With today’s technology and sites like opentable.com, you barely ever need to speak to a human being to reserve a table for two at a nice and fancy restaurant. However, the challenge arises when you try to make a reservation for two at a small (as in 10 seater small) sushi joint in Japan and the only way to do this is to call on the 1st business day of every month to reserve for the following month (ex call on Feb 2 for reservations in March.) And may I add that this sushi joint is extremely popular that President Obama himself had to have a piece of it.
How to overcome this obstacle? You can either:
A) Have friends who speak the language and call for you. I had two friends doing this for me. One lived in Texas, the other in Tokyo. Or…
B) Use Visa Concierge. This service is free and usually comes with all major credit cards that have the Visa logo. They have agents all over the world that can make reservations for dinner, opera shows, concerts, etc.
If I can relive this experience again, I would go with option B and call Visa Concierge at least 3 months before scheduled departure. Yes, it can be beneficial to have friends that come from all walks of life and speak various languages, however, it does get old for EVERYONE to be glued to their phone, calling a restaurant, only to always get the busy signal. Not cool! Save yourself time, stress, and friends by going with Option B.