One (of many) of the things that I enjoy doing in Japan is visiting an izakaya. These are wonderful places, basically made for drinking, but with food substantial enough to make a meal. The thing that makes them wonderful is their intimacy. These are often small places where everyone knows everyone else including the owner/cook/bartender/server, all often the same person.
Meet Shie-chan. She is the owner and operator of an izakaya that has been doing business in Yokosuka for 90+ years, and all of that time in the same family.
The name of her izakaya is 坂戸屋 (Sakato-ya). Shie-chan is herself something of a wonder. She serves, depending on what is available, wonderful meat and fish dishes as well as the best yaki-udon that I have ever eaten. Her broiled seafood, especially her buri, is like butter. Smooth and rich with all of the delicacy that you expect from seafood. She serves a beef steak that is tender and rich in flavor. It is cut thin in the Japanese manner, but is delicious. (A note: expect the Japanese manner. Except for the time that I took a friend with me, I am the only westerner that I have ever seen there.)
If you spend any time at all in Japan, check out a local izakaya. Don't be part of an American or tourist ghetto. Make friends. I have made several friends at 坂戸屋 and was invited to participate in a community event that I will post about soon.