'Izakayas are a unique part of Japanese food culture. They are Japanese style pubs where you can enjoy different dishes and appetizers with alcohol. Many shops offer meals like ramen noodles and set meals in addition to authentic Japanese appetizers like yakitori (skewered chicken), sashimi and grilled fish, so that even non-drinkers can enjoy themselves. They are easily accessible with reasonable prices and a casual atmosphere, with no dress code. Today, these shops are popular among foreign travelers as places where you can eat delicious food and enjoy drinking. There are some major Japanese izakaya chain branches available in major cities abroad, so they may be familiar to some of you. Presently there are many shops which are particular about the kinds of alcohol they serve, the type of food, customer service, number of tables, budget and location, and also have an entirely unique and specialized atmosphere. Thus, choosing your type of shop could be one of the joys of izakaya too.
What is an izakaya?

An izakaya is a restaurant that serves alcoholic beverages and accompanying food. On Fridays, the next day is the weekend, so you can see the area crowded with people wearing suits.
Generally, small tables are set up, and it is common in Japan to have fun with friends, co-workers, and bosses.

Special features of izakaya

Orders can be made directly to the shop staff, from single dishes of your preference. You may also request course menus, however, bear in mind that you might need to make prior reservations in some cases. There are also shops which offer all-you-can-drink plans, so it's a good idea to confirm with the shop when making your choice or when entering it. Prices range widely from relatively reasonable shops to expensive shops, depending on the kinds of alcohol and food as well as location. On entering and ordering some drink, you may be brought a small dish of appetizer even though you haven't ordered it, and will be charged the price later. This is called otooshi or tsukidashi and is served to fill the gap until the customer's order is served, acting as a kind of service charge. *Please be aware that this kind of system exists.

Izakayas offer a comprehensive range of typical Japanese foods such as rice balls, kamameshi, sushi, sashimi, udon noodles, ramen, okonomiyaki, fried chicken, croquettes, and curry.

And there are all sorts of alcoholic beverages, including beer, sake, shochu, whiskey, and wine.
In addition, we have a delicious sweets menu after the meal.
There may not be many restaurants overseas that have a full lineup of dishes like Japanese izakayas.

What drink do you order first?

When you first enter a Japanese izakaya, you may be at a loss as to what to drink or what kind of alcoholic beverages are available. Here is a ranking of the first drink you order at an izakaya. If you know, you may be able to order smoothly without worrying about drinks.
Q,What drink do you order first?
1st place: Beer
2nd place: soft drinks
3rd place: sour/chuhai
4th Place: Highball

What is all-you-can-drink?
This is a system where you can order as much as you like from the all-you-can-drink drink menu for a set time. Basically, after finishing one drink, order the next drink. Soft drinks and non-alcoholic drinks are also available for those who don't like alcohol. When the time limit is approaching, many shops come to ask for the last order. Be careful not to drink too much!

What dish do you order first?

Here is a ranking of the first food you order when you enter an izakaya.
1st place: fried chicken/deep-fried food
2nd Place: Yakitori
3rd Place: Salad
4th place: edamame
Beer was often the first drink ordered, so fried foods such as fried chicken are often preferred as a menu that goes well with it.

Terms you often hear and phrases you can use at an izakaya

Q.「Irasshaimase」(This is the word that the clerk says when welcoming a customer.)

Q.「Nanmeisamadesu ka?」(The clerk will ask how many people came when you come to the store)

Q.「Sumimasen」(Use this when you want to ask something to the clerk. If there is a call button or touch panel, use it.)

Q.「Osusume wa nanidesu ka?」(Used when asking about dishes recommended by the restaurant or staff)

Q.「Ohiya kudasai」(I use it when I want water)

Important points to note

Minors aged under 20 are legally forbidden to drink alcohol in Japan. Shops are also forbidden to offer alcohol to minors so you may be asked to show your identification. Drunk-driving is also prohibited under the law in Japan, so please refrain from drinking alcohol if you are driving. Please note that drunk-driving is applicable to not only automobiles but also bicycles.