But for many, their love affair with booze doesn’t seem to last.

In general, Japan enjoys a stiff drink, whether it’s an ice-cold beer with office mates after work, a fizzy canned chu-hi cocktail at a cherry blossom party, or a cup of sake from a rural, small-batch brewery. So it’s not too surprising that in a survey by Japanese research company Macromill, the majority of respondents said they liked alcohol.

Breaking down the data, collected from a total of 1,000 participants, by age group resulted in some predictable patterns among male respondents. The percentage of men who said they liked alcohol, whether a little or a lot, was comparatively high for men in their 20s, when a lot of guys are still going strong with their college-days drinking habits, There was a dip in alcohol appreciation once men hit 30, but then a sudden resurgence after 60, when presumably the ample free time of retirement and the financial reserves from a full career allow a man to sit and sip his favorite adult beverage at his leisure.

● Percentage of men who said they liked alcohol a little or a lot
Age 20-29: 67.1 percent
Age 30-39: 62.6 percent
Age 40-49: 64.7 percent
Age 50-59: 59.4 percent
Age 60-69: 75.5 percent

However, the distribution of booze fans looked a lot different for women, starting out with the highest concentration, by far, in the youngest women, followed by a sharp drop and an extremely mild decline afterwards.

● Percentage of women who said they liked alcohol a little or a lot
Age 20-29: 71.1 percent
Age 30-39: 52.6 percent
Age 40-49: 55.3 percent
Age 50-59: 51.5 percent
Age 60-69: 49.1 percent

So why did women in their 20s show such a stronger liking of alcohol? Macromill didn’t offer any theories of its own, but one explanation could be that drinking can be pretty easy on the wallet for young Japanese women. When going out for a gokon (group blind date), it’s customary for the men to cover more than half of the cost of the food and drink, and sometimes they pick up the tab entirely. Likewise, while going Dutch isn’t unheard of for dating couples in Japan, the boyfriend is often expected to pay for fancier or more expensive outings, like dinner and drinks at a fancy restaurant or bar.

But if these women are developing a taste for alcohol that they don’t have to entirely pay for in their 20s, shouldn’t that appreciation of alcohol continue to be fairly strong into their 30s? Not necessarily, because many Japanese women get married and become mothers in their 30s. Even after starting a family, Japanese men almost universally continue working outside the home, which often requires, or at least affords opportunities for, drinking with colleagues after leaving the office but before heading home. Japanese women, on the other hand, often leave the workforce after having children, and take on the vast majority of child-rearing and housework responsibilities (something that’s also often true for working mothers as well).

So while her husband is knocking back cold ones with his boss, a Japanese mother is likely to be cooking dinner for their kids, and by the time she’s done cleaning up he dishes and kitchen afterwards, it’s getting close to time for her to go to bed so that she can get up in the morning to make breakfast. With that sort of schedule, finding time to sneak in a beer can become a challenge, and by the time the kids are grown-up and moved out, it could simply be that a lot of Japanese women who enjoyed drinking in their youth have simply become accustomed to coffee, tea, and other soft drinks instead.

Source: Yahoo! Japan News/Suits Woman via Otakomu
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he cant consume nearly as much alcohol as he did in college anymore, which is probably a good thing.