If you want a slightly deeper experience, go to Snack! Introducing how to enjoy and manners

Snacks are recommended for people who think, “Since I’ve come all the way to Japan, I want to have a slightly deeper experience.” It is a unique eatery that is different from restaurants and bars, and is currently attracting attention from foreign tourists who say it offers a uniquely Japanese experience.

In this article, we will explain what kind of place Nakaku is, as well as introduce how to enjoy it and etiquette. If you read this, you’ll be able to enjoy Japan’s nightlife even more.

■What kind of snack can give you a slightly deeper experience?

First, I will explain in an easy-to-understand manner what kind of place a snack is and how it differs from a cabaret club or a pub.

What kind of place is Snack?

Generally speaking, a snack is a shop where the owner, known as “mama”, serves alcohol and services behind the counter. While drinking alcohol and eating snacks, I talk to my mom and enjoy karaoke. Another feature of the store is that many familiar faces visit the store.

“Snack” was originally called “snack bar,” meaning a place where you can enjoy alcohol and light snacks.

At Snack, moms and staff only serve customers behind the counter. Even if there are sofas and tables in the store, staff will not sit next to customers. This customer service method can also be said to be one of the characteristics of snack food.

What is the difference between a cabaret club and a pub?

Cabaret clubs and pubs are places where you can enjoy drinks and conversation with the staff as well as snacks.

The main difference between a cabaret club and a snack bar is the customer service method. While snack bars serve customers from behind the counter, cabaret clubs have staff sitting next to customers. Also, the karaoke in the snack bar is not available in the cabaret club.

A pub is a restaurant with some kind of concept. For example, at a “karaoke pub,” staff and customers enjoy conversation and karaoke while drinking alcohol. There is also a “Women’s College Pub” where you can enjoy conversation with female university student staff, and a “Philippine Pub” where customers are served by Filipino staff. The interiors vary depending on the store, with some having only a counter and others having box seats.

■Introducing how to enjoy snacks! How to enjoy a slightly deeper experience

Snacks is a place you can enjoy just by yourself, but if you know about the price system and how to spend your time smartly, you can enjoy it even more. I will explain each in detail.

Check the pricing system

There are three basic pricing systems for snacks・
・Set price system
・Charge fee system
・Time limit system
The system used varies by store. The details and approximate prices are as follows.

In addition, there is Bottle Keep, a restaurant where you can enjoy alcoholic beverages including snacks. Bottle Keep is a system where you purchase one bottle of alcohol and leave the remaining amount at the store until the next time. Regular snack eaters often keep bottles, but beginners can order them individually.

When you enter the store, if you tell the mom your budget and length of stay in advance, she can adjust your order within that range.

The other amount will be

There are various charges for snacks in addition to the basic price and alcohol charges. For example, there may be a case where a staff member serving a customer asks, “Would you like a drink?” Customers must pay for the drinks ordered at this time. The average price for drinks is 600 to 900 yen.

It is not compulsory to order drinks for the staff. However, if you ask, you will make a better impression on the staff and liven up the occasion. There’s no need to order multiple drinks, so it’s good manners to ask for at least one drink.

Also, depending on the store, there may be an additional charge for karaoke. The average price is around 200 to 300 yen per song.

Enjoy conversations with moms and customers

Snack stores are very small, so you will inevitably be close to other customers. While drinking alcohol in the same space, you will naturally have the opportunity to become friends. Enjoying interactions with other customers in this way is one of the best parts of snacking.

Many of the store’s regular customers have a friendly personality, so you’ll be able to talk to them right away. If you have a hard time getting to know each other, don’t worry, the moms and staff girls will introduce you to you and help you find things you have in common.

Also, depending on the time of day, you may be left alone with your mother. At times like this, enjoy talking with mom. First of all, it’s smart to briefly introduce yourself and offer a drink by saying, “Have a drink.”

If you’re at a restaurant that has karaoke, you might enjoy singing a duet with your mom. Another way to have fun is to pay for karaoke and make a request to your mom. It doesn’t matter how good or bad you are at singing. Singing karaoke together will shorten the distance between you and make the conversation afterward much more lively.

■Things to keep in mind when having a slightly deeper experience with snacks

Snack stores have their own rules and etiquette, and if you break them, you may not only cause trouble to other customers, but you may also be banned from entering the store. Here are some points to pay particular attention to in order to enjoy your snacks smartly.

Don’t forget to be considerate of other customers

Snacks are places where you can enjoy the space, so you need to be considerate of other customers. No matter how much fun you have, don’t make loud noises or drink until you’re completely drunk. Also, it is no good to persistently interact with customers or staff who don’t like it. On the other hand, don’t act curt when the customer next to you is talking to you.

Other than that, it’s not a good idea to occupy the karaoke room by yourself and sing many songs, or to look at your smartphone without clapping while other customers are singing.

Snack is a place where moms, staff, and customers can all come together to create a fun space. Therefore, if one person acts inconsiderately, everyone present will feel bad.

Let’s follow the store rules and what mom says.

When it comes to snacking, mom is the rulebook. Follow your instructions, as they are always what mom says. For example, when you enter a store, don’t take your seat until you are guided by a mom or staff member. Mom decides when and where to sit. Snack is a place where you can enjoy alcohol provided by Mom in a space created by Mom.

There are also “unspoken rules” when it comes to snacks. If a regular customer has a designated seat, no one else is allowed to sit there, even if that seat is empty. Basically, Snack is a place where regular customers have priority.

There’s also an unspoken rule that you shouldn’t go out for snacks in large groups. The correct answer is to go alone or in a group of 2 or 3 people at most.

■Enjoy a slightly deeper experience with snacks

Snacks are a bit different from cabaret clubs and pubs, and offer a slightly deeper experience unique to Japan. At first, you may be confused by the unfamiliar systems and rules, but gradually you will become addicted to the snack space itself.

When you visit Japan, be sure to stop by Snack and enjoy conversation, drinks, and karaoke with mom and other customers. I’m sure you’ll be able to experience a new charm of Japan.


Q: What is a snack?
A: It’s a place where you can enjoy drinks, where moms and staff will serve you at the counter.

Q : What is the pricing system for snacks?
A: A set price system where you can drink as much as you want at a price determined by the restaurant, and the fee will be charged as soon as you sit down. Most places use one of three methods: charge-up fee system, or all-you-can-drink time limit system.