Itching to play, but don’t understand Chinese? Can’t wait for the complete English patch to drop? Let’s see if we can’t get you started. This guide will help you understand the core mechanics, how to complete missions, and give you some useful tips to smooth out your experience. I will try to avoid spoilers as much as possible.
Make sure you are running the English beta patch. In the game’s current state, you can read all of the UI in English. The notebook (excluding Tasks) is also translated, although some flavor text and descriptions are still pending. At this time (Jan 2022) none of the game dialogue is translated, so if you are playing the beta patch, you will only get snippets of the story.
To update the game to the beta version, paste this 88djHd99FerLPtd3D into your game properties>beta section
Notice that the Dev has stated that the Beta save files will be separate from the official patch save files, meaning any progress you make in Beta will be lost when the final English localization update drops. The game is completely playable without the full translation; however, learning the mechanics is a bit harder when you can’t read the tutorials!
Once the game is fully translated, I will remove the irrelevant sections and focus on tips.
Touhou Mystia’s Izakaya is a restaurant management game smoothly woven into the fabric of Gensokyo. It feels like Recettear meets Cooking Mama, with visual-novel story elements (except you can move!).
The major game mechanics are as follows:
- The Daily Schedule
- The Tag System
- Restaurant Setup
- Cooking / Running the Restaurant
- The Kizuna (Bond) Level system
- Sidequests & Bunbunmaru
- Avoiding Debtors’ Prison & Yokai Extermination
Each core mechanic has several related sub-mechanics that make the game more interesting (or slightly easier/harder) – I’ll detail those in each core section.
As a Touhou (pronounced Tōhō or Toe Hoe if you’re one of those weirdos. It is NOT pronounced “Tuhu” or “Toohoo”, it’s just a long “O” sound) fan game, a large part of the game is spent trying to meet & befriend (or appease) the ever-increasing list of wacky characters that ZUN comes up with. I’m not going to go into detail about who or where many of those characters are, but focus on how to make them like you in order to progress the game.
Note that I’m playing the game on Keyboard Only, and I may make mention of the controls from time to time. The game can be played with Keyboard & Mouse or with Controllers as well
The controls are as follows:
- WASD – Movement, Menu selection
- J / Left-click – Interact, Move selected
- K / Right-click – Back, Close menu
- Tab – Open/Close Journal
- Q – Right on menu tabs
- E – Left on menu tabs, Move stack (in shops)
- Z – Page Left / Submenu Left
- X – Page Right / Submenu Right, Advance time (During the day only)
- Ctrl – Page Down / Submenu Down (there is no page up, it will loop back to the top)
- M – Open/Close Map
- ` (The ~ key) – Open/Close Pantry
- Esc – Open Settings
Arrow keys are not used
The Daily Schedule
Each day begins at home, in Mystia’s Sparrow Hut, which is located in Yokai Trail.
How you spend your day is mostly up to you, although some quests may force you to be certain places at certain times. The day begins at 10:00 and ends at 18:00, which is when you open the Izakaya for service. Time only progresses when you take an Action, Travel, or hold X to skip to opening hours. I would highly recommend that you use your time wisely; I rarely skip.
The most important item in your house is the Oven, which is where you can cook extra meals for delivery quests, or to start Restaurant Hours with some extra prepared. The major thing to note about the Oven is that you can’t add extra ingredients, so you must rely on the base recipe to satisfy quests! This may mean that you are unable to complete certain side quests until you unlock an applicable recipe. You also unlock more cooking slots as you level up. Time will pass as you cook here, but the amount depends on how much you make.
Once you leave the house, you can roam the map, gather ingredients, purchase supplies from vendors, complete side quests, and talk to characters.
Traveling between map areas takes 30 minutes per area traversed (up to a max of 1:30) while gathering ingredients always takes 30 minutes per spot. As you level up your friendship with the other Gensokyo residents, you gain extra options, like “Invite” or “About Beverages” which will allow you to spend time with them in exchange for extra hearts (for their friendship level) or give you a few ingredients or beverages.
Ingredients can be picked up from gathering spots by approaching and pressing J / Left-click.
There are a fixed number of gathering locations on each map, and they are only available during certain times of the day. For example, you can collect dew and seaweed in the morning, but udumbara is never available until evening. Each map location has specific ingredients that can be found there, but the amounts and item drops are slightly randomized. You may get 4 trout one time, and 2 trout, 1 lamprey the next day.
There are also shopkeepers with a little ¥ yen symbol over their heads. Time won’t pass while you shop, so don’t hesitate to look! You can press J / Left click to add items to the shopping cart, or press E to add an entire stack (Very Nice!). Cha-ching!
