Survival Japanese CommunicationHi, I'm Kevin! I made this tour and hope you can come along :)I've been studying Japanese for seven years and have JLPT N2. I fell in love with Japanese from the artistic shapes of the kanji, and I was amazed at how its grammar differed from English from its core. Some people find this aspect of Japanese to be intimidating, but you will discover how easy it is to have a conversation with just a few words, and how your experience in Japan and your reception by Japanese people will transform with even the tiniest knowledge of the Japanese language. On a trip to a foreign country, why not take a chance on its language?
Tour CourseI use the West Tokyo local area of Asagaya, for its plenty of choices of cafés and bars that are easy to enter and enjoy together with residents of the town. It's not often visited by tourists so it's a perfect spot for us to use our first Japanese and understand what Tokyo local nightlife is all about!
What will we learn during the tour?We'll start right off learning the basics on the walk to the café, and we'll be ready to say "good evening" and order your included first drink by the time we get there. We'll spend one hour learning and practicing basic conversation skills. The course includes twenty minutes on greetings and formalities (please, excuse me, how are you, etc.), twenty minutes on basic sentences (this, that, what is this?, I want that, etc.), and twenty minutes on sentences with verbs (I'll drink, I drank, let's drink!!). The word list I use is extremely small so you don't have to worry about cramming tons of information and forgetting it all. We'll get a little warmed up practicing making a purchase at the convenience store, then we'll end up at the pub which is the real test. We'll find locals to mingle with and once the "Kanpai!!" (Cheers!) is done you'll find that you've made new best friends in no time. You'll also notice that you can already hold a basic conversation about where you are from, what you did today, and where in Japan you plan to go. These skills (and memories) won't disappear when the tour is over, they will stay with you for the remainder of your travel and beyond!
Why Nightlife?I decided to conduct this tour at night instead of during the day because of the conversation opportunities it provides. The Japanese that I'll teach can be useful day to day, but on vacation, there's nothing so precious as making memories with local people. Many Japanese people are interested in the tourists who come to visit, but they don't have confidence in their English and can't get up the nerve to come and talk to them, so many tourists spend their whole trip without talking to any locals other than their tour guide or hotel staff. But if you speak just a little Japanese to them, it can break down those barriers, and even if they're nervous, they'll break out their high school English and before you know it you'll be having a conversation and maybe even make a new friend across the world. Nobody can master the complicated Japanese language in just three hours (or even seven years 😜), but what really matters is that we take that first step and extend the olive branch. The rest will work itself out.👍
What if I already know some Japanese?The tour group will be mixed between beginners and those who've studied before, but in doing the tour I've never found it to be a significant problem adjusting to each person and giving advice for intermediate learners as well. Although we'll cover just the basics of Japanese, those basics can be surprisingly deep and I'm confident I can provide information to keep students of various levels interested. Also, I'm sure that the experience communicating at the local bar will be a great experience for everyone, and if you're confident you can help out in getting the new learners to try speaking as well 😉
Salaryman Paradise Shinbashi
#1 Recommended Tour by Tokyo Handsome Boys
We will go to three different styles of izakaya on this tour: standing bar style, snack bar style, and public style. These each have different purposes, and in visiting them we can feel the change in atmosphere between each, and fully understand the concept of the key aspect of the Japanese lifestyle known as the izakaya.
We can drink ‘koshu’, aged Japanese sake!
These are all regular bar hopping stops for us. They are not made to cater to tourists, but have their own style maintained for years.
We want to help you share a common friendly atmosphere with regulars and locals at the places we visit, and create a local bridge so you can be a participant, not an observer in the action.
We’ll try the drinks and food that are representative of the izakaya style.
We’ll analyze the night town of Shinbashi from a sociological perspective, and draw a full understanding of Tokyo nightlife as a whole.
Tour CourseThe salaryman’s town is deep. For the office workers who built Japan’s economy with long days on the job, a veritable night playground has emerged to satisfy all their needs. While walking around you’ll start to get a sense for what kind of town this is, from the innocent to the less so. In the legendary “Old Man Building” a whole floor is dedicated to tiny snack bars packed from wall to wall. This is a world where the 80’s never ended, the oasis of the true salarymen. We’ll visit a snack bar where we can experience vintage Japanese sake tasting, and you’ll be amazed how you can tell the difference just by the year. The usual favorite for groups of coworkers coming out to drink together after work. We can take an observer’s view and witness the excitement and furor they let out when freed from the strict work environment. Let’s also try the izakaya food so dear to their hearts. The social spot for salarymen. People can forget about social status and share the night as equals, and many come alone hoping to meet others in the same boat. Your stereotype of the shy Japanese will go out the window. With no separation of tables, any conversation partner is fair game. If everyone is satisfied, we’ll stumble to each guest’s respective train lines and see them off. Hopefully we can meet again in Tokyo! BUT, For guests who promise to write us a review after the tour, we’ll take you to an extra final bar and treat you to a drink there. Let’s keep the night going to the last train!!
How to get to Shinbashi Station's SL SquareJR Yamanote / Keihin-Tohoku Line -> Hibiya Exit Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Toei Asakusa Line -> Exit 6
Local Shinjuku Bar Hopping
Food & Drink Tour
With our lovely guests from Canada and Hong Kong
Delicious highballs mixed by professionals
Walking the Nakano Streets
Where we'll goSake. Shochu. Highball. Hoppy. Beer. Sour. Umeshu. What’s that spell?? The seven drinks of choice of Japan. We’ll bar hop to four different locations around Nakano and try each of these drinks. The first batter is our favorite standing sushi bar, where we’ll enjoy nigiri sushi and Japanese sake with the traditional Japanese liquor, shochu. These drinks are a perfect match for sushi. Next, at an izakaya (Japanese traditional pub) we’ll enjoy tsukune yakitori, and drink Hoppy and Japanese plum wine, umeshu. Hoppy is alongside beer in popularity at izakayas and can’t be left off your list! The hopping continues with the Beer Kobo, where we’ll try homemade craft beer from its own in-store microbrewery. Last, we'll visit Suntory Pub Black for an authentic whiskey highball made with award-winning Japanese Suntory whiskey. For guests who promise before the tour to write us a review, we'll include one extra bar of our choice. We'll keep that one a secret for now 😉
What is Nakano?
In the JoJo anime theme bar
The old alleyways of Nakano are now brimming with bars and izakayas
Learning about food, drink and culture
The second floor of this tiny bar becomes a private party
Our Neighborhood Tour in Local Shibuya
Food & Drink Tour
Tour HighlightsIf you want to feel the real local, this is it! The town that we live in, Sangenjaya, is just two stations from Shibuya. But you’ll find it has a personality and culture all its own. Foodies, drinkers, and even fashionistas gather here to create a chic, urban environment. People all over Tokyo are watching this spot right now as an up and comer. But for us, it’s like our backyard! We’ll show you how we normally enjoy an evening out in Sangenjaya.
Tour CourseWe’ll visit one restaurant and two bars on the tour. We’ll enjoy a dinner course of okonomiyaki, along with a food you can only eat in Tokyo, monjayaki. Then, we’ll visit a standing bar and a yakushu ‘medicinal’ bar.