“Izakaya (居酒屋)” is a Japanese style bar which offers alcohol and snacks that nice to go with alcohol. There are many famous chain Izayaka such as “Watamin(和民)” and “Kita no Kazoku（北の家族）” nearby the terminal station of Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, etc. which are always crowded with salaryman (office workers) during weekday night. Many home cooked food such as Oden, Croquette, fried chicken, potato salad are served at such Izayaka. It is also a kind of enjoyment to order few types of dishes, eat and compare when you are dining at Izayaka. However, there are actually some rules and remark you need to take note when dining in Japanese Izakaya. Today, we are going to brief you 3 things to know about dining at Izakaya!
When the snacks which you didn’t order is served: "Otoshi" system
In Japan Izakaya, you will be served with the appetizer even though you didn’t order for it. “Agedashi Tofu” (Fried beancurd), Hiyayakko (cold beancurd), edamame, etc. are commonly served as “Otoshi(お通し)”. For those who have never dined at Izakaya might misunderstand and wonder if that is a mistake done by the waiter and ask, "I have not ordered yet! Is this a mistake?". It depends on the Izakaya whether you are allowed to reject the served “Otoshi”. Even though they allow you to reject, you might also be charged for a “Seat Charge” instead. In the receipt, you will find it written as “Otoshi” which is counted by the total headcount of the customers. The standard charge for “Otoshi” is approximately 400 - 500 yen per person.
Ring the wireless chime on the table when you need order assistance!
Most of the chain Izakaya has a wireless chime placed on each table. When you need order assistance you just have to press the button. It is so efficient as you don't need to raise your hands and look for a waiter. Also, most of the menu of the major Izakaya chain is shown with photo so you can order securely even though you don’t understand Japanese language.
Drinks that you can order for "All-you-can-drink package" are limited!
Most of the Japan Izakaya provide all-you-can-drink package for their customers. However, normally the package does not cover all the drinks in the menu. Normally the drinks available for all-you-can-drink package are only the selected items, and you cannot specify the brand of Shochu, Japanese Sake and wine. In general, the package of all-you-can-drink lasts for 2 hours with 1,500 to 2,500 yen per pax. 10 minutes before times up, the staff will come to take the last order from you.