A bar-a place to which you go only to drink- is a concept that entered Japan rather late. The Japanese like to drink and eat at the same time, and IZAKAYA is the most common establishment for that sort of entertainment. The menu in IZAKAYA is usually very large, containing all kinds of foods that the Japanese consider appropriate as accompaniment for drinking. There will be a few types of SASHIMI (raw fish), grilled and fried fish, tempura, fried items, vegetables, salads etc. One thing the Japanese do not eat when they drink is plain white rice, and therefore the kinds of rice dishes you'll find in IZAKAYA are grilled onigiri (rice balls) or chazuke (rice with certain toppings in a bowl of green tea).
Everything is served in small portions, so people usually order many dishes and share them. IZAKAYA is a popular place for going out among the Japanese, and in Kansai they tend to be very lively and sometimes extremely loud. There are several IZAKAYA chains where photos of the items appear in the menu, making it easy to order even if you cannot read Japanese. Available drinks will include beer, sake, shochu (clear liquer distilled from grains), and chuhai (a cotail of shochu, fruit essence and soda).
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