A Guide to Japanese Dining Customs
Jan 20 , 2012
Japanese dining is known for their low tables and cushions on the floor, which is much different than the Western style. When eating in Japan, there are many rules and customs that must be followed.
Eating in Japan is perhaps more unique than in any other country in the world. The Japanese are known for their low tables and cushions on the floor as opposed to the Western style chairs and tables most people are more commonly accustomed to. Like any other country, Japan has dining customs that must be followed. Here are some thing to practice when dining in Japan.
Proper Use of Chopsticks: Like many Asian countries, chopsticks are the most fundamental utensil used in eating. Knowing how to use them properly is a must. Hold them toward the end. When they are not in use, lay the chopsticks down in front of the food with the tips pointing to the left and set them on the chopstick holders after the meal is completed. Do not set the chopsticks in food and do not pass food from one set of chopsticks to another. Pointing or waving chopsticks is also a no-no.
Itadakimsu and Gochiososama: Before eating a meal in Japan, it is proper to say Itadakimsu meaning "I gratefully receive" and after the meal, it is proper to say Gochiososama meaning "Thank you for the meal".
Shared dishes: When using shared dishes, move the food from the shared dish onto the plate with the opposite end of the chopsticks. This allows the ability to pick up more food with the chopsticks and possibly leave less of a mess. Use serving chopsticks if they are provided.
Table Rules: Nose-blowing is considered bad manners. Eat everything until the last grain of rice and do not talk about toilets or other unappetizing objects. Do not burp at the table and move all dishes back to their original places after the meal is finished.
Drinking Rules: Serve others when drinking alcoholic beverages. Do not become obnoxiously drunk during dinner. Do not start drinking until everybody at the table has been served and the glasses have been raised for a drinking salute called "kampai".
Now that you know how to eat like a local, try delicious Japanese food from the best restaurants in Osaka.