15 - How to work automatic beer-dispensing machines in Japan

My all-time favorite yakitori joint is in Shibuya.

It's called 〇金 (maru kin).

This symbol, 〇, is pronounced maru, and it means "round." This explains the logic behind Marukin's logo:

(Here's their website.)

There are precisely 3 awesome things about this 居酒屋 (izakaya, "Japanese drinking establishment"):

1. The location is awesome.
2. The chicken is 美味しい (oishii, "tasty").
3. They have a 30-minute (interval), self-serve, all-you-can-drink service.

Details, please.

1. The location is awesome.

This izakaya is located in Senta-gai, which is one of the most awesome (and famous) streets in Shibuya:

You can actually see 渋谷センター街 (shibuya sentaa gai) written on these guys' little portable shrine:

Here are directions from Hachiko Statue at Shibuya station:

I know what you're thinking: I don't care about maps, dude. Explain to me why there is a glowing samurai in those first pictures.

The answer is--I don't know. It's Shibuya. ^_^

They probably had a little festival or something. (Those portable shrines are called 神輿 (mikoshi), by the way. Here's a Wikipedia article about them.)

You might be slightly comforted to see this equally confused Japanese couple:

Has anyone ever looked so confused before?



2. The chicken is 美味しい (oishii, "tasty").

Or maybe I just love skewered chicken with beer.

If you're gonna go, maybe you should Rikaisama their menu page to prepare yourself.

3. They have a 30-minute (interval), self-serve, all-you-can-drink service.

So if you pay 299 yen (which is less than $3), you get all you can drink at a do-it-yourself bar:

Here's a blurred out (T_T) pic of the menu stating such:

Uber-quick breakdown:

good deal

nana ju sshu
70 types!


30 minutes
(Note that 30 is sanjuu, but the juu gets shorten when it attaches to pun, giving us sanjuppun / さんじゅっぷん).

ichi ji kan ~
(minimum) one hour

ni hyaku kyuu juu kyuu en
299 yen

purasu zei
plus tax

individual items
(So next to this is the price for each individual item if you don't take them up on their awesome deal.)

My favorite is this automatic beer-dispensing machine:

That sign above the beer says:

① ジョッキをのせて
jokki wo nosete
Place your mug here.
(Note: I have no idea why they use this word jokki for beer mugs. It's in katakana, ジョッキ, so maybe it's a foreign loan word?)
(Double Note: 乗せる [noseru], "to place on" is a transitive verb, while 乗る [noru], the intransitive version, means "to get on; to ride.")

② ここを押すだけ!
koko wo osu dake!
Then just press this button!
(Literally: "Here + を + push + only!")

(Note: There is no word "then" in this Japanese, but I wrote "then" because in the previous sentence the verb 乗せる (noseru) is written in the te-form, 乗せて (nosete), meaning that it's the first half of a sentence not yet completed. In other words, a direct translation is something like "Place your mug here, and then just press this button.")

All the ingredients for a lovely Shibuya adventure.

Bonus Phrases:

いざかや で いっか。
I guess going to an izakaya works, too. // Yeah, let's just go to an izakaya.
Literally: izakaya + de + good + ka

この おにく おいしい。
This meat is good.
Literally: this + meat + delicious

いま しぶやセンターがい。
I'm at Shibuya Senta-gai right now.
Literally: now + Shibuya + Senta-gai

おみこし かつごう よ。
Let's carry the portable shrine.
Literally: omikoshi (portable shrine) + let's carry/haul
Note: This is talking about one of those mini shrines people carry around at festivals.

おとく だ ね。
This is a good deal.
Literally: this + beneficial + is + ne

ななじゅうしゅ の はな そだててる んだ。
I grow over 70 types of flowers.
Literally: 70 types + no + flower + am raising + nda

のみほうだい に しよう。
Let's get all-you-can-drink.
Literally: all-you-can-drink + ni + let's do

あと さんじゅっぷん。
It's in 30 minutes. // We still have 30 minutes.
Literally: after + 30 minutes

いちじかん だけ かして。
Let me borrow it for an hour. // Lend me your car for an hour.
Literally: one hour + only + lend me
Note: I guessed "car" for the second translation... but really this depends on context.

いっぱい にひゃくきゅうじゅうきゅう えん だって。
It says one drink is 299 yen.
Literally: one drink + 299 yen + is + tte

この ねだん ぜいこみ です か?
Is tax included in this price?
Literally: this + price + tax-included + is + ka?

たんぴん で ビール ひとつ ください。
One beer, please.
Literally: individual item + de + beer + one + please
Note: Saying 単品で just means that it's not part of a set or package of any kind. Just a separate item.