Translated by Allie
Rotip - Find Great Dining Places Recommended by Locals!
How do you decide where to eat out when traveling abroad? Travel guides or reviews online? With Rotip, you can find places recommended by the locals instead. Find out more about this service!
Written by Keisuke Yamada
When you travel abroad, how do you decide where to eat? For most people, their hotels, restaurants introduced in guide books, or places with good reviews online are the most likely choices.
But wouldn't it be nice to go to somewhere a bit more special? Somewhere known and loved by the locals? In Japan, the service Rotip allows you to do just that!
What is Rotip?
Rotip is a service that visitors who travel to Japan can use to find the best restaurants recommended by Japanese locals - you can ask for recommendations and get answers from people who are in the know.
A bonus part of this service is that the person who introduces the restaurant to you could come with you to the restaurant they recommended, meaning that you can find a great place to eat and maybe even make some new friends via Rotip.
We decided to tag along with some Rotip users as they were going out to eat together.
* We will introduce how to use Rotip at the end of this article.
Tried Izakaya in Shibuya with Rotip Service
After exchanging messages, the users met up at Shibuya Niku Yokocho. Their Japanese guide is Shota, seen here at the meeting place.
Brandon, who is from Hawaii, showed up at the meeting time. It looked like they got along really well from the start, thanks to the messages they had exchanged through the service.
Brandon's requests on Rotip were to "Enjoy the atmosphere of Japanese Izakaya!", "Want to eat Japanese meat!" and "Restaurant close to Shibuya!". Then Shota chose Shibuya Niku Yokocho, with its abundance of meat-based restaurants. They then got together to choose which restaurant they would go to while Shota explained what each of these restaurants is like.
They chose "Wine Bar Borracho" where you can eat reasonably priced but great dishes.
Shota was telling Brandon all about Japanese izakayas and what they offer, which helped Brandon to understand just what they're really like.
Then one of Wine Bar Borracho's most popular dishes was served - Manga Niku. Have you ever seen a dish like this before? In many manga and cartoons, cavemen are portrayed eating meat just like this.
Brandon took a big bite out of the manga niku, and seemed to really enjoy it! He was satisfied not only with its look but also the great flavor. What's more, these two are already friends!
Then Kazu, a friend of Shota's, came and joined them. They toasted with tequila and the party really got started.
The next dish was "selected chopped lamb fillet" which was imported from Australia by air. It is the restaurant owner's most recommended dish.
Brandon was surprised about Japanese style of eating meat which is to eat it with wasabi joyu, or fresh wasabi mixed with soy sauce, or with sesame oil.
Brandon said he was surprised by how well the meat matches these two condiments.
"Guruguru sausage" or grilled coiled sausage, came next. Doesn't it look interesting?
Thanks to this service, Brandon was able to enjoy the experience in Japan that he had been looking for, and Shota was able to enjoy showing someone else one of this favorite shops, along with his friend. All three of them were really satisfied with the evening, they said.
How to Use Rotip (for Travelers)
Next we would like to introduce to you how to use Rotip, the restaurant introduction service powered by locals. Here is how to use the smartphone version.
1: Go over to the users section and look through the key words to find someone that may know what sort of restaurants you'd like to try.
2: Scroll through the locals and check what their specialties are by looking over what genres of restaurants they are familiar with.
3: See more details about the users by going to their profile pages.
And, when you decided which user you would like to get in contact with:
4: Choose the date when you want to go.
5: Choose the time as well.
6: Then choose the type of restaurant and situation.
7: Write a message and send your request.
8: Receive a message which has information about a recommended restaurant from the user.
9: If you are interested in the restaurant, ask for a booking. Then you will be able to exchange private messages with the user.
How to Use Rotip (to Introduce Restaurants)
1: Receive a request from a traveler and then gather the links to your recommended restaurants based on the traveler's request.
2: Send the message with the links to your recommended restaurants.
3: Receive a booking request message from the traveler if they like your recommended restaurant.
4: Make a reservation with the restaurant for the traveler.
5: Receive tips and references from the traveler through Rotip.
6: Check the details and the reference information.
What do you think of this service? When traveling, it's great to get information from your travel guide and online, but it's even better to find locally loved places and make some new friends in the process.
Rotip not only makes it possible to find new and exciting places to eat, but it also lets you take part in international experiences. Why not try this service and see just what sorts of places you can visit and friends you can make in Japan?
Wine Bar Borracho Niku Yokocho
Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Udagawacho, Chitose Kaikan 2F
Hours: Mon-Thu 17:00-24:00; Fri, weekends and holidays 17:00-3:00
Closed: Open all year around
Credit Cards: VISA、MASTER、AMEX
Other Languages: -
Menus/Pamphlets in Other Languages: Unavailable
Nearest Station: Shibuya Station (渋谷駅)
Access: 3 minute walk from JR Shibuya Station
Price Range: up to 4000 yen
Phone Number: +81-3-6416-9149
Website/Homepage: Wine Bar Borracho Niku Yokocho