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Sunday, 30th March 2014
In Japan Entertainment News,

Drinking in Japan

If you have any intention of going out in Japan, a handy drinking guide might be in order. Many a foreign tourist has gotten himself unwittingly snared at a bar that charges more than £50 for a small beer. You don't have to worry too much, though - these traps are few and far between, and the majority of owners are honest. Read on for a handful of general tips.

Drink like a local

If you or your friends are drinking anything from a bottle, it's customary to remain attentive and refill their glass when necessary - not your own. It's difficult to remember at first, and only gets more difficult as the night goes on and more alcohol is consumed, but once you get into the habit, you're sorted. If you're drinking with others, wait until everyone has their drink before taking a sip.

Choose your beverage

The common Japanese drinking houses are called izakaya and they can be found pretty much everywhere. They typically stock a variety of beverages, including the local beer (Asahi) and of course, sake - a rice beer. You're out of luck if you want cider or alcopops - these are regarded as a children's drink in Japan. 


Buy local booze if you can - it's always cheaper due to various taxes. A cheap way of getting drunk in Japan is to opt for an izakaya that offers nomi-h?dai, or 'all you can drink'. The offer usually last two to three hours and you won't generally pay more than 3,000 yen for a whole night. Plus, once the barman considers you drunk enough, he may well wheel out the karaoke machine.

Now you should have no problem negotiating the exciting nightlife in Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto. And the Japanese word for cheers? Kampai!