On the road in Düsseldorf Little Tokyo: Do's and Don'ts in Japanese bars


On the road in Düsseldorf Little Tokyo: Do's and Don'ts in Japanese bars

The little basics of impeccable drinking etiquette

Sushi is one of your staples? You don't feel good without at least two portions of ramen a week? And the noble Wagyu beef is not only served on high holidays? Then you belong to the real connoisseurs of Japanese cuisine! But what about accompanying drinks? Maybe you know something about sake. But do you know how to enjoy this alcoholic specialty? Or what about the brewing of beer in the Asian country? And, most importantly, what is important to remember when visiting a bar? There are a few (often unspoken) rules to be observed to ensure that the atmosphere is a particularly pleasant one for everyone involved. Want to know which ones? Here are six tips for your next trip to the bars of Little Tokyo, such as the "Me and all Lounge" (Immermannstrasse 367), "Kushi-Tei of Tokyo" (Immermannstrasse 38) and the "Sakura Bar" (Immermannstrasse 50).

Do: Order sake with the correct name

The assumption is obvious, after all, we often use the suffix "wine" with sake. But strictly speaking, the drink is not one, because unlike the original, it does not consist of fruit. Rather, sake is based on the two main components of rice (and polished) and water. During the fermentation process, a mold breaks down the starch in the grain, while yeast converts the sugar in the rice into alcohol. Bars and restaurants usually serve sake in small bowls and (lukewarm). Only very good varieties are enjoyed chilled by connoisseurs. 

Don't: Taste sake wrong

The most important thing first: A Japanese person will certainly notice if you make an effort to do everything right. And therefore, in case of doubt, they will not react disgruntled if a small mishap happens. After all, the bar visit should not mutate into a state reception with the strictest protocol. Nevertheless, out of politeness and respect alone, try to, some rules to follow: For example, it is not proper to drink sake like a shot in one go; rather, sip it again and again. If you're pouring for others, don't fill the glass to the brim; that's also a no-go - just like pouring for yourself, by the way. This should be done by the host or the waiters. If someone wants to top you up, lift the bowl, leaving it on the table is considered rude and take a small sip before setting it down. 

Do: Taste Craft Beer!

A world without beer?! For many of you, this is certainly hard to imagine. In Japan, too, people like to drink good beer. The country's best-known brands, which also have bars and restaurants in Düsseldorf, include "Asahi," "Sapporo" and "Kirin" - so you can sample a wide variety of aromas and tastes over the course of a long evening. If you're feeling particularly exotic, ask for "Echigo" beer with Koshihikari rice! If you want to shine with a little expertise: Incidentally, Japan's first brewery was once established in - here we go again - Niigata Prefecture, the place where rice and water turn out so excellently.

Do: Proper toasting

Whether it's an occasion like a birthday or you're simply celebrating being together with Japanese friends or colleaguesten would like: A toast always goes down well. But beware: the hosts say the toast first. Then, those present repeat the words and bow slightly, glass of sake, whiskey, vodka or gin in hand. If you want to start in the local language, use the term "Kanpai". The Japanese word comes closest to the German "Prost". You should refrain from using "Cin Cin," which Italians like to use here as well. In Japanese, the word stands for "penis.

Don't: Tip

Although very nicely meant, tipping is not a good thing in Japan. In fact, many restaurants already include the service in the price of the drink. This means that if you give your waiter or waitress a few euros in cash, you may be met with an awkward silence. So it's better to leave it alone and simply thank the waiter for the friendly service. In Japanese restaurants in Germany, the customs look different in this respect: Here you are "allowed" to give the waiters a financial gift.

This article is supported by REACT-EU.

Images: Düsseldorf Tourism

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