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Trying to figure out Izakaya 2019/6/6 15:10
On our trip to Japan last year we were not admitted into a couple of Izakaya near Shin Hachinohe station. My husband and I are both asian, we were dressed like tourist and carrying backpacks. We entered the place and right away we were greeted with crossed arms although they were empty tables in the place. That experience got us kind of scared to go to Izakaya outside of Tokyo or Osaka. Fast forward to this year, we were walking around outside of Niigata station hoping to find a place outside of the station to have dinner. We could only find Izakaya and while just standing outside a couple of them, looking at the menu and the plastic food displays someone walked out and handed us Kleenix. So is that there way of telling us to go away? Are the Izakaya's ourside of the bigger cities not tourist friendly? We are just confused.
by Sayuri (guest)  

Re: Trying to figure out Izakaya 2019/6/6 16:57
I think you issue could be your carrying backpacks if you have large size
Often places are tight and small. You should leave those backpacks in a locker.

I never had experienced an unwelcome feeling and I have been to many places.
by justmyday rate this post as useful

Re: Trying to figure out Izakaya 2019/6/6 17:07
maybe the shop was just closed due to preparing time, since you said the tables are empty and thats why he crossed hands?

while some izakaya dont offer food to english speaking people (mostly due to the fact that the ordering process becomes mendokusai (tiiring)) a lot of izakaya will gladly serve you. the towel in my opinion was more likely an invitation for you to come in, since before food people are getting towels offered.

so for future: just look if other customers are inside (so you know it is open) and then give it a try. dont be scared, since also in izakayas you will get most contact to "real" locals and is a great experience.


by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Trying to figure out Izakaya 2019/6/6 17:09
ah yes, and leave luggage in lockers or hotel
by Glimpigumpi rate this post as useful

Re: Trying to figure out Izakaya 2019/6/6 17:22
gCrossed armsh sounds like they were either not yet open (some open only in the evenings, and some others open for lunch, then close in the afternoon, and re-open in the evening), or they had a large group booking for the whole place that evening. Not that you were unwelcome.
I donft get it about he Kleenex; you mean a small tissue pack? Did it have any ad on it about that place or another? (Handing out a tissue pack is definitely not the way to tell people to refrain from going in!)

The only time that my non-Japanese husband got waved out as soon as he opened the door to an establishment was when he mistakenly opened the door to a quite cozy, almost member-only atmosphere bar instead of an izakaya next door.

And yes, some cozy places are not quite good with dealing with large pieces of luggage.
by ....... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Trying to figure out Izakaya 2019/6/7 00:27
Some izakaya owners can be very picky about who they serve. I have been to an izakaya where the owner/chef suggested I leave his establishment when I asked for dry and clean tasting sake, claiming his food is made to pair with sake with more umami tastes. That was shocking. I calmed him down by rephrasing my request, adding a term grelatively drier and cleanerh. Phew!

I have also been to an izakaya with a sign on the door saying gthis is IZAKAYA, all patrons are expected to order alcoholic drinksh.

Above examples are small places with ganko-oyaji (stubborn old man) type owner/chef who operates the store all by himself, donft believe in gcustomer is kingh, and are very rare. They tend to be patronized by regulars only, and any new face (even Japanese) will get a unwelcoming glare.

Then there is a popular chain izakaya (with 3 stores, I think) in Tokyo where the waitress acts like your mother, criticizing your orders and at times asking customers weather anyone wants to take a dish the chef made by mistake. She means well - really. Itfs all part of the fun at that place.

I have heard of places that do no welcome foreigners because of negative experiences they had. If you come across such place, you are free to walk out or try to single-handedly break their stereotype image of foreigners.

by Nonn Bay (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Trying to figure out Izakaya 2019/6/7 01:30
Next time, just ask for recommendations at your accommodation or a tourist information counter. There are definitely izakaya that promote themselves to foreign tourists, and they use hotels and info counters as means of advertisement.

I agree that crossed arms sound like they were either not opened, closing or fully booked. I wonder what time it was. The tissue, I have no idea. I would assume that they were A) advertising something printed on the tissue, B) trying to be friendly by giving something to you, or C) you had dirt on you that could be wiped off and seemed like you could use some tissue.

I am a local Japanese drinker, if that helps.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Trying to figure out Izakaya 2019/6/8 06:29
Intriguing topic.

Do you know anithing about the Aji No Karyu ramen shop at Sapporo Ganso Ramen Yokocho (https://goo.gl/maps/7d9vTFjMqnmxMMRW6)?

All I get there was crossed arms. Twice (2015, 2018!). No backpack, empty seats, customers inside. Not a single word, neither English nor Nihongo. No angry faces, nothing.

At first I tought that was because I'm caucasian, but there are reviews by foreigners online (and the place exhibit photos of Antony Bourdain as a guest).

However, after that I get a warm welcome (and great food) at the Shirakaba Sansou (https://goo.gl/maps/Ey8vPFJmcRcYnRdB9).
by taskkill (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Trying to figure out Izakaya 2019/6/14 19:10
Dont ever feel unwelcomed, usually if they gesture you to leave, it means they cant deal with english requests and rather not serve you and disappoint you, usually popular areas; the izakaya are english friendly.
by bluesky3000 rate this post as useful

Re: Trying to figure out Izakaya 2019/6/14 20:10
@taskkill, did you see other people after you ENTER the place?
Ramen shops (and others) tend to run out of food at some point. So when they no longer have soup, theyfll just turn away any new customers. Youfll still see people inside and likely already a lot of empty seats, but also the Raman cook pot is empty.

Or it could have simply been too late.

Specially in a ramen shop I canft realky see why they would turn away foreigners. In the end youfll order just some random ramen,they will serve it, you slurp up and are gone. Not like an izakaya or a more complicated restaurant where some explanation on the menu might be needed.
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Trying to figure out Izakaya 2019/6/15 03:04
Do you know anithing about the Aji No Karyu ramen shop at Sapporo Ganso Ramen Yokocho

Yes, I ate there before in my only trip to Sapporo in 2016. Being at the front of Ramen Yokocho makes it noticable for me. I had no problem whatsoever entering and enjoying their tasty ramen. I came in with a backpack too (only a regular backpack though, not that oversized tourist backpack).
by JPN48 rate this post as useful

Re: Trying to figure out Izakaya 2019/6/18 05:15
@LikeBike
Not really, I just moved on. But at second time, at least, it was early indeed (≅7PM).

@JPN48
Nice! Were you alone?
by taskkill (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Trying to figure out Izakaya 2019/6/23 01:44
Yes I was alone. Entered, had a good ramen and left just like in other ramen shops.
by JPN48 rate this post as useful

Re: Trying to figure out Izakaya 2019/6/24 18:21
Aji no Karyu - I went there this May when I was in Sapporo and had no troubles ordering ramen. I was the only customer at that moment, soon after my arrival phone rang and they probably had some big order because after that they didnt let any customer in and were busy preparing the place for some larger group of customers (that was around 6pm).
by haens rate this post as useful

Re: Trying to figure out Izakaya 2019/6/24 18:56
I forgot to mention they had english menu so they are obviously prepared for foreign customers. Though the ramen was just so-so, nothing special really (I had some corn+butter variation).
by haens rate this post as useful

Re: Trying to figure out Izakaya 2019/6/25 04:50
@haens
So probably something alike happened to me I think.

Thank you all!
by taskkill (guest) rate this post as useful

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