Have you ever heard the word Izakaya?
I think Japanese Izakaya has already become popular even outside of Japan.
In Japanese, “I” means staying, “zaka (e)” is Saké, and “ya” means the shop.
If you don’t have enough money but still want to drink and eat until you are satisfied, let’s go to Japanese Izakaya.
Because there you can drink and eat without putting on airs at reduced prices.
History of Izakaya
According to the most supported theory, Izakaya was born in Edo (today’s Tokyo) in the 17th century.
They were originally Saké shops (Saké-ya) which started a service to offer a place to stay and drink. Gradually they started to sell some simple snacks to eat with Saké.
But why was Edo the birthplace of Izakaya?
To answer this question, we have to understand the political system that the Edo shogunate adopted.
Under the Edo regime, feudal lords of each religion were obliged to stay in Edo every two years.
Their stay in Edo lasted for about a year.
In addition, feudal lords accompanied many vassals, that is Samurai.
Unfortunately, most of them had to remain alone during their stay in Edo.
As is usual with Japanese men in those days, they did not cook for themselves and therefore they had to find places to eat and drink.
On the other hand, Edo attracted men in the provinces who had no fields to inherit.
Because as a newly constructed capital, Edo offered them a lot of work.
However, many of them had to remain single for a long time. Because the ratio of women was quite low (less than 40%).
Consequently, as well as Samurais, they had to find places to eat and drink.
Who can miss such a big business chance?
In such a situation, some Izakaya began to offer simple meal with Saké and this style became very popular.
Not only commoners, but also some Samurai were eager to be there.
Because at Izakaya, they could neglect all the formalities which Samurai had to respect in official drinkings.
The fact that they can eat and drink there at moderate prices was also attractive for samurai who did not have enough pocket money, as well as today’s wage earners.
Even today, Izakaya is very popular.
You can drink and eat without putting on airs at reduced prices.
There, a wide variety of dishes are offered.
You can find not only Japanese foods, but also the foreign ones integrated and adopted to Japanese taste.
As well as Izakaya, a bar called tachi-nomi-ya is very popular.
It’s a “stand bar” in both name and reality.
Although we have to stay upright and drink there, it is popular for its price and open atmosphere.