New quests look like a golden exclamation mark above a character’s head, while in-progress quests are a silver scroll & exclamation. You can turn in a quest by talking to a character when the scroll is gold.
Note – these crates are where your stand will be set up in each location – they can’t be interacted with. For a long time, I thought I was missing something, but no, I’m just dumb.
Tags and Preferences
Tags are aspects of food that each ingredient, beverage, and recipe have. For example, Honey has the ‘Sweet’ tag, Iberico Pork has ‘Legendary’ and ‘Mountain Delicacy’ etc.
Every ingredient has at least 1 tag, while recipes and drinks tend to have lots.
You can view the tags from the food preparation screen, so don’t worry about trying to memorize them. You can also use a tag browser on the Recipes tab of the Journal to find recipes with those inherent tags. Since time pauses when you have the Journal open, it’s a safe way to find dishes if you’re lost. You can click multiple tags to filter.
A note on tags – because there are multiple types! I’m comparing the 2 images below
When you’re looking at a recipe or dish you’re trying to cook:
- Pink tags represent a recipe’s Inherent tags. These are aspects associated with the recipe (not the ingredients) which that recipe will always bring to the table. These are the tags you are using to satisfy those quests that ask for dishes during the daytime!
- Orange tags are Extra tags that can be applied to a particular dish by adding extra ingredients. For example, adding Cicada shells to miso soup gives you the cicada’s ‘Strange’ tag! Yummy, right? There are also some orange tags that get added because of the cookware.
- Blue strikethrough tags represent Nullified tags. These are Pink or Orange tags that are canceled because of another tag that is incompatible. For example, if we add Boar meat to our Nori Miso, we lose the ‘Vegetarian’ tag, and it is downgraded from Pink to Blue. This is also why you may add some ingredients but not receive the full benefit! Sometimes a dish may be incompatible with a certain tag, without making the whole dish inedible.
- Black X tags are associated with dishes specifically and represent ingredients that you MUST NOT ADD to the dish. For example, if we add butter to the Nori Miso, it will become greasy, and therefore inedible! Instead of producing Nori Miso, we will produce Dark Matter.
- Drink tags are also blue but have no strikethrough. You can’t change a drink’s tags – they are permanently associated with a particular drink.
No one will be upset with you for serving them a blue nullified tag! Only Pink & Orange count towards the approval of a certain dish. If you serve them, Dark Matter, however… Beware
Preferences are the flip side of tags. Essentially, they are the tags that a character Loves or Hates.
You can check a character’s known preferences on the Album tab of the Journal. Preferences are all preassigned to a character so there is no randomized aspect to them. Each time you serve a Rare or Special Customer, they will make an obscure request for a specific tag, instead of a specific dish. If they hadn’t already told you, then it will be recorded automatically in the Album. You can also discover a character’s preferences by serving them dishes that they really enjoy or hate.
Normal customers have preferences too! They always request dishes, instead of making strange statements, but they will never request a dish that they completely hate. You can’t fail by giving a customer what they ask for (but you won’t make them super happy either). Adding extra ingredients is the way to up their approval rating. For Rare characters only, approval rating translates into bonus hearts for their Kizuna level. Giving them dishes that they absolutely love will give you a big boost in Kizuna. Drink tags count towards to some extent as well.
There’s no real reason to add too many ingredients to any customer’s request. Remember they’re only paying the listed price for the dish – so don’t throw your truffles away for free! If you’re trying to crank up that sweet Kizuna though – there are sweet spots and dishes that each character will love. Not telling you though!
Running the Restaurant
Work Hours have Started! Time to get crackin’
The goal here is to serve your customers within a limited timeframe – ideally as many as you can. You will earn yen for each dish and drink you sell (not for extra ingredients you include) and you may also earn a tip. Tips go up as customer approval does, which rewards you for giving a little extra, but remember, every ingredient you use is one you have to find (or buy) later. Rotating dishes on and off-menu between different days can help you to recover.
Restaurant Hours run from 18:00 until midnight – and the clock moves in 5-minute intervals every few seconds. Time is paused when you are in any of the menus or journals, and it also stops at midnight. Once midnight hits, any customers who were waiting for a table will leave. Anywho were waiting to be served (or were on their way to a table already) will stay until they are satisfied. That could mean several orders from each…
As customers sit down, they’ll think for a bit, and then place an order. You can make the requested dishes using the cookware in the cart, which will also open a menu allowing you to add extra ingredients. Drinks are behind you, at the back of the cart. There is also a fridge-looking thing where you can store extra dishes if you so choose – but leftovers expire at the end of the day. Next to that is a disposal bin for failed dishes.
