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Beer goggles: Izakaya bar in Osaka offers party plan with face shields to block virus

Acquaintances of the owner of an Izakaya bar are seen eating and drinking while wearing plastic face shields at a test event for a new party plan amid fears of the novel coronavirus, in Osaka's Chuo Ward, on May 18, 2020. (Mainichi/Naohiro Yamada)

OSAKA -- An Izakaya bar in this western Japan city is offering a party plan complete with face shields in an attempt to help customers enjoy parties again amid fears of novel coronavirus infection.

Tetsuo Miyama, 43, the owner of bar "Nitoryu Musashi" in Osaka's Chuo Ward, held a trial party with people he knows to check the new system for potential issues on May 18. For the test run, 14 men and women disinfected their hands and settled down in a large room with ventilation equipment. There, they put together their own face shields using clear plastic stationery sleeves, and went on to enjoy the test party for about two hours. Participants drank their beers from straws, as the face coverings made it difficult to put mouth to glass, and had to slip their food into their mouths by sliding it up the gap between their faces and the plastic shields.

Shinya Kato, 34, a self-employed resident of the Hyogo Prefecture city of Takarazuka and one of the test partygoers, said, "I'm happier than I expected because it's my first time at a party in about two months. But I don't have much of an appetite. Maybe it's because my face is blocked."

Miyama said, "I hope people will enjoy the party as a kind of event for them while taking measures against infections from the virus."

(Japanese original by Naohiro Yamada, Osaka Photo Department)

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