Unveiling the Unique Drinking Culture: Izakayas and Bars in Japan


The culture of eating out is a part of Japanese social life, and the experience of eating and drinking at izakaya (Japanese style pubs) and bars in particular is unique to Japan. The following describes some of the characteristics of drinking at an izakaya or bar.

1. food and drink pairing: In izakaya and bars, it is common to enjoy a meal along with a drink. There are a variety of dishes on the menu, and you can enjoy Japanese cuisine such as snacks, charbroiled dishes, and sashimi. The combination of food and alcohol allows you to spend time while drinking.

2. how to order: At izakaya and bars, it is common for each person to order one dish. You choose the food and drink you want from the menu and place your order. If you are visiting with a group, you may also choose to share your food with others. The ordering method is usually to tell the waiter directly or to use a special ordering system. 3.

3. seating style: Izakaya and bars offer a variety of seating styles, such as tatami rooms and counters. Counter seating allows you to enjoy communicating with the bartender. In a tatami room, you can enjoy your meal and conversation while relaxing. 4.

4. all-you-can-drink plan: Izakaya and bars sometimes offer an all-you-can-drink plan for a fixed price and within a time limit. This is especially popular for group drinking parties. With an all-you-can-drink plan, you can easily enjoy yourself while choosing from a wide variety of drinks on the menu. 5.

Atmosphere and service: The atmosphere of izakaya and bars varies from a relaxed Japanese style to a modern Western style. The interior is often warmly lit, creating a cozy atmosphere. Customer service is also important in Japanese izakaya and bars. The waitstaff is usually courteous and friendly. When ordering or paying the bill, it is common to call out to the waiter or raise your hand to get his/her attention.

6. drink types: Izakaya and bars offer a wide variety of alcoholic beverages. Sake, shochu, beer, wine, cocktails, and many other types of alcoholic beverages are available. Soft drinks and non-alcoholic cocktails are also available for those who are not fond of alcohol and drivers.

7. Smoking and non-smoking: Smoking is permitted in some eateries and bars, with the exception of a few establishments. However, smoking has become increasingly banned in recent years, and many establishments have non-smoking areas. Smokers should check the areas where smoking is allowed or ask the staff.

8. closing hours: Izakaya and bars are generally open until midnight, but closing hours vary by region and establishment. Some establishments, especially in large cities, are open 24 hours a day. If you plan to visit early or stay late to enjoy yourself, it is advisable to check the opening hours in advance.

9. tipping customs: Tipping is not customary in Japanese izakaya (Japanese style pubs) and bars. The price includes a service charge and no additional tip is required. The amount paid at the time of the bill is the entire charge.

The experience of eating and drinking at a Japanese izakaya or bar is a great way to enjoy good food and drinks in a friendly atmosphere. Interacting with the locals and experiencing Japanese food and beverage culture will create deeper travel memories. However, be sure to have a good time while respecting the manners and culture of the people around you. Below are a few things to keep in mind when drinking at an izakaya or bar.

10. be mindful of noise: Izakaya and bars are places to enjoy drinking and eating, but be careful not to disturb the customers around you. Avoid loud talking and noise, and try to behave in a quiet manner that is appropriate to the atmosphere around you. 11.

11. respect the seating distance: Seating in a tavern or bar can be very close to other customers. Respect privacy by not entering conversations at other seats. Also, be careful not to disturb other patrons by smoking or smelling perfume. 12.

12. follow the rules of ordering: When ordering, try to be as clear as possible. Especially during busy or crowded hours, it is important to clearly state the menu name and quantity to ensure prompt and efficient service.

13. be careful how you address the waiter: When ordering or asking for service, try to address the waiter in a polite manner. Generally, say, “Excuse me,” and call for the waiter. A polite “please” can be added to the greeting to make it sound more polite. 14. paying at the cash register: When paying at the cash register, you should always say, “I’m sorry.

14. Paying at the cash register: When it is time to pay, it is common to make your way to the cash register. Tell the clerk how you would like to pay and confirm the charges before paying. It is advisable to check in advance whether credit cards and cash are accepted.

15. toast: If you are visiting a tavern or bar with a group, the toast is an important moment. Raise your glass and toast with the others. It is also common to look at the other person’s glass before drinking it. Making eye contact with others and smiling during the toast will help create a friendly atmosphere.

16. the last drink: In Japanese izakaya (Japanese style pubs) and bars, it is customary to cherish the last drink of the evening. This is called “shime no ichiru,” or “the last drink,” and is an expression of gratitude for the time spent together by emptying the glass. Enjoying the last drink with others is a great way to strengthen friendships.

17. be aware of last orders: Izakaya and bars have a “last order” time. Try to refrain from ordering drinks and food at the end of the business hours. It is important to respect the working hours of the waitstaff and the restaurant’s schedule.

18. courtesy when leaving: Remember to say “thank you” to the waiter when you leave the restaurant. It is also good manners to neatly clean up the restaurant and arrange your own seat.

The bar charge culture is the rule that one must order a drink in order to spend a certain amount of time in some Japanese bars. This is a system whereby the bar owner charges as a service fee for providing the location.

Specifically, a charge is made upon entering the bar as an entrance fee, a time charge, or a table charge. This charge is usually charged along with the drink order. In other words, you are expected to pay a certain amount of money and then order a drink equivalent to that amount.

Charge rates at bars vary depending on the bar’s style, atmosphere, and location. In some upscale bars, charge fees can be high, but in general bars are relatively reasonable.

To help foreigners understand charge fees at bars, please note the following points

1. ask if there is a charge before entering the bar: Before entering a bar, ask the staff if there is a charge. It is important to have clear information about the charge before you enter the bar. 2.

2. pay the charge: In some cases, you may be asked to pay the charge when you enter the bar. In some cases, a charge may be assessed at the time you order your drinks. 3.

3. order a drink equivalent to the charge: You can spend your time by ordering a drink equivalent to the charge. Be sure to check the types of drinks and their prices.

4. be mindful of time: If there is a charge, you are expected to spend a certain amount of time. Allow plenty of time and be respectful of the space you share with other patrons.

A charge fee at a bar is a mechanism for paying for the services provided by the bar owner. It is important for foreigners to keep the above points in mind when spending time in bars and to show understanding and respect for the charge fee. Below we offer more specific advice on the culture of charging in bars.

5. check the menu and prices: Before entering a bar, check the menu and prices. If drink types and prices are clearly indicated, you can order according to your budget.

6. enjoy the variety and taste of the drinks: Bars offer a wide variety of drinks. Each region and each bar has its own unique characteristics, so try the locally recommended drinks. You can enjoy a variety of tastes such as cocktails and local drinks.

7. communicate with bartenders: Bartenders are drink experts and can provide local information and recommendations. Be willing to communicate with them and enjoy their knowledge and skills.

8. enjoy the atmosphere: Bars often have a relaxed atmosphere and music. You can mingle with other customers and staff and get a feel for the local culture. Relax and enjoy the atmosphere of the bar.

9. moderate moderation: Drinks at bars are meant to be enjoyed, but moderation is also important. Be careful not to drink too much and respect the space you share with those around you.

The culture of charging at bars is part of the Japanese culture of eating out and is a good opportunity to experience another culture. Use the advice above to enjoy your stay at a bar and soak up the local atmosphere and charm.

The experience of eating and drinking at a Japanese izakaya or bar is not only an opportunity to enjoy food and drinks, but also to interact with the Japanese people and experience a part of their culture. Spend a memorable time in a pleasant atmosphere while observing the above features and manners.