Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lunch Passport

Recently  an interesting book was published in Utsunomiya. It is Lunch Passport.
There are 85 restaurants in this book.  A person with this book can eat lunch which is usually served at around 1000 yen, for 500 y3n.. It is a discount book.
Utsunomiya is not a big city,  and the downtown is getting deserted compared with the suburb. But  it's easy to walk in the downtown, and it must be fun to walk around with this passport.
Yuki and I were so interested in this book.

So of course we tried to use them on Saturday.
I really understood we are one of those ordinary people, because many people were waiting in line to use this book. The restaurant we went to was a famous Chinese restaurant. We were really surprised that this restaurant was introduced in the book. I asked the owner why this restaurant was on the list. The owner said  "we help to make Utsunomiya an active town and attract people to downtown". Actually because of this book we went out of our way to have lunch like other people.

On Sunday we went out to have lunch to another restaurant we've never been to.
The restaurant was not well-known so not many people were there. But the restaurant was more crowded than usual. The owner said "thanks to this book, our restaurant became better known by people."

We usually don't go downtown, but  these days we see many people walking with this book. This book can be used until the end of June. For a while we must to try enjoy walking downtown with this book.


AikenJan said...

Here in the US, these dine-out books are fairly popular. Sometimes they are two meals for the price of one, and often they are dinner rather than lunch. Sometimes the books are sold by a charity as a fund-raising effort. Did you have to pay for your passport books? Many years ago, we used one in Philadelphia before going to the theater and it made us seek and and try new places we would not have known about. Some people like to go to the same places all the time, but I think you are adventurous and are willing to try something new. Jan

Mieko said...

Thanks Jan for your comments. I think this idea came from your country.I bought this book for about 10 dollers. So it will be paid if we go to at least three restaurant. And I alreday went three places. Of course I'm adventrurous, so I try to go new ones.

Anonymous said...

"Utsunomiya is not a big city, and the downtown is getting deserted compared with the suburb."

Can you suggest a few reasons why the downtown is getting deserted? Is this happening to many medium-sized cities in Japan, too?



Mieko said...

Thanks for your comments, Bill. The main reason is a way of transportation to downtown. Except big cites, in a few decades the main way to transportation got car. But in old downtown they don't have enough parking lots, so they started to build big shopping malls outskirts with big parking lots. Many people go to the malls, and they collect attractive shops. So shops in downtonws are left behind.

Mieko said...

On the other hand, these days aging is going rapidly. It means the number of people who don't drive far by car are increasing. So they don't focus not only on young or middle-aged people but should focus senior people. if downtown is an attractive place to active senior people, the down must be active again.