When you step into a Japanese pub, known as "izakaya," a chorus of friendly staff will greet you with the phrase, "Irasshaimase!"
Wondering what else to expect? Featuring step-by-step pictures, this guide will show you what you might encounter at a Japanese pub.
Find out the names for different temperatures of Japanese sake and what you should do when shown to a Japanese-style room, among other things. You’ll be an expert in no time!
Wet hand towels called "oshibori" are provided for free to use before your meal.
Recently, a disposable type made of paper inside a plastic wrapper has become common.
There are also izakaya where you are handed the towel from the staff.
Before eating, wipe your hands clean using the damp hand towel.
Before you even place your order, some izakaya will give you a small appetizer called "otoshi." This dish is included in the cover charge.
One of the charms of Japanese pubs is that you can taste dishes that aren't on the menu as well as foods you've never tried before.
These small dishes differ according to the pub, and are an enjoyable part of Japanese culture.
*Please note that not all izakaya offer otoshi.
*There are some izakaya where you can decline the appetizer. In case you do not wish to receive an appetizer, please consult with the staff.
At izakaya, you use disposable wooden chopsticks to eat your meal.
Some izakaya have menus with illustrations or photographs, while others have menus with only text.
There are also izakaya that offer English menus, so be sure to ask the staff.
First of all, order your favorite drink.
"Toriaezu biru" is a phrase in Japanese which means, "First and foremost, beer." Many Japanese people quickly order a mug of cold beer upon arriving at an izakaya.
If this describes you, too, try using the phrase, "toriaezu biru!"
The typical size of draft beer is a medium-size mug.
Depending on the pub, small or large sizes are also available.
A large mug is recommended for those who want to drink to their heart's content.
*The size of mug may vary by pub.
Of course, there are also bottled beers. Order a few to share with everyone at your table!
Japanese alcohol comes in a variety of sweet or dry types.
When visiting a pub where they understand English, try inquiring with the staff for more details.
When ordering sake, you can choose how you drink it.
Drinking it hot is called "atsukan,"
while drinking it warmed to human body temperature is "nurukan."
On the other hand, drinking it at room temperature or chilled is known as "hiya."
If you want to taste the flavors of the sake, drinking it room temperature or cold is recommended.
Pour it into either a small sake cup, "ochoko" or a large sake cup, "guinomi," and enjoy.
The combination of cold alcohol paired with "yakitori" chicken skewers is outstanding.
Choose from "shio," yakitori grilled with salt, or "tare," yakitori with a savory sweet sauce, and find your favorite flavor.
There are numerous kinds to try, from chicken meatballs covered in savory sweet sauce to crispy chicken skin grilled with salt. You'll want to order a few of both types!
Add a sprinkle of Japanese seven spice, known as "shichimi," to your liking.
Be careful not to use too much!
After eating the yakitori, you can place the skewer in the special holder provided.
Nagoya specialty foods such as "miso oden," "doteni," "tebaskai," and so on are known collectively as "Nagoya meshi." All of them pair well with drinks!
Dishes made using Aichi's famous local product, "hatcho miso," or other dark, flavorful soybean pastes are highly recommended.
Nagoya-meshi Official website:
Besides tables and chairs, some izakaya have Japanese-style rooms with tatami mats or a wooden floor.
When shown to this kind of room, remember to take off your shoes before entering.
-- Daruma --
3-18-18 Nishiki, Naka-ku, Nagoya-City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan 460-0003
Official Web Site:
Besides a classic izakaya menu, Daruma also offers a large variety of Nagoya meshi and a wide selection of drinks.
Please ask staff for an English menu with illustrations.