When drinking, one should not drink from the bottle or fill his or her own glass. The polite thing to do is fill someone else's glass and they in turn will fill yours. In some situations, it is rude to turn down a drink that is being offered to you. To avoid drinking to much keep you glass full. To avoid being rude accept a drink the first time it is offered to you by a particular individual. The second time he offers it is acceptable to politely say no.

On the other hand, cheap sake is warmed in order to mask a less robust taste generally due to lower-quality rice and a less-refined, mass-pasteurization process.

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Third beer "Third beer" (also known as "Shin Janru" or "New Genre") is the most recent development in the Japanese beer industry. In order to counter tax changes that reclassified the malt content of beer and subsequently raised the price of happoshu, this beer-like beverage contains no malt, instead using pea, soy or wheat spirits.

This is considered extremely rude. Pour for your neighbors and they’ll return the favor. While your drinking mates fill your cup, hold it with both hands at the base of the glass. This is the proper way to receive sake.

In 2005, I first moved from New York City to Tokyo to study Japanese, and living in Tokyo changed my life, leading me to want to dedicate my life to helping others really experience Japan, the way I have been able to do so!

According to one survey the proportion of Japanese men who have like to drink three or more times per week and have the equivalent of 180 milliliters of sake has remained steady at around 50 percent since 1986. A survey by found that the average salaryman spends an ¥4,851 on a typical night out. The number of women who like to drink that amount rose from five percent to nine percent between 1986 and 1998.

Japanese service and hospitality are among the best in the world, but despite how good the service is, tipping is usually neither required nor expected.

Sake bombs – when a shot of sake is poured into a glass of beer like a Boilermaker – are not a traditional means of consumption. Sake, especially good sake, should be enjoyed on its own. That said, you’ll probably find many Japanese drinkers keen to give sake bombs a go. Use cheap, warm sake.

SAKE, or Nihonshu as it’s known in the Land of the Rising Sun, is Japan’s de facto national drink. A long night of sake and beer drinking is an exercise in restraint and tolerance. The more you put down, the more you’ll be offered. Here are six things to keep in mind as you order.

Hanbey (B1F Kusumoto Bldg, Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku): a super cheap and quirky izakaya where it doesn’t matter that nothing is in English. Look at the things the people around you are ordering and just point to one and let your server know that’s what you’d like. The word for beer is beeru, so let him know how many of those you want. Once you order take some time to check out all the rad old school Japanese pop culture memorabilia that lines the walls.

Wine Wine is gaining popularity in Japan, especially among women. While imported red, white, and sparkling wines from France, Italy, the United States and Australia are widely available, there also exists a sizable and increasing domestic wine industry. The most famous wine producing region within Japan is Yamanashi Prefecture.

The good news for visitors fond of their booze: Japan is pretty much a drinker's paradise and always has been, it seems.

The Pardennen bar in Kobe charges customers by the amount of time they spend in the bar not the amount of food or liquor they consume. Everyone pays $4 for the first ten minutes, with men paying 23 cents a minute after that and women 10 cents. Discos in Japan often charge one price to get in the door and then have unlimited food and rink buffets inside. [Source: Leonard Cohen, Discover magazine, June 1988. Cohen has written a book called "283 useful Ideas from Japan]

drunk salaryman falls on his ass Japanese consume about eight liters of pure alcohol per person per year. The French are the largest consumers of alcohol, consuming about 12 liters of pure alcohol per person. Americans consume about 7 liters.

"Some female alcoholics experience depression or panic attacks after they stop drinking because they remember the verbal or physical abuse they had suppressed when they were drinking," said Sakae Fujita, a psychiatric social worker at the Kurihama Medical and Addiction Center in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture. "They are incredibly delicate and require attentive, considerate care. I think facilities exclusively for female addicts will be very effective.” [Ibid]

A note about flights: airfare is especially subject to fluctuations depending on seasonality, fuel prices, advance purchase, and other factors.

Beer Halls and Beer Gardens are plentiful in Japan and prices vary a great deal from place to place. In many cities the roofs of large buildings have been converted into beer gardens which are open from May to early September. Inexpensive Downtown Pubs are clustered in the downtown areas of the large cities. Seating anywhere from 50 to 200 people, these pubs fill up with office workers of all ages and both sexes after 7:00pm.

