Suntory's 10 Izakaya Tips
Traveling with a group can often lead to new friends, memories, and a whole bunch of fun stories to share years your vacation ends. One of the best memories this traveler has of a Japan tour I took included meeting some new people who shared my love of anime and food. When dinner time approached, my new friends were ready to eat but had no idea where. I suggested an Izakaya after thinking back to a recommendation from Japan Deluxe Tours. My travel companions were definitely glad I made the call, as they still tell me it was one of their favorite meals to this day.
Although it's great to have such a fun time, I quickly realized
maybe not all of our clients can fully enjoy an Izakaya experience can they? Thankfully, beverage maker Suntory has put out a nifty video sharing a few tips on how to enjoy an Izakaya. Don't worry about hitting the subtitle button, the video is already in English!
10 Tips to Remember!
- Irasshai - The first thing you will likely here, this is a greeting from the staff. It's expected to respond with the number of people in your party (1 = hitori, 2 = nimei, 3 = sanmei, 4 = yonmei).
- Otoshi - This is your
complimentary appetizeror cover charge. Typically included in your meal and is often inexpensive.
- Oshibori - The warm towel you will receive shortly after sitting down. This is meant for wiping your hands only. Wiping yoru face is not typically avoided.
- Toriaezu Nama - Your opening phrase which literally means
Start with beer, often said at izakaya. It's also expected/customary each person will have a drink. If you cannot handle alcohol, most izakaya offer soft drinks.
- Beer is poured 7 to 3 - My friends get on my case a lot about this, but in Japan you want about 70% of the glass to have beer and 30% foam. I realize it isn't like the in the States but trying new cultures is part of vacations.
- No Drinking Until Everyone's Served - An expected Japanese custom, but no drinking until everyone has a drink.
- Sumimasen - the phrase you're going to want to commit to heart, this is how you call your server. Though some izakaya do have a Call Button, a friendly sumimasen goes a long way.
- highball/sours - two popular drink options next to Beer. Note: Suntory is famous for their Whiskey High Ball so you may want to try one out next time you're at an izakaya.
- Okaikei onegai shimasu - Done with your meal? Say Okaikei onegai shimasu (check please!) to indicate you are ready to pay and go.
Hopefully these tips help you next time you're ready for a night of drinking with your new friends in Japan. Keep in mind, Japan is heavy on the drinking culture so it isn't uncommon to lose yourself in the fun at an izakaya. Order tasty snacks all night and swap stories at these amazing Japanese pubs. Try it for yourself in Tokyo during your next vacation with Japan Deluxe Tours!