#foodie dining out Japan Japanese culture

"Ladies’ Set" on Japanese Menus

I took several pictures of my lunch from today, but this is the only one I shall feature. It was the dessert, and I’m not sure if you can tell or not, but this little dessert was really tiny. It would probably not even pass as a kid’s dessert in the US; probably would pass for a toddler’s portion.

Anyway, as the title says, today I discovered that in some restaurants in Japan, there are designated sets for men or women; this little tidbit of information stunned me a bit as I listened to my Japanese friends explain the difference between the two sets. Men’s sets are bigger in portion, have certain foods that are more “manly”, etc. Meanwhile, with the majority of Japanese women who actually diet as a “hobby” (!!), the women’s set is usually a lot smaller, healthier (which is a good thing), and a few other things that I forget.

I feel like such set menus would not/could not exist in the US; after all, the society in the US is a bit more balanced (in some ways) when it comes to gender. Both men AND women want to be healthier, eat better portions, etc. With the idea of sets for each gender in Japan, it goes to show how different and more traditional the society still is.

I mention this fact since my friends and I actually ordered the women’s set at the pasta restaurant we went to. It came with a generous portion of pasta with a salad and this dainty dessert. I forget what the men’s set had–don’t think it had salad though.