Dining etiquette in Japan.

Proper etiquette at the table is important in every social situation. Table manners are the elementary way to show respect and appreciation to your host or surrounding people. The country you are visiting may have different dining etiquette rules. Take some time to learn about it. A respectful manner will help avoid embarrassing yourself. 

Japan is no exclusion. Japanese cuisine is a unique. It is not just food. It is an art and a significant form of local culture. I hope this guideline will help make a pleasant experience for eating out in Japan.

Replica food 

Many restaurants in Japan arrange a display of plastic or wax replica dishes in the window. These imitations offer a detailed, visual description of meals. Also, you might see a stand with vivid pictures of the food, or there might be an English menu available. The displays are incredibly helpful for tourists, especially those who don’t speak Japanese.

Towels 

In restaurants the waitress will offer you a hot steamed towel, so you can clean your hands. Do not wipe your face with a towel.

Chopsticks 

Chopsticks are used to eat most of the Japanese food. Here, some important rules on how to use them right:

  • Don’t stick chopsticks into your rice. This is only done at funerals.
  • Don’t pass food from your chopsticks to someone else’s chopsticks. This practice also uses at funerals.
  • Don’t play with chopsticks, cross them, wave in the air while you are talking, or point them at someone. This is impolite
  • When eating from shared dishes, use the opposite end of your chopsticks. 
  • When you are not using your chopsticks, during a chat or have finished eating, place your chopsticks on a chopstick stand or sideways on your plate. 

Rice 

Lift the bowl towards your mouth while eating. Do not pour soy sauce over  rice.

Sushi 

  • Hands or chopsticks can be used to eat sushi.
  • Eat a sushi piece in one bite. 
  •  Dip the sashimi pieces into the soy sauce or eat it with ground ginger. 
  •  Nigiri sushi, should be dipped into sauce upside-down, so that the fish gets into the sauce first. 

Soup 

  • Drink the Miso soup out of the bowl and pick solid food pieces with chopsticks.
  • Use chopsticks and ceramic spoon for eating Ramen soup. Don’t be afraid to slurp your noodles and soup. Slurping is considered evidence of enjoying the meal and, as most Japanese believe, inhaling air when eating noodles enhances the taste. 

Soy sauce 

Pour the amount of soy sauce into a small bowl and only as much as you need. Over serving soy sauce is bad manners.

Wasabi 

When eating sushi, don’t mix wasabi with soy sauce. Sushi already has it. Mixing wasabi with soy sauce might overpower the taste and can be an insult to the chef.

Don’t leave food on your plate

In Japan, it is impolite to leave food on the plate. Japanese people don’t like wasting it. Finish your meal.

Properly finishing your meal 

When you’ve completed your meal, return all the dishes the same how they looked in the beginning. Place your chopsticks back on the chopstick stand.

Tips 

Tipping is uncustomary in Japan. In fact, it can be considered rude. Japanese people are hardworking, and they perform their job with pride. You will receive the most outstanding services in the world. Excellent service is considered the established standard and tips are unnecessary.

Paying  

Most Japanese restaurants ask customers to pay for their meals at the front register. You will notice a small tray for money. Place paper notes and coins there and your change will be put on the tray for you as well. However, if you have to give or receive money, visa card, gifts, business cards or any other things directly, use two hands to show your respect.

Don’t eat when you walk 

Japanese people don’t eat while walking or standing on the street. It is considered as a bad manner. It’s not only about the mess you might make or block the walking lane but also doesn’t give you the chance to taste and appreciate food.

You may be excused for breaking those social rules as a tourist, but better to learn proper etiquette and local traditions before you go to the trip. We all should respect and follow the rules which are common at exploring destination !


 


 

12 thoughts on “Dining etiquette in Japan.

  1. We learned many of these in the 1980s, when we first travelled to Japan. The first time with a guide and then on our own. The soup and noodle slurping which may seem rude here, is polite in Japan and a sign that the food is delicious. Thanks for sharing Angela. Allan

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I would be afraid of eating in public! But I like the idea of doing things respectfully. We could use some etiquette in the West, I think. I watched some Japanese drumming on YouTube last night. I have never seen it before and I’m not sure what it’s called, but it was impressive. I have a lot of respect for Japanese culture. Sad I never got there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Japanese culture always inspire me. And they have a perfect manner.
      Unfortunately I figured out that young generation doesn’t even know what etiquette means.
      I watch Japanese drumming too. It is very impressive.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: