Learn How to Drink for Less in Japan!

The More You Know About Drinking Booze for Cheap in Japan the Better!

Was published here as a guest post, decided to share it here too!

Japan is a mysterious and wondrous place that I believe that everyone should check out at least once throughout their life. The beauty of the island can bring almost a tear to one’s eye. But after seeing the sights of the day, there is a common theme that everyone loves to do in Japan. Go out to eat! Many times the locals will visit a local izakaya, which is similar to a gastropub. You can sit in the midst of the locals while ordering popular dishes like yakisoba, yakitori, okonomiyaki, ramen, sushi or even get some western delicacies like a hamburger (which isn’t the same as you’re used to) or a pizza.

In many of these izakaya’s (and many restaurants), you’ll find an option where you can drink yourself under the table for 90 minutes of non-stop drinks. It’s called nomihodai. It’s a favorite choice for the locals, but it’s something that westerns are anxious to try as they’ve never heard of such a thing, and because of that, you can almost see the cringe in the person’s face who owns the izakaya/restaurant when a group of westerns orders nomihodai. Japanese usually use some restraint when ordering nomihodai (not all mind you), westerns will leave not remembering how they got there.

Better Ways to Learn Japanese Fluently

Nomihodai usually costs (depending on the location) around ¥1,500 to ¥2,500 yen or around $15 to $25. There is usually different levels of nomihodai you can purchase. There are usually two distinct options; you can get all you can drink shochu highball soda drinks, wine and happoshu beer (or what I like to call fake beer). Then there is usually an option where you can order sake and nama biru, which is draft beer (or what I like to call REAL beer), I would say unless you’re a wine drinker you should take the second option, your liver will thank you.

Many of the times you’ll be required to have a certain amount of people in your group order nomihodai as well as having a minimum food order. So as you may think ordering a nomihodai could be the best bet, you’ll have to factor in multiple people and food order. So if you’re planning on going out with a group and ordering food, this would no doubt be your best bet. But, still, in the end, you’ll quickly put away $30-$50 a person for the night, which honestly is still not too bad considering you’re drowning your liver in lushish alcohol for 120 minutes non-stop WHILE eating.

But for those who don’t have that type of money but still want to have their alcohol kick and go out for the night, there is another trick that even local Japanese people don’t give much thought of, and it’s called pre-game. Well, at least that’s what some Americans here in Japan told me it’s called and they even admitted they don’t do it (but now are). Pre-game drinking is where you go to a コンビニ (convenience store) or a スーパー (supermarket) and purchase your beer or alcohol there first. The difference in price is pretty substantial. When you order a single beer in about any restaurant, a 12 oz glass of beer usually will run you about $5-$8. Where as you can get yourself a 16 oz can of beer from a スーパー (supermarket) for about $2.20 to $3 and about $2.90 to $3.60 at a コンビニ (convenience store).

So you can easily purchase around $10 in liquor and drink one or two of them before entering and then “step out” of the restaurant when you want to crack the next one and down it and go back in. I will never personally open a beer inside their business as I believe that’s stepping over the line, and perhaps this way of drinking for less in Japan might bend people’s ethic muscles a bit. I think it’s fair enough though, and people bring their own cigarettes so why not bring your own beer and step out for a minute? So when you save that extra money, you’ll be able to order more food in the long run, or not have to order as much just to drink while drinking out in Japan. Thus, saving you TONS of money drinking while in Japan.

Nihon Scope

Namewee – Japanglish (Funny!)

Namewee – Japanglish

A friend sent me this and I thought it was high enough quality to share with this site 😛 here is his YT channel.

more Japanese information

funny japanese japanglish songThis is a collaboration song with the largest web media between Japan and Asia – Cool Japan TV. The song is composed by Namewee, the Asian top musician, with cute lyrics and melody. It expresses the impression and the love-and-hate feeling that foreigners have on Japanglish. Written and composed by Namewee himself, Cool Japan TV arranged the elements of traditional Japanese instruments Shamisen and Okinawa music style, making it the first song in Japan to incorporate Japan’s festival music and Bon dance with foreign music. The music video features Japanese actress and singer Meu Ninomiya who has been awarded as the best actress at the Asia International Film Festival and been nominated as the best actress at the London International Film Maker Festival 2017. In the music video, Meu Ninomiya plays a Japanese high school student that teaches Namewee the meaning behind famous Japanglish words and guides him through various places in Japan to experience different Japanese cultures. The video also presents a number of famous Japanese YouTubers: RyuuuTV, YuuumaTV, MaoMaoTV, ShenLimTV, Mira’s Garden, Yuko Hayama, and also a quick cameo from Namewee’s junior, Joyce Chu! The dance is choreographed by the award winner of “Kitaguni Artist Award” – which is the top award in Japanese traditional dance scene – Ukon Takafuji. The dance adopted the Japanese traditional dance culture – Bon Odori – a dance that involves people lining up in a circle to share the happiness through dancing. “‘Circle’ is pronounced as ‘Wa’ in the Japanese language, which is the same as ‘Peace’. So, we hope to hold everyone’s hands and spread the love and peace to all over the world through this song,” read a statement from the song. We hope to see people from all over the world dance this song online, and we will make this song the official song of Tokyo Olympic 2020! Let’s cover it together!

Nihon Scope

Rice Cooker Dutch Baby

Rice Cooker Dutch Baby

A few weeks ago when one of our friends was leaving for Winter vacation, we decided to go to a pancake restaurant that also had dutch babies. Here are some pictures of the display dutch babies as well as the ones my friend and I ordered. They were a bit thin, and they used mozzarella cheese which did not taste good with it. I also prefer to eat my dutch babies with ketchup, like an American ^_^ but they gave me honey. And my friends dutch baby was a salad, so she got dressing.

Pancake Restaurant Japan Dutch Baby Display Photo

Japanese Dutch Baby Pancake Restaurant Display Picture

Japanese Dutch Pancake Restaurant

 

This morning I woke up with the idea and the motivation to use our rice cooker to make a dutch baby. It was a little bit difficult because our rice cooker kept on switching to keep warm, and I did have to flip it, but overall it came out good and was totally worth the effort ^_^ It may not look absolutely beautiful, but it tastes like a dutch baby should, thick and fluffy ^_^ Maybe we will make these with our friend when she returns so that she can taste what a real dutch baby is like ^_^ I also melted some cheddar cheese on top and ate it with ketchup and sriracha sauce ^_^ I can barely tell right now that I am in Japan and not in America ^_^ Life is good ^_^

Homemade Rice Cooker Dutch Baby Bottom Home Made Rice Cooker Dutch Baby with Cheddar Cheese

Rice Cooker Dutch Pancake BottomDutch Pancake in Rice Cooker with Cheddar Cheese

more Japanese information

The recipe and directions are as follows:

7 eggs, 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp of cinnamon, 2 TBSP of butter, cheddar cheese. First I whisked the eggs, then added the milk and vanilla and whisked some more. Then I added the cinnamon and flour a little bit at a time while whisking. At home I would use a blender, but this time I just used a fork. Lots of whisking ^_^ I then melted 2 TBSP of butter in the rice cooker and once it was melted, I swirled it around to coat the pan a bit, then poured some of the batter in. I did not want to pour all of it in case it rose a lot and also to make sure it would be able to cook fully, so about half, but I honestly (accidentally) poured a bit more than half, but it still turned out alright ^_^ I would say that it still took about an hour to cook which is about how long it takes in an oven in America, but it depends on your rice cooker I guess. Just keep checking on it, and flip it if and when it needs, and after flipping it, you can put some cheddar cheese on the top to melt ^_^

-Nihon Scope

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