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Just like Turkish people do, Japanese people spend a lot of time to communicate with others. Among young people in Japan, and even older people, IZAKAYA is one of the most familiar places as place to have fun.

What is IZAKAYA?
IZAKAYA is a place to eat and drink, and also to communicate. Its name in KANJI (Chinese characters) refers place to stay and drink. “居” means to stay, “酒” means alcohols, “屋” means shops and stores. Originally it had been just liquor stores, but gradually they have begun to let their customers to drink at the shop and to serve garnishes, and become IZAKAYA, a place to stay with drinking. It shows IZAKAYA is not a just place to drink, but have conversations over alcohols. Young people often use it to enhance friendships among members of clubs, classes, part-time job, etc. Workers also use it for after-work drinking. It has been a drink place for men until 1970s, but today many women customers also use IZAKAYA. It is not rare case to use IZAKAYA to celebrate someone’s birthday, to date, to watch soccer game, etc. It is a place to have banquet and to communicate.
It is often translated as “bar” in English, but IZAKAYA is different from European or American bars in some ways. It serves more substantial food than bar. In IZAKAYAs you can have not only light meals but also dinner with drinks.

In IZAKAYA, people usually share their dishes at the table. After you order your dishes and drinks, waiter will bring it to your table. Sometimes they have appetizer called otohshi. In most cases they have also course menu, and “drink as much as you want” menu. In some shops you can order your drinks and foods with a monitor remotely.
Usually their interior decoration, foods and drinks are Japanese traditional style, but to offer original services, they have various menus. Menu of a shop depends on its concept. In most of IZAKAYAs they have also non-Japanese alcohols (cocktails, beers, whiskeys, wine, etc) not only Japanese drinks (sake, shouchu, etc). Some of them serve very traditional Japanese foods, and another shop has foreign-style dishes or their original dishes and cocktails, etc. Some of them have old Japanese styled decorations, and another makes it more pub-like style, another Asian-style, their original decoration, etc. Some of them are chains, and the others are small and personally ran. Some of them make much of lower price, others are proud of quality of their services and color of the shops. Some of them are open from evening to morning, like 5-6am.

People in Japan choose one shop due to the situation. You can find the best shop that satisfies your aim from various selects. For place to celebrate something, to enhance friendship, to date, or just a drink after job, you can use and enjoy IZAKAYA.

Lara Higano


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