Japanese Drinking Culture Guide - Kurokin Izakaya

December 18, 2016

When other countries have drinking culture at bars, Japanese usually go to a place named Izakaya after work with their friends or co-workers. Unlike bars where you can talk with other customers, at Izakaya that kind of thing hardly happens, maybe it's Japanese culture anyway? 
On this post, I will share about things to note when drinking at Izakaya at this time I am using an Izakaya that has a few branches in Tokyo as an example, the name is Kurokin


Usually Izakaya has this kind of vibe. A bright neon headboard with japanese characters written as the name of the shop, in this case it's read as KUROKIN. They also have menu in front of the shop and also promote alcohol. Most of Izakaya caters for Japanese demands so it's rare to see english menu but you can ask the staff by asking "eigo menu arimasuka?"


The interior varies for Izakaya but mostly it's homey and cozy instead of luxury upscale. There are some luxury izakaya of course but it's only at certain area. You'll definitely see this kind of vibe more often near your neighbourhood and to be honest, I like this casual local feeling more because I get to know the feeling of normal japanese instead of tourists feeling

Kurokin Izakaya provides a lot of tables and seats and it's pretty big compared to other shops in Tokyo. Don't forget, everything is compact and small in this city lol


Who else love this local vibe?

Kurokin Izakaya is pretty big and they have this VIP Room that you can request in case you don't want to disturb or be disturbed by other customers. In here you can sit on the cushion instead and experience Japan's way better and my group decided to get the room below

They also have coat hanger inside the room. Love simple yet calming ambient like this



Izakaya doesn't have any dresscode and in fact it's pretty casual that you can just walk into without reservation after office hours. Japanese is famous for being stylish, even for regular people, so you might find some people who is pretty stylish even for casual drinking. However please note that some izakaya might not have western seating table and that means you have to sit on tatami, therefore for women it is better to not wear too short skirt 


I was wearing very comfortable knit top and culotte <3


In Izakaya, it's an obvious thing that you should drink something instead of just asking for water. Some Izakaya have different promotions such as All you can drink for 2 hours, or happy hour fare that you can ask to the waiter. Kurokin Izakaya doesnt have that promotion but the best thing is they have a lot of local sake that is rare to get at normal izakaya, and they have english drinking menu!!

Everytime I come to Izakaya, mostly they have a long list of drink in kanji and I only manage to have either calpis or umeshu LOL This is pretty helpful for foreigners

In here we have Umeshu with Soda for mom, Shirashinken Mugi Syochu with Soda for me, and the other two are Grapefruits Syochu with soda

I would say I love my Shirashinken Mugi Syochu a lot but it's pretty strong even with soda, for those who like sweet stuffs, I always recommend Umeshu because it's so delicious!

Usually you order again after your finish your drink and it's rare to stop only at one drink. I drank until the last train and usually I have 3 glasses. My strong friend drank 7 glasses or so and mind you, it's a big beer glass LOL


Izakaya has a small table charge that is exchanged with Otoshi or small appetizer. Kurokin charges 300 yen per person and the Otoshi on that day was this cold sour ginger seaweed thing that I never had before and MINDBLOWING, it was so good and refreshing and I ended up eating my mom and bro's share LOL 


At izakaya it's mostly japanese food that's for shared and usually they have sashimi, yakitori, and nabe. I got to try the sashimi platter which is sooooooo fresh and luxurious! Also the price is pretty affordable compared to eating the same food with the same quality in Jakarta. We had salmon and maguro (tuna) as well as Katsuo Fish. You know Katsuobushi that's often used on takoyaki, it's the fish!

Also this tuna with tororo (japanese yam) that you can eat with shoyu, I LOVE THIS SO MUCH *___*

I love Raw foods because it really gives you the fresh taste, so I recommend this one! 

We also have a few snack dishes such as Tamagoyaki, Takoyaki, and Karaage

Other foods that normally ordered at Izakaya included like Edamame, Salad, Tsukemono, Yakisoba, Chicken Wing, Agedashi Tofu, etc

Rice is served last in any japanese restaurant to fill your stomach. This one is steamed sea bream fish (called Tai in japanese) on top of rice. It was soooo good especially in a cold night when you craved for something warm yet satisfying. The chef also handed us some miso soup to accompany the rice

The fish is bigger than my face and it's enough to feed 5-7 people perhaps lol As I said, Izakaya food is better to be shared! 

For the dessert, we have this chocolate cake. I am not a fan of chocolate but strangely I can eat this because it's not too sweet or overwhelming. The bitterness and sweetness combination is at its best and I wouldn't mind to re-order it again!


What differs Kurokin than other regular Izakayas is, they also have Temaki Sushi experience where you can make your own sushi! It's very fun to make it with your big group especially because, look at the size of the rice!!! You cant finish it on your own 😂
This is, however, are only available during reservation because they need to prepare the freshest ingredients. The seaweed also helps changing the whole game to next level because of its crispiness 

How to make it is pretty simple, just scrap some seaweed and put sushi rice along with other ingredients and wrap it!

Like this!!!

And simply eat it as it is or you can get some shoyu dip before munching it down. Eat however you want, whatever ingredients you want. I dont have anything that I cant eat on the plate, it consists of some veggies, mushroom, pickles, crab stick, eggs, minced tuna, and salmon. For me it's really a great dining experience that Japan holds

Anyway for your information, the company that hosted me during my long stay in Tokyo is GATE. Yes, that's the same company that provides that Stylish 2BR Apartment in Tokyo that I blogged before. If you're visiting this restaurant while staying at that apartment, you can get all you can eat potatoes by 390 yen! There might be other promotions in the future as well so you have to ask them directly when you visit

Best thing about Kurokin Izakaya is they mostly harvest their vegetables and get their fishes from their own farm, which mean you get the freshest ingredients available!! They have a fish village in Mie Prefecture and they ship it to Tokyo directly! That way they can provide the best ingredients with the best cost!

I have mentioned about GATE before but I will introduce the company again, GATE is a company that tries its best to make a sustainable environment by providing jobs for human instead of machine and creating eco villages through their business models. By eating here, not only you can get the best dining experience but also you help donating as their profit from the businesses will go to make an eco village for a better future. I write about GATE more on my previous apartment article so you can check it again if you missed it

But nevertheless, shall you are in Tokyo and would like to try Izakaya, why not giving KUROKIN a try? Here's their website


Booking Via : inforesto@gateinc.jp

Feel free to pin or bookmark it for your future use :) 

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