What is “Izakaya” ?

“Izakaya” is a type of Japanese bar and restaurant which you can find everywhere in Japan. Izakaya means “liquor shop” in Japanese. It has been known since Edo period. In that time, only few shops are permitted to sell alcohol drinks. At first, customers had to bring their own containers, until then some shops began to provide seats and snacks. After that Izakaya became official restaurant business and has been continuously developing its services up to date.

Izakaya Atmosphere

Generally, the atmosphere in Izakaya restaurant is quite bustle and noisy because it is a place where Japanese people usually come to socialize with friends and colleagues. Most Izakaya restaurants divided into two zones which are smoking and non-smoking zone. If you are not smoke, do not mind to ask for a seat in non-smoking area.

Menu and Promotions

There are more than 100 kinds of drinks available in Izakaya, such as, beer, soju, sake, cocktail, and non-alchohol drinks. You can also order variety of food and snacks as well. Usually, you can eat and drink at Izakaya restaurant as long as you want except your Izakaya is the famous one and there are lots of people waiting. In that case, those Izakaya will limited the service time for the convenience of other customers.

Menu Examples in Izakaya

  • Karaage
  • Sashimi
  • Agedashi Tofu
  • Yakitori
  • Salty Cabbage
  • Dashimaki Tamago
  • Tako Wasabi
  • Edamame Beans

For those who come in group, in addition to private room, some Izakaya restaurants will offer special promotions for saving your costs. For example, all-you-can-eat promotion (unlimited foods and drinks) and course menu promotion. Most Izakaya limited the times around 90 – 120 minutes depending on the conditions of the restaurant.

Today, Izakaya become a part of Japanese daily life. It is a place to party, meeting, celebration, business purpose, etc. At Izakaya, you will see the Japanese people on the other side you have never seen before. If you have a chance to live in Japan, try to experience Izakaya once and you will know Japan better.