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What are izakaya (Japanese style pubs) popular in Japan?

Izakaya Japanese style pub beer

If you are in Japan on business for an extended period of time, you may have heard the word “izakaya”.

Especially in companies where you have colleagues or bosses who like to drink, there will be many cases where you go to izakaya after work.

For foreign nationals, it may be difficult to get an idea of what it is like.

However, once you experience it, you will be hooked on its charm and want to go there again and again.

In this article, we would like to explain the charm of Izakaya that attracts many foreigners.

What is Izakaya?

Izakaya refers to “a restaurant that serves alcoholic beverages and a variety of food.

Generally, smaller tables (tables for two or four people) are laid out.

The purpose of izakaya is to enjoy drinks and food with friends, colleagues, and bosses, not to entertain women as in a “cabaret club” or “club.

When you order alcoholic beverages or food, the waiter brings them from the kitchen to your table.

Compared to restaurants and bars, the drinks and food can be enjoyed at a much lower price, making it an indispensable genre of restaurant for the masses.

The restaurant is full of energy, and the place is filled with people who are drunk and merry.

Therefore, some people may become a little too familiar with the wait staff, and others may make so much noise that their voices can be heard at the surrounding tables.

Izakaya Japanese style pub street

Attractiveness of Izakaya

Let us now list some of the “Attractions of Izakaya”.

There is a reason why foreigners are addicted to them.

Cheap and tasty drinks and food

Izakaya is a place where you can enjoy cheap and tasty drinks and food.

For drinks, you can find everything from beer, sake, shochu, wine, whiskey, etc., and you can drink a glass for only a few hundred yen.

Meals (called “otsumami” in Japan) are also available for inexpensive amounts ranging from 200 to 600 yen per item.

What is surprising is the variety.

  • Sashimi
  • Salads
  • Steak
  • Potato fries
  • Fried rice
  • Pizza
  • Fried chicken
  • Sweets
  • Yakitori
  • Yakitori, sausage, sausage

Some izakaya have more than 100 different types of food on their menus alone.

Some izakayas offer more than 100 different types of food, many of which are uniquely Japanese, and all of which are inexpensive and delicious, making them easy to enjoy.

For 3,000 yen per person, you are sure to be very satisfied.

All-you-can-drink plans are available.

For those who like to drink, it is a great system to be able to drink for only a few hundred yen per drink, but if you drink nearly 10 drinks and have a meal, you will easily spend more than 5,000 yen.

However, izakaya bars offer an “all-you-can-drink plan,” so you don’t have to worry.

There is a time limit (120 minutes, etc.), but no matter how many drinks you have within that time, there is no additional charge.

In some cases, the all-you-can-drink plan includes several meals.

The contents of the plans vary from restaurant to restaurant, but anyway, since “all you can drink within the time limit,” it will be a great time for drink lovers.

You can taste the real Japan.

Many foreigners who visit Japan on vacation want to “taste the real Japan.

If you want to experience how Japanese people live in Japan, Izakaya is the best choice for you.

Izakaya is the most suitable choice if you feel that you want to have a taste of how Japanese people live.

While some rich people spend their smart time at high-class restaurants, many ordinary citizens do not go to such places very often.

Even “counter sushi” restaurants, which are visited by foreigners as a tourist attraction, are visited only once a year or so by actual Japanese people. (The general public mostly goes to inexpensive sushi restaurants called “kaitenzushi”).

However, many people go to izakaya (Japanese style pubs) for drinks on a weekly basis.

Of course, people who don’t like to drink rarely go there, but if you are a working person and like to drink, you must go to izakaya quite often.

In the sense of “the reality of the Japanese people,” izakaya is truly the “heart of Japan.

In the sense that you can experience such an atmosphere, you will have the best experience.

Izakaya Japanese style pub drinking

Responsiveness of the waitstaff and speed of food and alcohol delivery

One of the things that surprises foreigners when they visit an izakaya is the speed.

In Japan, however, the food arrives at your table one after another.

Of course, there are cases where you may have to wait more than 10 minutes depending on how crowded the place is, but in any case, both alcohol and food are delivered to your table quickly.

This is a characteristic of Japan’s strength in efficiency.

You will also be surprised at the responsiveness of the wait staff.

They deliver food and drinks to many tables with a minimum number of people and quickly clear empty plates and glasses.

If you are using an izakaya for the first time, you may have some questions, but the level of customer service is high, and if you ask questions, they should be able to answer them politely.

However, there may not be many waitstaff who can speak English well, so ask questions slowly using words that are easy to understand.


In this article, we have explained the charm of izakaya that attracts many foreigners.

  • The drinks and food are inexpensive and tasty.
  • All-you-can-drink plans are available.
  • You can taste the real Japan.
  • ∙ Responsiveness of the waitstaff and the speed at which the food and drinks arrive

Izakaya, where you can enjoy a wide variety of drinks and food at low prices, is an indispensable restaurant for Japanese people.

Many foreigners actually become addicted to them, so why not try them when you visit Japan?