When foreign university students go to the compotation (Japanese calls it ‘Izakaya’) or dinner with community of Japanese university students, there are a lot of tacit understandings.
If you know this information, you can not only open to your friends but also spend a fun meal time without being distracted by some trifling rules. And we have much information which makes you comfortable!!
Do you know the word “Nominication”? this word is mix “nomi” which means drinking alcohol and “communication” and, this word shows communication in the drinking space.
We can say izakaya is important for Japanese to make relationship. So, let’s see the Japanese izakaya rules.
When Japanese university students go to Izakaya, they tend to order cassis orange. Cassis orange comes to be more and more popular for Japanese university students. If they have a chance to order a pitcher, they choose cassis orange as the alcohol and soft drink like orange juice or oolong tea.
Whether you don’t like to drink cassis orange, somebody likes to drink it, so you do not worry about that. If you have a chance to go to Japan and go to Izakaya, you should get used to drinking cassis orange.
In these days, there is ‘Mocktail’ in Japan. The derivation of ‘Mocktail’ is mocked and cocktail. Therefore, Mocktail is the non-alcohol. ‘Mocktail’ is not alcohol, so the people who cannot drink alcohol, they should try to drink ‘Mocktail’. They may be like it.
(Image 1 shows that people drink alcohol at home. Whenever people drink alcohol, somebody drinks cassis orange.)
We have strange trend “toriaezu-beer”. Japanese business men order beer for first drink and this trend is natural for us.
On the other hand, there are many Japanese who do not drink strong for drinking alcohol, so they do not drink high alcohol content drinking like vodka and beer.
Therefore, they tend to drink low alcohol content drinking like cocktail which is lower alcohol content than beer. Japanese university students have the sense which drink beer at first, but they do not drink it so much than the working adults.
In these days, more and more people drink not alcohol but drink soft drink. Of course, there are some of the people who order beer as soon as they sit at a banquet.
But in fact, there are not so many Japanese university students who order beer as the first drink. In addition, there are some of the circle or club activity which is called ‘Nomi sa-’ in Japanese. ‘Nomi sa-’ is the circle which drink much alcohol and do not do club activity.
If you do not like drink alcohol and do not want to join ‘Nomi sa-’, you should choose the circles or clubs carefully.
(Image 2 shows that there are the people who drink cocktail and soft drink)
Do you know “There are only 15 countries in the whole of land where we can drink tap water safety?”
Japan is famous for safety of tap water and is country which is at the east side of Eurasia and likely to be influenced by westerly wind while not be influenced by monsoon.
By these reasons, Japan has a lot of annual precipitation it is more than twice comparing to world average. In addition to that, Japan doesn’t have any dispute over water resource because of island. So, we can say Japan is rich water resources country.
It is not natural that “water and safety is free” in the world. Wherever you are, you can drink tap water there because. Japan manages water supply maintenance and Japanese water purification technology is high.
When you go to restaurant, you can get a cup of water generally, of course, it is free. In a food court, you can get free water from water stand by yourself if you buy something to eat in food court.
But you cannot scoop and bring back water to your home because anyone do that, or you will be seen you are strange. Some restaurants offer free tea instead of free water. For example, Japanese food restaurant such as sushi and “gyu-don”.
Image 3 shows water stands which is in a food court for free.
Image 4 shows free water with “otoshi” which is a special appetizer at restaurant.
Next, let’s move on to the food topic.
If you have a chance to eat fried chicken in Japan and the lemon is attached to it, you should ask, ‘would you mind squeezing the lemon?’ for other people.
There are some people who do not want to be squeezed the lemon for fried chicken, so this action is the care for others. If you do not ask for others about that, you will be blamed for others behind your back.
Japanese people tend to blame for others and make them minority. If you do not want to be blamed, you should read between the lines.
On the other hand, there are some of the exceptions. One is about the salad, and the other is about the fried potato. When people eat salad and the dressing is attached, they will put dressing on the salad not asking other people like ‘Would you mind putting dressing on it?’.
Japanese know that there are not so many people who do not want to eat the salad which is not put dressing, so they do not ask others purposely.
Also, about the fried potatoes, Japanese know that fried potatoes are not put some sauce but are dipped. In short, you should care for others depending on the time, place and what you eat.
Image 5 shows that people are going to squeeze a lemon over fried chickens.
Image 6 is the scene that I am going to dip the fried potatoes in the sauce.
After having fun time for drinking and eating, you should pay the cost of meals. Even in the payment situation, Japanese have unique habit.
Generally, Japanese is good at calculating change. We naturally pay a check thinking about how much change will be back. In other words, we pay a bill to make change be minimum.
For example, we pay 323 yen for 218-yen bill and get 5 yen change or pay 5400 yen for 4900-yen bill and get 500-yen change. In this picture, I paid practically 2256 yen for 2246-yen bill and I got 10-yen change and, in another payment, I paid 3561 yen for 3656-yen bill and got 405-yen change.
Japanese have a custom thinking about change and we can calculate complex count quickly. If amount of change will be small, your wallet would be neat and limpidly.
Then, why can Japanese calculate change so quickly? It is because the difference of how to do subtraction between Japanese way and American or European way. While Japanese calculate change with subtraction, foreigners think about change with addition. This difference makes Japanese payment custom. By the way, can you do this calculate quickly?
How much change will be back? If you pay 1000 yen for 767-yen bill.
The answer is, of course, 233-yen.
Image 7 shows receipts that I paid considering change.
When Japanese students go to compotation or dinner with their friends such as fellow-students and same standpoint people, they have a lot of situation which they split the bill rather than someone pay much or give a treat.
Because they are students, generally they don’t have much money so, they split the bill to a 1-yen unit. It sounds serious, but it is so important for them.
Now, Japanese Izakaya have touch panel monitor which splits the bill and shows each check. It helps our payments. Dutch treat is called “warikan” in Japanese.
It is one of the ways of payment which not considering social position. Because amount of money is same for each, it is easy to estimate and understand how much each person should pay.
This custom spreads to among couples, there are many people who want to split the bill even at their dates. This point is obviously different from other countries. But it shows Japanese feature that there are little social and economic gap among Japanese people.
Image 8 shows how to split the bill with friends
Image 9 shows Japanese kind monitor at Izakaya.