Things You Need to Know Before You Start Working in an Izakaya | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

Things You Need to Know Before You Start Working in an Izakaya

By Guidable Writers May 17, 2017

This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional)

If you are finding a part time job to do, I believe you have thought of working in an Izakaya. As I am currently working in an Izakaya, I am going to give you few advices. As someone who has experienced the work in Izakaya, I will tell you about how to choose the right place that is suitable for you to work, and if you can accept all the good side and bad side of Izakaya. Before I give you few advices, I will give you the general information of Izakaya.

What is an Izakaya?

Izakaya is a type of informal Japanese gastro pub. They offer wide ranges of drinks and Japanese sake, and usually attract businessman (salary man) and college students to have a drink after their work and school. Izakaya usually opens from noon to midnight, so if you want to work in Izakaya, you are expected to work long hours.

How much do you get if you work in Izakaya?

The salary in Izakaya is usually around 950-1050 yen per hour (it depends on region). As you usually work 6hours or more per day, you can gain more than 6000yen or more per day.

After giving the general information of the Izakaya, I will write about if a foreigner should be working in an Izakaya or not.

First, I will talk about possible difficulties you might face after start working in an Izakaya. It might take you a lot of time to memorize the name of Japanese Sake. Honjo-shu, Ginjo-shu, Daiginjo-shu…You have to know the names of all these sake, and they are all written in the menu in Japanese Kanji. Those names of sake are difficult even for Japanese, so for non-Japanese speakers it may require huge effort to get used to those names. Apart from that, there are countless numbers of menu that you need to remember in Japanese. I believe it is tough for a non-native speakers to memorize all the menu, but I also think it is a good opportunity for you to improve your Japanese.

Second, as Izakaya is a place for people to drink and get drunk, there is a huge chance that you will get scold by the guests when you make some small mistake. In Japan, the customers are considered as God. In Japan, people believe that all the customer’s need should be tolerated. Therefore if you come to Izakaya, You need to tolerate all the guests’ request. You need to be very patient and treat all the guest with respect even if they are rude to you.

After writing all the bad thing about Izakaya, I will talk about the good side of Izakaya. In my Izakaya, the chief will cook for us for free. In japan we call the dinner made for the part time workers as ‘makanai’, and although it depends on the shop owners, usually in izakaya you are able to eat for free. If you want to save your money, Izakaya is a good place for you to save your dinner fee.

How to choose an Izakaya?

I have written different side of Izakaya, and now I will tell you the best way to choose a suitable Izakaya. The best way to find a Izakaya is to find someone who is now currently working there and ask them about the working environment. There are some Izakaya with extreme high work load and low salaries. There are Izakaya that does not provide free dinner to you. This is very essential for you to get enough information about the work place before you apply.

Also, you might want to visit the Izakaya as a guest before applying, and see how the shop manager treats the part time worker. If you can observe that the shop manager is being rude to the part time worker, you should not go there as it might not be the best place to work.

The life in Izakaya is tough but fun!

Last but not least, if you were able to find the right Izakaya, you would be able to make a lot of friends there! The work in Izakaya is relatively easy and you can get use to it easily, so if you can fit into the environment, I believe you will find the life in Izakaya really cool!

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