Tokyo’s Latest Tourism Campaign Puts the Spotlight on Snack Bars

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English words can be heard amid the general hubbub in Japanese at the counter as a small group of overseas tourists mingle with locals over drinks and food at a homey bar in a big-city neighborhood.

The group of travelers is on a “snack” tour in which they bar hop through an area of Tokyo with an English-speaking guide — just one activity that has sprung up to cater to the influx of tourists looking to sample the country’s burgeoning after-dark economy.

Snacks are small establishments often run by women, known as “mama-san,” that serve alcohol and bar food. Karaoke performances very often are also on the menu.

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