Tabehodai and nomihodai   食べ・飲み放題

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A busy street lined with izakaya

A busy street lined with izakaya

Kampai! Toasting with beer at an izakaya

Izakaya offer a relaxed atmosphere in which to socialise

Feast like the Japanese!

If there were ever a list of must-know words in order to enjoy a great evening out in Japan, no doubt nomihodai and tabehodai would be on that list! Meaning "all-you-can-drink" and "all-you-can-eat" respectively, these are two much loved Japanese pastimes!

Feast at low prices

Tabehodai is written as 食べ放題 and nomihodai as 飲み放題 in Japanese. Two words to look out for in the busy Japanese streets at night! Offers can be for an hour, two, or occasionally even three. A nomihodai usually costs a little less than a tabehodai, with the average price for two hours ranging from 800 to 2,000 yen ($7 to $18). Some offers combine both options, and you can eat and drink as much as you like (usually from a special limited menu) for an average of 3,000 yen for two hours, with a surplus of 500-800 yen ($4.50 - $7) for an additional hour.

Also readEating cheaply in Japan

Tabehodai nomihodai and eat and drink as much as you can.

Tabehodai and nomihodai let you eat and drink as much as you like.

These low-priced offers attract all kinds of crowds. From groups of salarymen meet up after a night of work at a nearby izakaya for a tabehodai, to groups of young students taking advantage of a great deal for a night out they can afford on their budgets.

A variety of dishes on offer at an izakaya

A wide range

Nomihodai tend to offer the same type of drinks menu (draft beer, highballs, Japanese spirits), however a tabehodai can offer a wide range of foods for all tastes. The menu usually includes standard Japanese izakaya dishes such as karaage, yakitori or takoyaki. This basic all-you-can-eat offer, which can be found everywhere, is often complemented by more specialized offers. So for a yakiniku (grilled meat barbecue) tabehodai there could be chicken, pork, or beef (usually the most expensive) menus to choose from, or a combination of all three.

For special menus like this prices can exceed the average range mentioned earlier, reaching 5,000 yen ($45) or more. Another classic tabehodai menu is all-you-can-eat sushi.

See : Yakiniku Sora

Amazing tabehodai

Apart from the mainstream offers, In Japan you can find more unusual tabehodai offers. There are pizza, dessert, or even pancake tabehodai offers! For the most curious and courageous diners, there is even a natto tabehodai, that famously pungent Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans...

A bowl of rice with natto

Rice and natto are two ingredients of the breakfast.

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