How To Book Your Food Experience Instantly

By The byFood Team
Updated: April 24, 2024

Hundreds of thousands of travelers visit Japan every spring to see its famous cherry blossoms. But in 2024, the sakura were fashionable late due to frequent temperature changes, leaving many stranded without somewhere to go because the main attraction was, well, not there. 

You shouldn't let a couple of spoiled plans ruin the trip you've saved and waited for, which is why byFood is working closely with hosts to offer more instant bookings. Imagine this: Tomorrow's forecast says it'll rain cats and dogs — there go your plans to visit Shinjuku Gyoen. This temari sushi cooking class takes place in a beautiful flower-themed cafe in Shinjuku. And guess what? It accepts new guests instantly, even for a lesson later that day!

What are instant bookings?


byFood's 'Instant Bookings' feature allows guests to instantly book a food experience. There's no waiting for the host to confirm your attendance — if you complete your checkout, prepare to join your food experience!

Find food tours, cooking classes, and dining experiences using our listing pages, or check if an experience offers instant booking when placing your request.

What kind of food experiences offer instant bookings?

This feature is available to all of our hosts, whether they are chefs with a passion for teaching or ramen experts leading a group of hungry foodies through the streets of Shinjuku. 

It only depends on how much time they need to prepare for the experience. You might be shocked to see experiences like geisha shows in Gion appear on this list. 

When to use instant bookings


Instant bookings are always available, but they are especially handy when your plans don't go as expected. You might feel reassured to know this option exists in a couple of scenarios. 

During tsuyu (Japan's rainy season) and typhoon season

Japan's rainy season is from early June to early July. During these weeks, expect rain every day and high humidity. Typhoon season, on the other hand, is roughly between the end of August and October.

Unsurprisingly, traveling to and around Japan during these periods is cheap. But it is tricky to plan when the weather is sure to be grey and unruly. 

Cooking classes: These are timeless food experiences that combine learning, meeting new people, and eating your favorite food. With an experienced chef, you can pick up lifelong tips on cooking, preparing, and serving authentic Japanese dishes. On byFood, we offer cooking classes for ramen, sushi, and wagashi lovers!

Here are three of our favorite cooking classes that are available for instant booking:

Tip: Bad weather also causes outdoor tour guides, even those who have their experiences on byFood, to cancel. Instant bookings can also provide a quick alternative to a canceled experience!

When there are irregular closings and cancellations

While most restaurants and cultural facilities in Japan are good about keeping on schedule, it's not uncommon for museums, restaurants, or other places to close unexpectedly. In these cases, it's nice to know you can count on instant bookings to find a fun alternative and still enrich your trip to Japan. 

Food tours: If you think that all food tours only involve eating and drinking, you're only partially correct. Food tours often include cultural stops and detours that will undoubtedly satisfy any traveler. It's also a sure way to explore like a resident — no frills or tourist traps!

Here are some of food tours you can join with instant booking:

Tour guides are experts at pivoting — even considering that some places close shop on what should be a regular business day, they know their area so well that they'll have a just-as-good backup spot.

If you're a traveler who prefers to leave their schedules open

Instant bookings are not only for those with unfortunate circumstances. Some of us like to travel without really planning too much ahead. Mood travelers wait until the very last minute to decide what they want to do that day or the next day. Our instant booking feature makes food experiences accessible to even these free-spirited visitors. 

Here are some experiences you may not think could be booked instantly (but yes, they are!)

Don't let a bad weather forecast or turn of events define your trip. byFood has dozens of experiences with instant booking available, rain or shine, for when you need a last-minute plan.

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan's food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.
Click clap if you like this post
The byFood Team
Sharing our love of Japanese cuisine and culture, with the mission of spreading happiness through food.
Stay in the Loop!
Be the first to know about the latest foodie trends.
Sign up for insider tips & sneak peeks into the diverse world of dining in Japan