YONESUKE (米助)! Enjoy Japan's Izakaya Culture at an Affordable Izakaya in Shibuya Tokyo
Great Place to Get Drinks and Enjoy Shibuya's Nightlife
The Japanese izakaya (居酒屋), a place where you can enjoy a few drinks with delicious meals is a famous Japanese food culture experience that is a must if you come to Japan. JAPANKURU recently went to YONESUKE, a Japanese izakaya in Shibuya that has a nice and comfortable vibe. However, before we get into that, let's go over the Japanese izakaya culture and history a bit!
Izakayas in SHIBUYA
First things first, what exactly is an izakaya though??
Izakayas are Japanese restaurants and bars that are basically like a tavern or pub. The history of Japanese izakayas goes back to the Edo era (1603～1868). It's said that when people would go to sake stores and buy their liquor, they would stand and drink it right there rather than taking it somewhere. From there the sake stores started also selling snacks to go with the sake, gradually adding stools, eventually turning it into a Japanese pub!
◸Located in the heart of Shibuya, Center-gai (センター街)◹
- Night of Shibuya
- Yonesuke (米助) is located in the heart of Shibuya, Center-gai (センター街).
- Shibuya, Center-gai
- After crossing the famous main intersection of Shibuya,
just continue straight.
- Yonesuke is right-hand side
- You can't miss it because it really is just a few minutes after going through the "entrance" of center-gai.
Yonesuke is on your right-hand side (to the right of the Yahoo store).
◸Different Seating Areas◹
You have the choice between different spaces to enjoy your evening.
You will usually be given a place but you can choose if the restaurant is not too crowded.
Perfect if you want to see what's going on in the kitchen and the food being prepared.
・Private Areas for Groups
Need a larger space for your parties with friends? Here are the private spaces!
It's on the main floor but also in the basement.
◸Izakaya Drinking Culture◹
Japan loves rules, even when it comes to drinking. Here are some useful things to know when at izakayas:
· Store your shoes in lockers
· Limited to 2 hours per table
· All prices are exclusive of tax
· 5% additional taxes after 10pm (⇦most places won't tell you they charge but YONESUKE does!)
In true Japanese drinking custom, you can't even take a sip before everyone has their drink and you scream cheers while clanking glasses. Something fun to do is watch Japanese men take their first drink of beer. It's just like in Japanese movies or anime where they exhale so much it was as if they were drowning in the beer.
- Otoshi (お通し), A Japanese Custom
- Otoshi (お通し) is a dish brought out at the beginning of the meal,
think of it as a table charge.
It can be anywhere between 500 to 700 yen (roughly between $4~7).
Each otoshi is different depending on the izakaya, but it's normally just small portioned starters.
Something to keep in mind is most izakayas don't tell you they have a table charge. At the izakaya we're going to introduce here in a bit Yonesuke, rather than sneaking it up on you until you notice it on the receipt, they let you know before you order plus other common "izakaya rules".
- Japan's draft beer - "nama biiru" (生ビール)
- とりあえず、ビール "I'll start with beer" Izakaya Drinking Culture
Something about beer represents relaxation but at the same time a party starter. Thus odds are you will notice Japanese people starting off with a round of draft beer.
From there they usually move on to the harder stuff. If in a group, from the moment it's time to order drinks, there is even one person in that will ask "who is getting beer?" (nama biiru nomu hito?；生ビール飲む人？） and everyone will raise their hands and that person counts how many beers to order.
① Yakitori (焼き鳥)
- Yakitori, chicken skewers💖
When you order you can choose between having them flavored with salt or sauce ("tare").
- The Assortments are rather a classic in the restaurants of Yakitori. This will allow you to taste the different meats and discover new flavors. You can choose between three different assortments.
5 skewers → 850 yen + TAX
8 skewers → 1350 yen + TAX
10 skewers → 1650 yen + TAX
- Chicken thigh with scallions: 180 (special chicken is also available for 290)
Other yummy foods include:
Liver: 180 yen
Pork belly: 480 yen
Beef cutlet (gyuukatsu): 1280 yen +TAX
Steak: 1280 yen +TAX
② Meat Volcano Hot Pot (肉火山鍋)
- The Niku Kawan Nabe (肉火山鍋), in other words, the fire pot 'volcano' meat is the specialty of the house. Widely supplied with vegetables, this volcano of meat will not fail to make an impression once on the table. It is known for its concentration in collagen, good for the skin.
Servers will prepare it before your eyes so be ready for an eruption of flavors. Are not you eager to discover what's inside?
💴Meat Volcano Hot Pot: 1500 yen +TAX
- Beer, of course, is a given, but they also have a nice wide variety of Japanese whiskey, sake, shochu, plum liquor, and even wine something really nice about this restaurant is that if you ask they'll recommend some great drink and food pairings.
*There's also a collagen and veggie hot pot available!
💴Collagen Chiritori Hot Pot: 1300 yen +TAX (per person)
◸STAY OUT ALL NIGHT AND PARTY!◹
Gotta Love Nightlife in Shibuya
For drinks, beer, of course, is a given,
but they also have a nice wide variety of
Japanese whiskey, sake, shochu, plum liquor, and even wine🍷
Something really nice about this restaurant
is that if you ask they'll recommend some great drink and food pairings.
🍻Yonesuke Shibuya Branch (米助 渋谷店）
🏢 B1~B2 25-6 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo
🚃JR Shibuya Station Hachiko Exit - about 3min walk
Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line Shibuya Station (same exit) - 3min walk
Mon～Thurs: 5pm - midnight (L.O. 11pm)
Fri & Sat: 5pm - 5am (next day) (L.O. 4am)
Sun & National holidays: 4pm - midnight (L.O. 11pm)
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