Drinking establishments vary from country to country, and Japan is no exception. Here a person looking for a drink has many choices, including Western-style bars with upscale bartenders and traditional cocktails, “themed” establishments like maid or cosplay pubs, Japanese-style izakaya with a cozy atmosphere and a huge selection of beer, sake and unique foods, or “cabaret clubs,” where beautiful women will pour your drink for you. Then there’s this kind of small drinking establishment called a “snack,” a name which comes from “snack bar” since you can eat light meals there. Snacks date from the 1970s and 80s and have the look and feel of the bygone Showa Period, though they have a unique retro kind of charm. The other day I was flipping channels on late-night TV and caught an interesting show called “Snackers” featuring a man who roamed Japan looking for interesting “snack” bars to introduce on TV. This episode focused on the fishing town of Choshi, Chiba Prefecture, and the camera followed a group of visiting fishermen from northern Japan as they had fun drinking and belting out karaoke songs while the proprietor poured more drinks.
“Snacks” are a unique type of pub from the Showa Era.