Kampai! : Ebisu, Tokyo

If there is one thing that Japanese loves besides tea, it must be a cold glass of Beer. Regardless which time of the day, you can order a draft to complement with your food or maybe go to 7-11 for a much cheaper option. Don’t say that beer drinking here is mostly for men, I have seen several women who gulped down a bottle as if she is drinking a cola. During weekends grocery shopping, try to check out the other carts I am pretty sure you will find a six-pack among the usual orange juice or milk.

Japanese indulgence with beer is somehow proportional to their rich and fascinating history. Take for example- Ebisu district in Tokyo, the place is named after “Yebisu” Beer Brewery company. It is the brand which develops a community, railways and not the other way around, maybe because the brewery offers job opportunity during 1890s. If you are interested to know more and happen to be in Tokyo, drop by to Yebisu Garden Place and head to the Beer Museum (entrance fee, two giant cans of beer in front). If you are more on the tasting than the learning (I don’t drink so I stick with the learning), you can still go to the same museum but head to the Beer Station to sample the varieties for 500 Yen per glass. Not to far from Yebisu is another beer tasting salon from competing brand, Sapporo. So be ready to get wasted.

One thing that fascinates me about Japanese is they are mostly polite drunk. It is very unlikely to see a fight in the bar or on the street from a drunk who cannot hold his alcohol. Try walking around say 10pm onwards on the street during Friday night, chances are you will find a hammered Salary Man who washes away all his work troubles from the nearby bar, cannot even make it on time for the last train home and  usually spent the rest of the evening sleeping like baby in the station.

In this town, a cold beer is best served with another Japanese obsession- Karaoke. So don’t hesitate, belt out that Whitney Houston tune in your head and be merry. Kampai!


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