Friday, May 7, 2010
Travelers and people new to Tokyo are often shocked by a very high cost of living. Past-times such as drinking a few beers and having dinner with your friends can become more and more unaffordable.
The financial crisis has left a severe dent in Japanese citizen's spending power. Even a highly developed food and drinking culture such as the Japanese does not prevent workers and salary men from adjusting their life-styles to their financial means. However, a recent development in Tokyo's Izakaya industry is cause for hope for all students, low-budget travelers and all people living on a tight budget. As a result of the dwindling spending power and reduced bonuses in the Tokyo work force, extremely cheap izakayas have popped up all over the downtown Tokyo area. It does not matter if you are in Shinkuju, Harajuku, Shibuya and many more major hubs, you can be confident to find eateries with cheap yet tasty food and beers ranging from a stunning price range of 50-180 Yen per beer.
These places have traditionally been a haven for poor university students but are now frequented by businessmen as well. With very little money to spend on personal leisure activities such as after-work drinks, 50 yen a beer is an affordable price. But how do these places manage to keep their prices so low? The answer lies in location and buying in bulk. Food is acquired locally from where the izakaya is located and bought in big quantities.
Unfortunately the Japanese economy is only slowly recovering from the past financial crisis and is already to slipping into deflation. Bad news over all but good news for people who love going to izakayas that don't leave deep holes in one's wallet.