Welcome to an izakaya
Friday evening, I went to an izakaya with my classmates and teachers. In Japanese, izakaya is written as 居酒屋: 酒 is the character for "alcohol" and 屋 the character for "shop, place", so basically an izakaya is a place where you can have (a lot of) alcohol for cheap. Nowadays izakayas also serve various and good food, and they're still cheap!...It is common practice to order plenty of dishes and share them. Everybody picks what they want to eat, it's really friendly and it's an excellent way to taste lots of typical Japanese dishes for a rather moderate price.
Of course, the initial purpose of izakaya has remained and as you can see, there's plenty of alcohol...Even though they also serve soft drinks, practically you never really get to see them.
I should write a post about Japanese sake, not only because there are many different varieties, but also because it's really difficult not to drink in Japan...Although it is not a topic I am particularly interested in.
Here's a quick overview of my classmates and teachers. Let's begin with a group picture:
Charlie's angels...From left to right, 熊崎先生 (Kumazaki-sensei), 新井先生 (Arai-sensei) et 大屋先生 (Oya-sensei), three great teachers!
I think you know that guy...I am actually eating a tofu ice cream (why didn't I choose vanilla like everybody else?!!):
Another group of Charlie's angels! メロディーさん (Melody-san, Taiwan), ステファニーさん (Stefanie-san, US) et ジーニーさん (Jeannie-san, US):
ウィールムさん (Willem-san, Netherlands) with Kumazaki-sensei:
With ノリコさん (Noriko-san, Taiwan) and "I forgot her name"-san (she's not in my class):
ジョーさん (Joe-san, US) and his Japanese girlfriend:
Oya-sensei just before she had her first round :
With オウさん (Oo-san, China):
With ティカさん (Tika-san, China) et ゾーイさん (Zoe-san, China):
With 本多先生 (Honda-sensei), my homeroom teacher, and Tika-san:
With Kumazaki-sensei and Arai-sensei:
The effects of alcohol - 1:
The effects of alcohol - 2, or Oya-sensei after a few rounds:
アンディさん (Andy-san, GB) and シャさん (Sha-san, Taïwan), respectively 3rd and 4th from the left:>
I have no picture of キムさん (Kim-san, Korea), who was missing because she was celebrating her birthday with her family.
As a Japanese man, I'm pretty sure Honda-sensei drinks a lot, unfortunately he was driving that night and I didn't get to see him drunk. Japan has a zero tolerance policy regarding alcohol and you're not allowed to drink at all if you're driving.
Japanese parties finish early and in this case it stopped around 11PM. I then joined friends at the karaoke, indeed one of them was giving his farewell party and I ended up going to bed at 4AM. I was so exhausted that I wasn't able to wake up at 6 to chat with my girlfriend, neither at 10 to say goodbye to my bud Mark.