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What Is Izakaya? Basic Tips for Foreigners Part 7

Updated: Jun 27

What Is Izakaya? Basic Tips for Foreigners

5. Sake That Goes Well with Seafood

At an izakaya, enjoying good food and drinks is essential. For those who can drink alcohol, sake is a must-try. However, some people mistakenly believe that only expensive sake is delicious.

What Is Izakaya? Basic Tips for Foreigners

Order Junmai Sake at an Izakaya

I recommend ordering "Junmai Sake," which pairs well with almost all dishes, especially sashimi. Many chefs agree that "Junmai Sake" complements sashimi and sushi perfectly. If "Junmai Sake" is unavailable, "Junmai Ginjo Sake" and "Special Junmai Sake" are also good options.

"Junmai Sake" is dry and has a mild aroma, making it suitable for various izakaya dishes. It is made only from rice, malted rice, and water, which pairs well with foods that go well with rice.

What Is Izakaya? Basic Tips for Foreigners

"Daiginjo Sake" as an Apéritif

"Junmai Daiginjo Sake" or "Daiginjo Sake" are highly aromatic and best enjoyed as an apéritif. They are not suitable for drinking during the meal due to their strong aroma.

Scientific Analysis: The Perfect Harmony of Sashimi, Soy Sauce, and Sake

Sashimi, soy sauce, and sake create a wonderful combination. Fish and shellfish contain high levels of inosinic acid, a key "Umami" ingredient. Soy sauce contains glutamic acid, which enhances the "Umami" when combined with inosinic acid.

Sake contains amino acids, including glutamic acid, which further enhances the "Umami" when paired with seafood and soy sauce.

What Is Izakaya? Basic Tips for Foreigners

Sweetness and Spiciness

The sweetness and spiciness of sake can be calculated using a formula provided by the National Tax Agency. "Junmai Sake" tends to be the driest and pairs well with izakaya dishes without overpowering their flavors.

In summary, for the best experience, order local "Junmai Sake" when visiting an izakaya. This local production for local consumption approach ensures the best pairing with regional dishes.

What Is Izakaya? Basic Tips for Foreigners

What Is Izakaya? Experience Authentic Izakaya Culture: Guided by Locals in Hidden Tokyo

Our company offers tours where we take foreign tourists to izakayas. For those wondering, what is izakaya? An izakaya is a type of informal Japanese pub where people gather to enjoy drinks and a variety of dishes. We assist those who struggle with Japanese-only menus by providing interpretation services. Our guides also provide fun explanations of foods and menu items unique to Japan. Would you like to enjoy a fun time at an izakaya with an English-speaking interpreter guide?

The places we take you to are located in the heart of Tokyo, specifically in Kagurazaka, a top gourmet area yet little known to many foreigners. Kagurazaka is home to many wonderful izakayas hidden in alleys known only to locals. Why not experience authentic izakaya culture at izakayas frequented only by Japanese customers?

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How to Access Kagurazaka

The Kagurazaka area is conveniently located within 30 minutes from any major station in Tokyo. This is because Kagurazaka is situated in the heart of Tokyo, at the center of the Yamanote Line. Please come and visit this convenient and charming Kagurazaka.


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