I just don't get the bar culture. Well I used to enjoy the sitcom "Cheers", but I still wonder till this day why people go to the same smelly dark place every night and drink with the same people who they don’t even consider friends. To swap jokes with them - the jokes they feel funny only when they are sufficiently drunk? To flirt with girls they think hot only when they are wearing the beer goggles? Sorry, but I have a real hard time understanding the whole thing.
Are they afraid to stay home alone? Don't they have any hobbies? Is that why every night after work, they go home, shower and change so that they can go out again feeling pretty and smelling enticing, and then spend the evening sitting there drinking with all the other lonely people?
Maybe I am just an antisocial loser. Maybe people don't understand why I'd rather stay home and read, write, play music, or watch Seinfeld again. In my defense though, I do occasionally go out with a friend or two, sample the best food Tokyo can offer, and have a proper conversation over some drinks. I stay away from the gym due to my allergy to sports, but I would love to start dancing tango again. An evening at the opera, concert or movies would also be wonderful.
But Japanese have their unique bar culture too. After an exhausting day in the office, their choice of the evening entertainment is to grab a bite to eat at an izakaya (Japanese beer house) and drink until it’s time to catch the last train home.
The most interesting thing is, their choice of drinking companions is usually their coworkers - yup, the people they see all day every day. And together they bad-mouth everybody they know, especially their boss - which is called “nominication” in Japan, meaning “communication through drinking (nomi.)”
It simply amazes me what people have got to do to unwind. Hmmm, perhaps I just don’t have enough stress!