Making friends at the izakaya

An izakaya – best compared with a tavern or a bar that also serves food – seems to be a great place to meet people. In a previous post you could read about our encounter with Asahi-san on our first evening in Japan (click here to read the post). A few nights ago, we had another encounter in an izakaya.

We were quietly sitting at a table in Tsubasaya, Dennis’s favourite izakaya, eating and minding our own business (trying to be well-behaved gaijin).

the entrance of Tsubasaya in Toyota city (I did not add these chickens myself)

A group of Japanese people stumbles in. Clearly it’s not their first izakaya visit of the evening, judging by the staggering walk that some of them have. They take up a box close to our table. As the box is not big enough to fit them all, some of them sit at the other end of our table. Of course I try to take a sneak photograph of the group without them noticing and of course they notice. Immediately their interest is sparked and the guys at our table start a conversation.

the sneak photograph - you can see the box in the background

As soon as the other members of the group notice that gaijin contact has been made, several of them flock to our table. A lively conversation starts. In Europe we always think that Japanese are silent, shy and reserved. But put them together in an izakaya, throw in some alcohol and you get quite the animated group of people (to use an understatement).

The result of the evening is that I am now on the Tsubasaya blog! The manager – a stately lady in kimono – saw me talking to a Japanese girl and exchanging telephone numbers. Inspired by this intercultural contact, she asked to take a picture to post on the Tsubasaya blog. Check out the Tsubasaya blog (click here)! If anyone could translate what they write about the picture, I would be most appreciative.

Tsubasaya blog screenshot
a sneak shot of the Tsubasaya manager

7 thoughts on “Making friends at the izakaya

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  1. Hi, Helena! Glad you are having fun in Nagoya ๐Ÿ™‚
    And you became very famous lady at Tsubasaya!
    The Tsubasaya blog says,
    “Helena-san from Belgium and Tomoe-san became friends!
    (Wow! International exchange @ Tsubasaya!)
    The Tsubasaya staff should study English,too. (^^)โ€

    Hope to see you again at M&G!
    Or maybe we can go somewhere together.
    Let’s keep in touch ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Hi Yuko. Thank you for translating the Tsubasaya blog and for reading my blog. Do you know when the M&G in August is? In any case, yes, let’s keep in touch ๐Ÿ™‚

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