Alcohol consumption surged, especially among women and young people, between the 1960s and 90s. The annual consumption rate has increased from 5.8 liters per person per year in 1965 to 8.5 liters in 1997.

@Hal Agreed! Seriously good stuff, especially if you’re a wheat beer drinker like me.

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Alcoholic beverages are sold in supermarkets, department stores, convenience stores, liquor stores (saka-ya) and at vending machines (although machines in public shut off after 11PM). The legal drinking age is 20 years old, the same as for purchasing tobacco products.

Karaoke-Boxes are karaoke-style singing rooms. Very popular in Japan, they consist of rooms large enough for a group of friends and are rented by the hour. Generally you buy drinks at bar and bring them to your room. These days they are more common than karaokes.

These days Japanese often order beer by the glass rather than the bottle which means they are less likely to pour drinks for each than they did in the past. Often younger people hold the bottle with one hand when pouring for older people when etiquette requires them to hold it with two hands. This trend is attributed to decline if drinking between older and young people.

At the beginning of a meal or drinking party you should not start drinking until everybody at the table is served and the glasses are raised for a toast, which is usually "kampai". Other toasts are acceptable, but avoid using "chin chin" when making a toast, since in Japanese this expression refers to the male genitalia.

Beer is without doubt the king of Japanese drinks, knocked back on a grand scale by everyone: men and women, young and old, sporty and slob alike. Despite the emergence of a number of microbreweries and local real ales, the big breweries with an almost indistinguishable product predominate.

Prices are generally a little higher in Tokyo than elsewhere, but it doesn’t vary drastically. And one of the great things about Japan is that you can tailor your experience to your budget!

I hope this gives you a better idea of how much things really cost in Japan, and shows you that it’s not as expensive as you thought.

The quality of food in Japan is so high that it’s definitely worth splurging on some special meals.

After strict drunk driving laws were imposed the market for non-alcoholic beer-like drinks grew.

Now alcohol consumption is declining. Total consumption declined from a peak of 10.2 million kiloliters in 1999 to 9.4 million kiloliters in 2006. The decline has been attributed to a declining and aging population and changes in social norms. One beverage analyst told Reuters, “Overall Japanese do no not drink as much as they used to.”

Are alcoholic beverages more expensive at night in Japan

An investigation found that at least five bars in the Kabukicho entertainment district were involved in a scam to get customers drunk and use their cash cards to take money resulting in more than $400,000 being taken. In some cases a person from the bar would accompany the victim to ATM machine and record his Pin number as he typed it and then steal his cash card after passing out from too much drink and withdraw money.

Now that you have the basics out of the way here are five cheap and cool places in Tokyo to sip away the hours.

Japan is not as expensive as you think! But this is a really common myth about Japan.

Women are more likely to go for wine, clear spirits (shochu or chuhai), or to stick with the beer. Tastes are liberalizing, however. Wine has lost it pretentiously 'foreign' image and imported bottles of decent quality can now be found almost anywhere. Cocktail bars are no longer rare outside hotels.

Image Sources: 1) 7) Andrew Gray Photosensibility 2) Neil Ducket, 3) Japan Zone, 4), 6) Ray Kinnane, 5) Tokyo Pictures, 7) xorsyst blog

While it may be more expensive than places like China and Thailand, it’s generally cheaper than places like Singapore, the UK, Australia, and Scandinavia!

This is true, although (maybe because I am not a terribly heavy eater) I find their portions to be perfect!

Japanese usually don't start drinking until someone offers the toast "kampai"---(dry glass). The Chinese and Koreans use the same word for their toasts. As the evening progresses, Japanese often shout "banzai!" three times. It means "live ten thousand years" and is the equivalent of saying "hip. hip, hooray!" The custom of raising a glass and saying a loud toast caught on in the later half of the Meiji Period (1868-1912) and was influenced by the British Royal navy.

The bad news is that sake and the local brews, which contain a stiff dose of cornstarch, can leave the over- indulger with a staggering, unforgettable hangover.