Top 5 Dining Tips in Japan

Japanese cuisine is strongly linked to nature, and treating food with care is essential.



Some might acquire crucial components of Japanese eating etiquette from Japanese work colleagues and friends while living in Japan. Although cultural awareness may not be as important in casual dining circumstances, it can be quite useful when dining out with coworkers or customers.


1) Dining Impressions

Japanese cuisine is strongly linked to nature, and treating food with care is essential.  Japanese people say ‘itadakimasu’ at the start of every meal to express their gratitude for the food they’re going to consume, and ‘gochiso-sama’ at the end of the meal to express their appreciation for the food they’ve just eaten. If you want to complement a dish, say “oishii” or “oishikatta” (which means “delicious” or “it was delicious”), then add “desu” at the end to make it more formal. You can say “osaki ni doozo”  (please go ahead)  if you are still waiting for your food while others have received it.


2) Slurping

Slurping is acceptable! Most visitors are astonished to learn that slurping is permitted in Japan when eating certain foods, such as ramen. It is believed by the Japanese that it improves the taste of the dish and also shows the cook that you are enjoying it.


3) Pouring Beverages

When drinking with others, it is polite to wait for someone else to pour your drink and to pour drinks for others with consideration. You can prompt someone to refill your drink by filling theirs first, and they will then refill yours!


4) Oshibori (Japanese: (wet towel)

Customers are given a damp cloth before (and occasionally after) being served in Japanese restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. A cold or hot cloth can be obtained depending on the season and location. Clean your hands, fingers, and lips with the towels. Using the cloth to clean your face and neck is considered disrespectful.


5) Etiquette for Using Chopsticks

Learning how to use chopsticks correctly is recommended. When using chopsticks, consider doing or avoid the following things:

  • Don’t place them upright in a plate, because this is associated with death.
  • Don’t cross your chopsticks. When you’re not using chopsticks during a meal, stack them neatly next to each other.
  • Don’t play with chopsticks by pointing them at people or waving them around in your hand while speaking.
  • Don’t pick up food by inserting the chopstick into the food.
  • Don’t pass food with chopsticks. If you wish to pass food to someone, simply hand the dish to them.
  • To take food from communal dishes, don’t use the end of the chopsticks that touched your mouth. Turning your chopsticks around to take the meal is considered courteous. In casual dining situations, however, this is not necessary.


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