That Japanese rugby is coming along in strides is clearly and obviously true. But with the World Cup to be held there this autumn there might still be the odd little cultural shock to be had. For the organisers have had to – quite seriously – warn bars not to run out of beer:
It’s the stuff of nightmares for rugby fans: organisers of the upcoming World Cup in Japan have raised fears that bars and restaurants in host cities could run out of beer during the tournament. As part of the planning for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the organising committee has urged business operators to order in sufficient quantities of beer to avoid upsetting travelling fans, Japan’s Jiji Press agency reported.
An advanced and industrial nation like Japan? Run out of beer? Well, yes, actually, it’s a serious concern:
An Oita prefectural official told Jiji Press that after explanations by the organising committee, the region’s restaurants and wholesalers had acknowledged the issue of beer shortages as “a realistic problem”.
It could actually happen. It is fair to note that gross public drunkenness is not an unknown event in Japan. Howling drunkenness in fact, to the point of fall asleep in the road levels. But there is one more little cultural difference which is going to be a bit of a surprise:
Numerous restaurants and taverns in Japan entice customers with all-you-can-drink packages for a set number of hours.
All you can drink in a couple of hours for one fixed price? Difficult to know who is going to be most shocked by this. Punters themselves or bar owners contemplating how much a retired front row on the lash can get down their necks.