Japanese Table Manners

Japanese table manners are something you want to know before you go to Japan. Visitors to Japan are usually excited about the variety of food available. But, many people are a little nervous about Japanese table manners and aren't sure how to eat Japanese food correctly. We will describe basic Japanese table manners.                                                                                                                          1. Itadaki-masu & Gochisou-sama The most important table etiquette in Japan is saying traditional phrases before and after a meal. Japanese people say, "Itadaki-masu" before a meal and say "Gochisou-sama" after a meal. These phrases mean thanks for the food and also indicate the beginning and the ending of a meal. If you are eating with Japanese people, try to say these phrases.                                2. Chopsticks Etiquette Japanese people use knives and forks for western food such as spaghetti and steak. Also, spoons are used for eating certain dishes, such as stew, curry rice, and desserts. However, chopsticks are the most frequently used utensils in Japan. Restaurants in Japan serve disposable wooden chopsticks. The step by step description of how to use chopsticks is available. One of chopsticks etiquettes is not to directly pass food from your chopsticks to somebody else's chopsticks or vice versa. The reason this is taboo is that the bones of the cremated body are passed in that way from person to person in Japanese funerals. It's also important not to stand chopsticks up on food, especially up in a bowl of rice. When you get food from large serving dishes, you may use the clean top ends of your chopsticks, if serving chopsticks are not available. Then, you use the other ends to bring food in your mouth. It sounds weird, but it is considered to be polite in Japan.                                                 3. How to eat Japanese Food It is polite and proper to lift small bowls of rice or soup when you eat. It prevents you from dropping food. When you do not get a soup spoon, it is proper to drink the soup out of the bowl and eat the solid food with chopsticks. For large pieces of food, you separate the piece into small pieces with your chopsticks, or you just bite a piece off and put the rest back onto your plate. It is a Japanese custom to make some slurping noises while eating noodles such as Soba, udon, and somen. People say it tastes better if they make slurping noises. People who eat noodles without a sound could seem strange in Japan. A very small plate is used for dipping soy sauce. When you eat sushi, you dip sushi in the soy sauce by hands or chopsticks. How to Eat Sushi tells you more. When you eat sashimi (raw fish), you can add wasabi (Japanese horseradish) into the soy sauce and mix it to dip sashimi pieces. It is OK to lift the soy sauce plate by hand. When you eat tempura, a small bowl is used for dipping sauce. Now, you are ready to enjoy meals in Japan!


This product was added to our catalog on Monday 07 June, 2010.