Across Japan, tucked down quiet alleyways or occupying the corner shops at busy intersections, you'll see tachinomiya. Often translated a "standing bar," there are two very distinct types of tachinomiya: licensed restaurants and small, privately owned liquor shops (sakeya no tachinomi).

The origin of the latter tachinomi can be traced to the Edo Period (1603-1868), when sake shops started offering customers a quick tipple from square wooden measuring cups known as masu.

These shops evolved into modern liquor stores during the Meiji Era (1868-1912) when they started selling beer, wine and spirits such as whisky, and installed makeshift counters, often made by balancing a slab of wood on stacks of empty beer crates.