What is Nomikai?

Nomi means drink.

A nomikai is a drinking party.

Usually a group of friends, but often co-workers too.

It’s often meant to “improve communications” amongst co-workers. But many feel burdened and obliged to attend.

A nomikai usually takes place in izakaya, but increasingly at home too.

Companies hold year-end nomikai to relax and prepare for the upcoming year.

TOUR: Kabukicho and Shinjuku Golden Gai at Night

Let’s go to Tokyo’s Kabukicho and Golden-gai and enjoy walking at night together!


  • You can enjoy Tokyo nightlife like locals
  • Explore Kabukicho, the most famous and largest red-light district in Japan
  • See Shinjuku Golden Gai, a unique bar area of Tokyo

Learn more and sign up here (in English)

Nomikai, or drinking with colleagues, as everyone working in Japan knows, is part of the job. And there’s nothing worse than going to work on Monday, redfaced, wishing you could hide in every available corner over embarrassment from the night before. With the upcoming beer garden season and numerous opportunities to enjoy a few drinks with your colleagues, here are a few tips of what to avoid during your next nomikai. —SavvyTokyo

The evening lasts a few hours, during which employees can indulge in as much drinking as they like. It’s not considered bad to drink a lot during a nomikai; any remarks made under the influence of alcohol are brushed off as unimportant and won’t affect you at work the next day. The tradition during a nomikai is to always let another serve you your drink rather than doing it yourself, often a kohai (younger employee) filling the glass of a senpai (older employee). —JapanExperience

What do Japanese like to drink? Whilst sake (rice wine) is the national drink of Japan, lager-beer (pronounced “beer-ru” in Japanese) is the most popular drink. … Head to your nearest izakaya (Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food) for the best nomihodai deals – usually ranging from 2,000-3,000yen per person. —InsideJapanTours

How much do Japanese people drink? The typical Japanese person consumes 6.5 liters of alcohol per year. The typical Japanese person also contains about 6.5 liters of blood. This isn’t exactly crazy, given that Korea, the United States, Canada and Great Britain all beat Japan in per-capita drinking games. —ThisJapaneseLife

What is Japan’s drinking age? Age is 20 years old. The minimum drinking and smoking age is 20 years old, the age when people are considered to be “adults” in Japan. There are laws against consuming, selling, or giving cigarettes or alcohol to minors, but nobody listens. —Tofugu

Here’s a great video explaining nomikai culture