The Japanese have always been big beer drinkers, but until recently, have been pretty much limited to the offerings of the big four breweries: Kirin, Asahi, Suntory, and Sapporo.This is quickly changing, however, and there are now a variety of local craft beers available, along with a growing selection of international imports.
When Friend Don is in town, we like to meet at the Munhen Beer Hall in Sannomiya, Kobe. The original hall was trashed in the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, but like a phoenix, has risen from the ashes in even better form, and now serves a nice dark beer brewed on the premises.
Unlike in the U.S., kids are often seen in Japanese drinking establishments, particularly pubs, beer halls, 'sushi-ya', 'robata-yaki' and 'yaki-tori' places...anywhere that huge steins of beer are served.
|And then there was the 4th Osaka International Beer Festival, 3 days of international food, beer and entertainment. Fun for the whole family.|
A troupe from Thailand performed a variety of traditional Thai dances.
|A German samba band. Yep. German. And, danged if they weren't pretty good!|
|An Okinawan Shamisen band. Just a few moments after this picture was taken, an only slightly inebriated 'salary man' (bluesuited company employee) got up and started dancing 'Awa-odori' style around the band. He was soon joined by at least a hundred other folk of all ages, nationalities, and levels of dancing talent. The dancers swirled around the band, which could no longer be seen, for about10 minutes. (Who says the Japanese are inhibited?)|