Bars without booze are starting to take off in Japan

It’s one of the hottest new trends in Japan: Bars without booze. Raising glasses of non-alcoholic wine, millennial customers say they do enjoy the real thing, but only on special occasions.

Click Here: Kanken backpack

“I’m not worried about my health, but I’d rather spend the money on nice meals,” said student Manaka Yoshii.

Non-alcoholic bars are starting to take off in Japan, popular especially among younger Japanese. And that’s giving the national government a hangover.

The so-called “sober-curious” movement has stunned officials in Japan, where much of life revolves around drinking, peaking during occasions like cherry-blossom viewing. Office drinking parties have long been considered essential to company team-building.

The most recent survey, from 2016, found Tokyo alone was packed with nearly 30,000 bars and pubs.

But with more than 90% of young Japanese reporting they drink rarely or not at all, non- or low-alcohol beer and liquor is where the growth is. Even beer behemoth Asahi has opened a bar catering to the alcohol-averse.

With tax revenue from alcoholic beverages drying up, down 30% in recent decades, the government launched a widely-mocked campaign seeking ideas on how to get young Japanese drinking again.

At Maruku Café, bartender Suzumo Sakurai serves an underserved market: teetotallers of all ages thirsting for a local pub without the liquor. The government’s drink-more campaign, he said, is tone-deaf.

“I think it’s a terrible idea,” Sakurai said. “It’s like trying to get people to smoke more.”

Japan is a group-oriented society, where getting along has often meant going along with drinking, the consequences visible on trains and city streets.

“Japan has a long tradition of bonding over alcohol. But people are starting to wise up,” Sakurai said.

Food & Wine


Van Leeuwen releasing Hidden Valley Ranch ice cream

Beat food price inflation with these budget-friendly, plant-based recipes

The Dish: Healthy Meals

The Dish: Gesine Bullock-Prado

The Dish: Gavin Kaysen



Leave a Reply