I really want to meet more Japanese people and to do this getting out to izukayas would seem to be the way to go about it.
The trouble is....my experiences with them have been bad. I tried to go to one with some friends once and we were really stung by a 1000 yen sit down fee.
I know that it is normal for izukayas to have little fees, and I don't mind paying a few hundred, but 1000 is just insane. I don't want to be trapped by such crap again...and this has made me paranoid about going anywhere.
Any advice for how to find out about these fees before its too late?
I could just ask of course but...that doesn't give the best impression, really makes me look super cheap if it is a place with a reasonable fee!