A Take A Look At Japan's Izakaya Culture

A Take A Look At Japan's Izakaya Culture

Because the sun goes down and the roar of one other bustling day begins to soften, alongside the winding streets and corners of the town, the glow of the lanterns of the izakaya start to turn on, inviting you to the refreshing comforts of a drink and freshly prepared meals, for this is only the start of a magical entertaining night time before another bustling day of work.

Izakaya which literally means 'keep-in sake shop' (sakaya) are Japanese pubs where people can calm down and enjoy freshly prepared small plates of food together with their drinks. Within the Western world, the izakaya would be thought of as a Happy Hour venue, where folks come after work for affordable food and drink to calm down after a day at work. Izakayas vary greatly in type, price, menu and atmosphere. Approximately 1 out of every 5 eating places in Japan can be considered an izakaya.

History and Culture

The origin of Izakaya goes back so far as the Edo period (1603-1867). They started as liquor shops, where one might purchase a bottle of sake and sit to drink it. Eventually meals was added to menus and the drink lists started to broaden with the introduction of international liquors.

Typically at an izakaya, clients can see over-the-counter and watch cooks prepare the dishes. It's this closeness between the purchasers, the chef and the meals that makes izakayas deeply rooted in each day life making a community. People in Japan don't commonly have house parties, dinner parties or backyard barbecues; coworkers, associates and social clubs typically use izakaya as a venue for get-collectively and social interactions.

Traditional-style izakaya, which are called akachochin for his or her red lanterns, are often smaller institutions which will play folks or traditional music. These shops are likely to draw regulars from the surrounding neighborhood and are favorites amongst older patrons.

There are also western fashion izakaya, which are more trendy and modernized to draw in visitors and the youthful generation. Izakayas can also be found in lots of cities across the world.


Once you sit down at an izakaya in Japan, you might be given some small dishes and a warm wet towel earlier than you order anything. Called 'otoshi' or 'tsuki-dashi', these are a part of a Japanese Celebrities customized to produce small appetizers earlier than clients order; on no account are you being compelled to order these. These are a part of the cover charge which is added to your invoice at the finish of the meal. You can too decide the character and atmosphere of the restaurant's food from the contents of the otoshi.


One of many biggest difference between izakaya and restaurant is that the food parts are served in small plates, something to go along with the drinks. These small plates are called 'tsumami' which can differ primarily based on the seasons and places.

Most izakayas virtually at all times have skewered items on the grill called yakitori (which includes chicken, meats, and vegetables on skewers), sashimi, sushi, tofu, stuffed peppers, soups and lots of other dishes traditional as well as modern.