You wake up after a night of drinking, trying to piece together the few snapshot memories you have to figure out where it all went wrong. What was maybe meant to be just “one drink” turned to five, and then maybe you got a shot, because, hey, it’s just another teeny tiny glass.
And then maybe you somehow ended up in a club in Shibuya. In any case, you’re now feeling the dehydration kick in, and as you get up for a glass of sweet water, BOOM, the hangover hits you hard. Here are some hangover food and drinks to fight the Futsukayoi, hangover in Tokyo.
Called ‘futsukayoi (二日酔い, literally ‘two days drunk’) in Japanese, this is the state I was in as I lay in bed, dying a little bit inside, and wondering how the salary-men all do it so regularly. They get hammered and walk into work, maybe a meeting or an important negotiation, as if hangovers are just a myth. Maybe it’s something to do with their DNA, their diet, or maybe they’re just more responsible drinkers. Nonetheless, I did a little bit of research.
How to get rid of hangover, futsukayoi in Tokyo
Here are a few lifesaver hangover food and drinks that you might want to know about! We’ll cover both hangover preventers and hangover cures.
Ukon no Chikara
This one isn’t technically a hangover cure, but a hangover preventer. If you’ve been to a Japanese convenience store, you’re sure to have noticed a little tiny fridge with tiny canned drinks. They’re stored separately from the canned sodas and canned beer, and they’re your best way to avoid hangovers in Tokyo.
The most popular drink from that fridge is most probably the one pictured above: Ukon no Chikara (ウコンの力, turmeric power). It’s strongly believed that turmeric helps the body detox faster, preventing a hangover the next day. Apparently it doesn’t work if you’ve already had alcohol, so be sure to drink one before your night starts and not during or after.
A lot of people go for the cup of coffee after a night of heavy drinking, but that doesn’t help! Coffee is not a good hangover drink. Caffeine actually dehydrates you, which is the last thing you want during a hangover in Tokyo. Get a Pocari Sweat instead!
Pocari Sweat is the hangover drink for you. It is the Japanese equivalent to Powerade, Gatorade, or drinks that end in -ade. As unfortunate as the name is, Pocari Sweat is a favourite amongst athletes (Who sweat a lot! Get it now?) as it helps replenish the body with electrolytes and hydration. If you can’t get over the name, try Aquarius which is pretty much the same. They can both be found in a majority of convenience stores and vending machines.
Japanese Green Tea
If you still want some caffeine in the morning, get yourself the classic Japanese green tea (you have to drink the green tea, not just eat a green-tea-flavoured Kit Kat)! Not only does it hydrate you, but it’s got a ton of antioxidants that’ll break down the nasty hangover toxins in your body. Some studies even say that the antioxidants in matcha green tea in particular can mildly prevent cancer, diseases and aid in weight loss.
They are widely available in all convenience stores and most vending machines!
Like the Ukon no Chikara at the top of our list, ramen prevents a hangover more than it cures it. The pork or pork gelatin in this hangover food contains alanine, and the noodles contain glutamic acid; these two help to break down the harmful substances produced in your body when it breaks down alcohol, so have a bowl ramen after drinking, when you’re waiting for the first train to start running again!
We’ve got a list of the many different types of ramen so you can figure out which one you want, and a list of top ramen chains so you can know where to go! Besides the fact that it may help prevent hangovers, ramen is first and foremost just delicious, so much so that we’ve listed it as one of the must-try foods in Japan, and one of our favourite Japanese drunk foods!
If ramen is a wee bit too heavy for your futsukayoi and your stomach after a night of drinking, then have soba instead! The glutamic acid in the soba noodles will do the same trick and decompose harmful toxins in your body to help prevent a hangover, same as ramen. Soba is lighter than ramen, simpler, and is usually more affordable too, anywhere between 350 to 700 yen per bowl (USD$3.25-$6.50), while a bowl of ramen usually costs between 800 to 1100 (USD$7.40-$10.20).
You can have it hot or cold, and with various toppings such as deep-fried shrimp or vegetables, seaweed or tofu!
Clam Miso Soup
Convenience stores sell a wide range of instant soups, and the clam miso soup will be a huge help for your hangover in Tokyo. As many people don’t have an appetite during a hangover, the clam miso soup is a great compromise as you’ll mostly drink it, and have a few teeny tiny bites on the side.
The miso soup is rich in Vitamin B which will help to speed up the discharge of alcohol from your body. The clams are rich in amino acids which will help to regulate digestion, settle your stomach, and have you feeling mildly normal relatively quickly!
If you’re feeling up to eating something more solid during your futsukayoi, then you must have umeboshi, Japanese pickled plums. Though they look like an old man’s family jewels, they will do wonders for your hangover! The hangover cure is full of acids that will improve your digestion and suppress fatigue. Like Pocari Sweat further up on the list, umeboshi will also help replenish all the electrolytes you lost the night before.
An unintended effect of the umeboshi is that it makes you really thirsty as well. As it’s salty, sour and bitter, it’ll make you want to wash its taste down with a lot of water, and, as we’ve mentioned before, hydration is super important when it comes to curing a hangover! They are sold in convenience stores and supermarkets.
No holiday in Japan is complete without a good drink, so we hope these hangover food and drinks will help you have a good night out without the next morning’s consequences!
We host our own bar tours regularly as well! We take you to all kinds of unique and underground locations around Tokyo, with anywhere between five to fifteen international guests! We’ve also lived in Japan for years and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have, ranging from history, and culture to society and nightlife! Come join us for a great night!
Want to check out different underground and local areas of Tokyo? Click on the area you want to explore and let us give you a tour of some of our favourite spots from famous places to underground spots! Tokyo nightlife: Shinjuku, Shibuya, Roppongi, Nakano, Shimokitazawa, Asakusa, Koenji, Akihabara and more!
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