Use J / K to interact with the cookware
Normal customers will only order from the menu you posted in Restaurant Setup – however, if they see you provide someone a dish that’s not listed on the menu, they can request it too. This doesn’t happen very often at all.
Rare & Specialty customers will give you an obscure request, which is referring to a specific tag they like. Try and achieve multiple tags, or if you’re not sure what else they like, experiment a little. Their preferences will gradually be recorded in the Journal.
You can Shoo customers away by approaching and holding Z. Only useful if you have a Rare customer and the clock is running down!
Cook Time & Sparrow Tunes:
When you confirm a dish to cook, you’ll occasionally get a sudden prompt to sing~ all you have to do is press J / Left Click to the tune of the background music. Super easy 90% of the time – 10% of the time it catches you by surprise and you miss a note or two. If you miss all of the notes, you’ll fail the dish and make Dark Matter. If you hit them all, you’ll get a bonus effect from a list of possible bonuses. These can make serving super easy, as some of the effects are pretty good. They wear off eventually.
The most notable (and personally, the best one) allows you to throw dishes at the customers instead of walking over to them. It enables you to work very efficiently. Use K to open the selected customer’s serving menu, and J to move dishes back & forth, then hit K again to confirm. Use Q & E to switch selected customers!
We’ve already discussed helpers in the setup section, but here we can see them in action. If you notice, there’s a little pink dot next to the customer’s order. That’s because a Cuisine Waitress is delivering it! The color corresponds to helper position, so Cooks are Yellow & Beverage Waitresses are blue. This can help you coordinate orders and avoid making the same dish that they’re working on.
One more thing about helpers – Beverage Waitress is self-explanatory, but the Cuisine Waitress only interacts with the Fridge. The Cook only makes food as ordered to put in the Fridge (or heater, or whatever it is). If you run with one and not the other, then it’s up to you to fill in the missing role. I only hire them as a pair for that reason.
Kyoko makes a reliable beverage waitress. I run with only her or with 3 helpers at once, and if it’s only her then she is absolutely doing beverage. She can keep up with 4-tables or so, so you still have to beverages once in a while to keep the customers satisfied~ Not to mention that 5% is pennies on the dollar, literally. You are truly a member of the merchant’s guild this time.
Satisfaction / Customer Review Levels:
Purple – FAILURE!
- You royally screwed up, (9)! You can receive a purple review by giving a customer the wrong order, by giving them a dish that has too many tags they hate, or by making them spend more than they budgeted for. Since you can’t see their exact budget under normal circumstances, just be careful about forcing them to drink the really expensive stuff. I’m talking about Suika right now. She loves High-Alcohol drinks, which are usually the most expensive. Unless you know how much she’s gonna order, stick with the Tengu Tango.
When you receive a purple, it will break your running combo.
- Also note that satisfaction is a balancing act – if you give a Rare customer a dish that has a tag they hate, add an ingredient with something they love to make up!
Customers should still pay you but don’t expect a tip. Also, note that draining their budget might not net you as much as you thought. Not really sure, it’s hard to do the math when customers order several dishes.
- Getting a purple review from a Rare or Special customer will result in them dropping a Punishment Spell Card! This can range anywhere from irrelevant (Keine) to devastating (Mokou)
Green – Acceptable
- You scraped by and met the minimum requirements. You can get this by giving a customer exactly what they ordered and nothing more. It’s totally fine to do this to normal customers, but kinda a waste on Rare & Specialty. They’ll still pay you though and even tip a little. It won’t really change their approval or Kizuna level.
Orange – Tasty!
- You got a good review! The customer’s approval rating will go up. You can get this one by satisfying their request, and going a little bit further – like by giving them 1 extra ingredient with a tag they like. Make sure it’s a tag that wasn’t already part of the dish though, or you’ll still get green. Note that they pay for the dish, not the extra ingredients, so you don’t want to throw away all your truffles to get some nameless tengu to like you a bit more. Throw those truffles at Marisa, she’ll go bonkers.
Customers may tip a bit more, I’m not 100% sure. Again it’s hard to do the math when the numbers are only on the screen for a couple of seconds. The game has a Base Tip Rate, which increases as you level up, so I think that orange lets you get tips in excess of this rate.
Pink – Delicioso!
