Some Table Manners You Need to Know in Japan

If you come to Japan, you should definitely enjoy Japanese food. In order to have fun eating, you want to pay attention to manners while eating. Even if there is no problem in your country, there are manners that are considered taboo in Japan.
Here are some food manners that you want to keep in mind when eating at a Japanese restaurant.

  1. Do not use the towel unless you wipe your hands  

Most Japanese restaurants offer a hand towel when they enter. The type varies depending on the store, such as disposable paper towels and cloths that are used repeatedly, but this is for “wiping your hands” only. Avoid wiping anything other than your hands, such as your face, mouth, or table, especially with a wet cloth.

2. Say Thanks before and after meals

In Japan, we greet the cuisine with both hands before and after the meal. The word to say before meal is “Itadakimasu”, after meal “Gochisosama deshita”. Both have two types of gratitude.

The first is thanks to everyone who was involved in the meal. I would like to thank all the people who have been involved in eating here right now, such as those who made ingredients and those who made food.
Second, thanks for the ingredients. Eating meat and fish means the lives of live animals. In the same way, I think that vegetables have life, and I am grateful for the change of other life into energy for my own life.

3. Use chopsticks correctly

When eating, chopsticks are the main tool used in Japan. Starting with how to hold chopsticks, there are various rules for how to use them during a meal. This is designed so that people who eat together don’t feel uncomfortable.

If you are not good at eating with chopsticks, please ask the shop owner if you have a fork. Some stores offer forks.

4.Eat with a bowl on a hand

If you ask for Japanese food or set meals, many restaurants will have a bowl with rice and a bowl with miso soup. This is a good manner to eat while eating.
The bowls that are said to be good to eat are those that can be held with one hand. These include the weight of a square container with lacquer, a small bowl, a small plate, and a small bowl.

Do not lift the large bowl or flat plate with ramen or udon, and if you eat it with the hand of the person who does not have chopsticks, it will look beautiful.

5. Don’t eat with elbows on the table

If you eat with your elbows on the table, your posture will be worse, it will look bad, and people around you will not feel good. Lift your arms to eat, and place your other hand on the table or tableware without the chopsticks.

6. Drink the soup

Although it is not essential, it is said that it is better to make warm Japanese soups such as miso soup, ramen, udon. When eating noodles and utensils chopsticks are used, when you drink soup, the bowl is often lifted with both hands.

However, not all sounds are ok. Sounds when placing dishes and chewing sounds when eating are violations of manners. Even when you blow your nose during a meal, stay away from your seat.

7. Dont waste food

Ask for as much food as you can eat. In Japan, eating everything is considered an act of giving thanks to the person who made the food and the ingredients. If you have allergies or ingredients that you can’t eat, check the order and tell them that you can’t eat it.
If you can’t eat because you’re full, don’t overdo it. Instead, thank you for saying “It was delicious” to the shop staff.

It’s a fun time to eat, so it’s a waste to be bothered by people around you without being aware of manners and being distracted by being warned. Protect your manners and enjoy a lot of Japanese food!

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