample size=those eating them, multiple answer)

Small group of friends54.1%
Large group of friends17.9%
By myself3.9%
No answer0.7%

Q5: Thinking about the price, service, food, etc, at all-you-can-eat meals, how satisfied do you feel afterwards? (Sample size=those eating them)

Totally satisfied8.5%
Quite satisfied40.2%
It’s OK38.7%
A little dissatisfied10.3%
Totally dissatisfied1.4%
No answer0.9%

Q6: How do you obtain information about all-you-can-eat locations? (Sample size=17,261, multiple answer)

Word of mouth from friends, family46.2%
Free paper34.0%
Shop sign or menu21.6%
Advertising leaflet20.0%
Public transport advertisement1.6%
Nowhere in particular15.3%
No answer1.4%

Q7: What are the important points when selecting where to go for an all-you-can-eat meal? (Sample size=17,261, multiple answer)

Delicious food76.0%
Varied menu64.0%
Fast restocking of buffet26.7%
Good shop atmosphere or view24.1%
No restrictions23.7%
Short waiting time23.6%
Good customer service22.0%
Discount coupons and other offers21.9%
Can eat high-grade food17.8%
Can make reservations12.0%
Topic of conversation8.2%
Famous shop4.5%
Nothing in particular5.7%
No answer1.0%
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