There's a Japanese word for drinking online with friends: on-nomi

Youka Nagase
Written by
Youka Nagase

The coronavirus pandemic has everyone cooped up at home adjusting to the new normal of self-isolation and social distancing. Many companies in Tokyo are encouraging their staff to work from home and keep human contact to a minimum. It has caused events to be cancelled or postponed (including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics), and major attractions have temporarily closed, too, so there's less and less reason to step outside. But with the cherry blossom season now at its peak, how can you take your annual hanami picnic indoors and still socialise with friends safely and responsibly?

Well, in Japan, there's now a word for that: on-nomi, which literally translates to ‘online drinking’. This trend in Japan sees groups of friends hop on a video chat to drink together virtually while in isolation – no cover charge, no closing time, and most importantly, no worries about spreading or contracting the coronavirus.

Though most restaurants and bars in Japan are still open at the moment, on-nomi offers a fool-proof way to stay safe and socialise at the same time. It can easily be organised on video-conferencing apps like Skype, FaceTime or Zoom, as long as you have a group of friends willing to get online. This shouldn’t be a hard sell considering Tokyoites are now urged to stay indoors after the recent spike in Covid-19 cases.

So do a run to the supermarket or convenience store for your daily necessities and then schedule an on-nomi session while sipping on these DIY quarantini cocktails you can easily prepare at home.

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