Words: Robert Edgington
[NB: EIC is aware that most women will appreciate these facts too]
A well hidden fact in Japanese Izakaya is that they have all you can eat and drink prices. The fact is well hidden from foreigners because the price is gauged at the modest drinking ability of your average Salaryman, not a barbarian western lad. If you utter the phrase “Nomihodai ga arimasu ka?” in your worst Japanese you will be reluctantly treated to as much sake, umeshu, beer and sashimi as you like for usually about 2 hours. Amazing.
It’s the greatest piece of plastic on earth. Not only can you access Tokyo’s exceptional public transit system, but you can pay-as-you go on pretty much anything!
In most convenience stores they have a pay-wave system, just like tapping in on your Oyster card at a station, but you’re not buying a journey you’re buying a late night beer or magazine!
You can also use them on the omnipresent Japanese vending machines. I can tell you there is nothing quite like running for a train then realising you need a drink, then jumping onto a machine so your wallet exactly aligns on the card reader while you press your desired drink button, catching the falling drink then hopping onto the train just in the knick of time. One more thing, the travel card works through all Japan.
EIC is proud to be good friends with Culture Smart!, a seriously nifty pocket travel book series. If you’re heading off to new terrain, we massively recommend these awesome guides on customs and etiquette. Grab yourself a copy of Japan here!
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