Fancy a drink? It might be a casual question amongst friends or co-workers in Hong Kong, but in Japan, it’s a crucial social ritual. With the nation’s strict daytime working culture and traditions, it’s the one chance to let loose any deep-seated issues brewing beneath the surface.

Where better to relax than at your local izakaya – a friendly neighbourhood pub? With a comfort menu of skewers, rolls and hotpots to line the stomach for the night ahead, Amazake is a classic example, located right in the heart of Central. Start off with a hand-picked selection of Japanese craft beers for the first few rounds before moving on to the real deal – nihonshu (sake) – for the true bonding to begin.

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But watch out – the Japanese have specific etiquette to adhere to for these sessions. Follow our checklist to make sure you drink the proper way:

  • Do not pour a drink for yourself alone. As a gesture of hospitality, your drinking partners will be doing the pouring for you and you should return the favour by pouring for them.
  • Hold up your cup with both hands when receiving a drink from someone else. This is considered a humble gesture.
  • Do not drink first – start only after everyone has raised their glass for a collective kanpai!
  • Remember that the glass of the most senior person should be slightly higher than yours when toasting.
  • Lightweights, beware! If your glass is even half empty, it’s open for a refill – and a very long evening ahead…

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Keep the evening going with some games…

  • Beer pong is the obvious choice at Amazake – but if you’re ready for a real challenge, try the sake pong.
  • Dice cups are conveniently placed tableside for those who prefer a more casual game at the table.
  • When in doubt, go for the classics. Cards are available – simply ask any of the serving staff.

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For a genuine taste of Japan in Hong Kong, reserve your table at Amazake today!

Shop A, UG/F, On Hing Building, 1 On Hing Terrace, LKF, Central, 2537 7787

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