- You nailed it! This one is for Rare & Special customers. Don’t even try to reach it on Normal ones, they’ll give you no extra love. The customer will have a big jump in approval rating, and their Kizuna will go up (Rares Only). And best of all, they’ll drop a Reward Spell Card! This can range from a nice 1-use coupon to Kourindou* (the specialty item shop) *valid next day only, to amazing spell cards that literally drown you with customers, or make them all tip while they’re waiting inline.
Kizuna Level / Friendship Level
Kizuna Level is how your progress your friendships in the game. It is also how you unlock a ton of recipes, as well as the ability to ask for supplies. Kizuna Level only applies to “Rare” characters, so normal customers and special customers are unaffected.
Each character starts at level 1, with no hearts. You can view their profile and check the status in the Journal on the Album tab – but they won’t be added to the journal until you’ve met them at least once.
Once the gauge is full of hearts, a quest will be issued (usually to provide them with a specific ingredient). Sometimes they will seek you out, other times you need to go and talk to them directly. Once you talk to them (assuming you have the ingredient in your pantry) they will give you a new recipe. This will immediately issue a new quest to serve that new dish to them during restaurant hours. This is important! You cannot serve them during the day, and you cannot progress to the next Kizuna level with them until you serve them!
Kizuna hearts can be awarded during Restaurant Hours for serving character dishes that they love (this is the easiest way). You can also earn some during the daytime for chatting, inviting them over, etc.
Increasing Kizuna level is very important to game progression since most of the game’s recipes can only be unlocked by doing so. This is the best way to get variety in your serving, unlock ‘expensive recipes or fancy tags, and fulfill quests.
Side Questing, Bunbunmaru, and Trends
Side quests (excluding Kizuna quests) are a good way to earn unique currencies, rare ingredients, and repair your karma (jk*). Sometimes they offer new recipes as well. You will be notified of most side quests via Bunbunmaru, but Restaurant upgrades from Chen and Kizuna quests will be excluded from the news.
*Mystia is known for casting night blindness on people and luring them to her cart, only to feed them the “Cure” in the form of grilled lamprey. A true snake-oil salesman if there ever was one.
Many side quests require you to perform quick fetch quests, while others ask for ingredients or pre-cooked meals. These meals need to be done via the Oven. The good news is, you can hand meals indirectly from the journal – by pressing J or clicking Select when you have a quest highlighted. You can also hand them in by talking to the quest-giver and selecting ‘related tasks’. The bad news is that the quest description is mostly untranslated as of Jan ’22- but any required tags or requestors will be translated. Below is an example of a quest where you are being asked to provide meals that meet the tags included:
Bunbunmaru is the newspaper run by the lightning-fast tengu Shameimaru Aya. While not exactly 100% reliable, Aya gathers a suspicious amount of information, especially gossip. If a character has a non-Kizuna quest for you, she will post a snippet about it in the News section. She will also make notes about Trendy foods, so keep an eye out!
When Aya posts a notice about a popular (or unpopular) trend, it’s time to stock up! Trends are an easy way to make customers happy, rake in the Kizuna Level, and the dough. Assuming you have the recipes/ingredients necessary, of course…
When a tag is made trendy, for a limited time, any dish that has that tag applied (whether inherent or added via extra ingredients) will also gain the tag ‘Trend-Popular’ or ‘Trend-Unpopular’.
This means that if a character likes Fungus, and Fungus is trending, then they will give you double approval for a dish with Fungus! If Sweet is trending, and a character hates sweets but likes Trendy foods, then they will cancel out (more or less).
The supermajority of characters follows whatever trend Aya mentions, meaning they like Popular foods and dislike Unpopular ones. Generally, you won’t unlock the character’s preference tag and know for sure until they love/hate what you give them, so give it a shot!
There are a few characters that are neutral, and even a few that do the opposite of whatever the trend is! Tenshi and Cirno come to mind.
Avoiding Debtors’ Prison & Yokai Extermination
This game is generally forgiving. You can make BIG $$ if you play things right, and even if you mess up a bit, most days run an OK profit at worst. There are times when you will make a net loss on a day (because you upgraded the Restaurant, purchased a boatload of supplies, or got Tewi’d on a bad day).
If it’s cash you’re trying to make, Human Village with an Lv3 Restaurant can make massive bank if you get lucky, or just big bucks if you aren’t lucky. But don’t let that stop you from trying other locations and combinations!
There are only 2 or so Main Quest missions where the difficulty is absurdly high compared to the rest of the game. Fortunately, if you fail, you will just start the day over. Unfortunately, if you fail, you will just start the day over.
That's everything we are sharing today for this Touhou Mystia's Izakaya guide. This guide was originally created and written by nobody's fault but mine. In case we fail to update this guide, you can find the latest update by following this link.