Table Manners in Japan

*Table Manners in Japan*

Japan has certain etiquette for eating, which reflect the overall cultures and values of the country.Some restaurants in Japan have low tables and cushions on tatami floor instead of Western-style chairs and tables. Shoes and slippers have to be removed before stepping on tatami. Also, avoid stepping onto cushions other than your own.

Most Japanese restaurants will bring you a wet hand towel upon entering the restaurant. Different variations are given depending on the restaurant, such as wet disposable paper tissues or re-useable cloth towels, but these towels are specifically for wiping your hands.For cloth towels especially, avoid using it for other purposes besides wiping your hands. Do not use it to wipe your face, mouth, or the table.

Wait for everyone’s order

After ordering, it is common to wait for everyone’s order.In Japan, we place our hands together to pay our respects to the food before and after our meal. “Itadakimasu” is said before a meal and “Gochiso-sama” is said after a meal. Both phrases are said with two different forms of gratitude.

Western-style meals are eaten with forks, knives, and spoons. Chopsticks are the main utensil used in Japan when eating. If you have trouble eating with chopsticks, please ask an employee if forks are available. It will depend on the restaurant, but some places will bring you a fork upon request.Do not stab your food with your chopsticks and Do not transfer food from your chopsticks to someone else’s chopsticks.

Eating from small bowls, it is correct manner to pick up the bowl with your hand and lead it close to your mouth when eating from it . however, larger types of dishes should generally not be picked up. When eating from shared dishes (as it is commonly done at some restaurants such as izakaya), it is polite to use the opposite end of your chopsticks or dedicated serving chopsticks for moving food.Do not lower your head to your food to eat.

Eating with your elbows on the table makes you appear worse with bad posture and will make the experience unpleasant for those eating around you. Instead, eat with your elbows raised or place the hand without chopsticks on the table with the tableware.

Do not start drinking until everybody at the table has a drink and the glasses are raised for a drinking salute, which usually is “kampai”.When drinking alcoholic beverages, it is customary to serve each other, rather than pour your own drink. Periodically check your friends’ cups and refill their drinks if their cups are getting empty. Likewise, if someone wants to serve you more alcohol, you should drink some from your glass before holding it towards that person.

Blowing your nose at the table, burping and audible munching are considered bad manners in Japan. On the other hand, it is considered good style to empty your dishes to the last grain of rice.No Leftovers is Basic Etiquette.For your food, only order the amount that you’re able to finish. After finishing your meal, it is generally good manner to return all your dishes to how they were at the start of the meal.

Now you know the basic rules of table manners in japan ,
ready to discover the amazing Japanese cuisine!




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