Saw this poster at station and it immediately reminds me about something. Well, as you can see, the poster depicts a group of Japanese youngster doing cheers over a glass of beer with caption “Let’s Enjoy Tokyo”.
What I want to emphasize here is the role and position of beer in Japanese people’s lives. Beer is one of their simple and easy “entertainment and refreshment”. Especially for kaishain (employee) who spend their day time working hard (working is really strict and tough in Japan), going home, take a bath (ofuro) and ended it with one or two cans of cold beer is kinda heavenly for them. If you watch dorama Hotaru no Hikari in which the main character always drinking beer at the porch at night time to relax her tension, that’s exactly what I meant.
Beer became a daily routine for most of them. At least I know several Japanese friends who always drink beer everyday (not to get drunk, just to relax all the tension and have a good sleep afterward).
Not only that, Japanese working culture also recognized “nomikai” or literally means “drinking communication” as part of their important afterwork session. Employees and supervisors will go together to izakaya or bar and drink together, at least beer. This is good to establish a smooth relationship and building trust among colleagues. Especially for juniors or new entrants. It is of course a bit difficult for people who dont drink for any reason, because if you dont involve in nomikai you will be seen as outsider (or at least refusing to mingle or socialize with others).
But worry not, it’s not Japan if it is not innovative. We can find 0.00% alcohol beer. It is basically a soda drink that tasted and smell similar like normal beer. The targets market for this product are women (less calorie and for pregnant women), those who cant drink alcohol and those who need to drive vehicle afterward. I tasted this one before and honestly I didnt like it. But I cant compare to normal beer because i never tried one xD
But the point is, drinking beer is quite normal in Japan. With 0.00% alcohol beer, Japan wanted everybody to be able to enjoy Japan to the fullest!