Updated: December 26, 2018
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Hanbey: Fun And Cheap Showa-Style Izakaya You Must Try!

Showa has the best atmosphere you can imagine for an izakaya with its retro Showa Era decor and music. The menu is super cheap and good too. A must-try!

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Hanbey: A Time Slip To The Showa Era

The full name of this izakaya chain is Hakuri Tabai Hanbey 薄利多売半兵ヱ, but it is generally known as just Hanbey. Remember it because it is definitely not your run-of-the-mill drinking place. Indeed, it has the most awesome retro Showa Era (1926 to 1989) themed decor which creates, along with the music of the same era, the perfect warm izakaya atmosphere.
The food and drinks are cheap - and pretty good too! Although they come in small portions, many of the food items are below ¥100. So you really get the bang for the buck at Hanbey. If you haven't already, you should give this chain a try. Below are some popular menu items.

Food And Drinks

Beer is almost essential for the first kanpai. A jockey is just ¥290. You can also get a big pitcher which contains the volume of 6-7 mugs for ¥1,690.
Whiskey-based drinks, shochu-based drinks, plum wine, cocktails, etc., there are so many items on the drink menu, and nearly all of them are less than ¥300! Some even come with rubber duckies and other decorations that are reminiscent of the Showa Era.
You should definitely try the kushi-age, which are deep-fried veggies or pieces of meat on a skewer that you dip in a sauce before eating. They are only about ¥90 a piece!
Other skewered foods include the yakitori (chicken) "sunagimo" (gizzards), "torikawa" (chicken skin), "uzura tamago" (quail eggs), and "bonjiri" (tail part of a chicken). They range in price from ¥50 to ¥90.
You can also have the ultimate Showa Japanese soul food: the Japanese curry. Many people have it as a last savory dish.
Make sure to get some cabbage because you can reorder it for free!
Hanbey celebrates international cuisine with... American weiners shaped like octopuses.
You can order the popular "age-pan" which is a deep-fried piece of bread. I had never seen this elsewhere. It's worth the try!


Time just flies by in good company at Hanbey. You often end up ordering a lot more food and drinks than you had planned, yet the bill rarely adds up to more than ¥3,000. In other, Hanbey is the perfect izakaya.
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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