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Kansai Scene Magazine


Bar Chatter

Japanese phrases to help you navigate the Japanese bar scene and make sure you get what you ordered.

The world of whiskey and bourbon can be a little tricky at times and we can’t all be connoisseurs like Seiichiro Tatsumi, owner of Rogin’s Tavern in Moriguchi (see our July cover feature “Rogin’s Ode to Whiskey”). But we can at least learn some Japanese bar speak so we can ask the right questions to those who are a little more in-the-know. First thing’s first when ordering whiskey, the bar staff will need to know if you like it neat sutoreto de, or on the rocks rokku de.

If you’re not a whiskey fan then ask for whatever else takes your fancy, be it red wine aka wain, white wine shiro wain, plum wine umeshu, or a simple draft beer nama biru.

If the person serving has you onto a good thing and you’re finding something a little too nomiyasui (easy to drink), you may need to remember some emergency phrases to help you in a drunken tight spot. You may also feel the need to return for a little hair of the dog that bit you, mukaezake, to help ease your way through that next-day hangover. Whatever the case may be, we have you covered with the phrases below for your next round of drinks. Kampai!

Useful Expressions

I like the atmosphere in here. ここの ふんいきが すきです。 Koko no funiki ga suki desu.
What drink do you recommend? おすすめの のみものは なんですか? Osusume no nomimono wa nan desu ka?
Where is this whiskey / wine / beer from? この ウイスキー/ワイン/ビールの さん ちは どこ ですか? Kono uisuki / wain / biru no sanchi wa doko desuka?
How old is this whiskey? この ウイスキーは なん ねん もの ですか? Kono uiskusi wa nan nen mono desuka?
How much does that cost? それは いくら ですか? (Sore wa) ikura desuka?
One more please. もう いっぱい ください。 Mou ippai kudasai.
I’m feeling buzzed. ほろよい です。 Horoyoi desu.
I haven’t been drinking much recently. さいきんは あまり のんでいません。 Saikin wa amari nondeimasen.
What bar snacks do you have? どんな おつまみ が ありますか? Don na otsumami ga arimasuka?
I think I drank too much. のみすぎた みたい です。 Nomisugita mitai desu.
This whiskey is strong. この ウイスキー は つよい です。 Kono uisuki wa tsuyoi desu.
I think I’m drunk. よっぱらった みたい です。 Yopparatta mitai desu.
Could you call me a taxi? タクシー を よんでくれませんか? Taxi o yondekuremasenka?
I’m not feeling well. きもち わるい です。 Kimochi waruidesu.
I’m hungover. ふつかよい です Futsukayoi desu.
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