#921

Lively Drinking Spots in Japan: Beer Gardens and Izakaya Japanese Pubs

You can find Beer Gardens atop department stores around Japan and Izakayas along any busy restaurant area in any city in the country.

Although also popular with groups of friends or coworkers, you will find Japanese style pubs "Izakaya" popular with men- they serve many small dishes that go well with cold beers, sake or other alcoholic drinks like shochu (potato liquor). Many Izakaya are very lively, fun places- but be prepared to pay an extra small charge for the initial dish when you sit down (a kind of table charge). If you can't read Japanese ask for "osusume" the recommended dish and get a draft beer "nama-beer-kudasai"

Beer gardens are now open (summer months) and offer buffet dining and a set all-you-can-eat and drink charge for a set time. These are popular with men and groups of friends or colleagues (similar to izakaya). They are lively & often have themes.

"Man-Food" at these places is probably the innards/guts dishes called "horumon" but the sea urchin "uni" and other quite standard Japanese dishes like "natto" fermented soybeans might take a bit of bravery to try for the first time.

If in Hiroshima- a favorite izakaya is WordsWorth: http://en.japantourist.jp/view/wordsworth-wine-bar-hiroshima

Or the cozy, Wakana: http://en.japantourist.jp/view/wakana-%E3%82%8F%E3%81%8B%E8%8F%9C-izakaya

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