Every year we take the new teachers to a traditional “tachi” – stand “nomi” – drink or in English, Standing Bar. Standing Bars are unsophisticated, cheap places aimed at salarymen on their way home after work. They are usually located near train stations and offer simple cold beer, sake, ume (plum wine) and the Japanese version of bar food, izakaya, or deep-fried meats and seafood with edamame.
I took the photo above of a standing bar near Osaka train station. You come in and find a table and in this one, a boss lady takes your order, making you order food with your drinks. As you can see, the decor is spartan, although I saw this retro beer sign that I would have loved to have in university in my apartment or if I had a bar in my home, it would be a great conversational piece.
As you can see in the photo standing bars have a predominately male clientele, although there were a couple of women and even a mother with her baby in a stroller when we first arrived. I do feel that men here spend too much time at work or socializing with their colleagues after work and not enough time with their families, however, it is nice occasionally to check these places out. They only open from around 5:00 PM and close early in the evening.