Izakaya - Traditional Japanese Bar
Did you ever wonder what those big red lanterns in front of the entrances mean? You are standing in front of Izakaya a traditional Japanese bar. Different from other bars is the extensive food menu. Most places you can get yakitori, seafood dumplings, sushi, sashimi, fried chicken.. Izakaya is a place where eating and chatting with your friends is usually as important as drinking.
The drink menu in Izakaya is usually large. You can get Japanese sake, shochu, whisky (perhaps Suntory), vodka, most popular red and white wines, coctails. The ones wanting non alcohol drinks can also get something they like.
Japanese have custom to eat always something while drinking, perhaps since the Japanese are traditionally sensitive for alcohol and can get drunk very easily. However in Izakaya you usually can't really get large foods enough to satisfy your hunger.
The Japanese salarymen are the main customer group of izakayas, they usually go to eat and relax together after work. Before izakayas were men's places mostly, but nowadays independent women and even housewives go there. It is quite interesting to notice - the change has been happening during few past years.
Tsubohachi is one of the famous izakaya chains in Japan. Izakaya are sometimes called Akachochin which means the red lantern. Izakayas are usually found easily next to almost every train station in Japan.