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What is proper dining etiquette in Japan?

1. Introduction

Dining etiquette in Japan is an important part of the culture, and it’s essential to be aware of the correct etiquette when dining in a Japanese restaurant. It’s also important to remember that different restaurants may have different rules and customs, so it’s best to ask the staff before you start your meal. This article will provide an overview of proper dining etiquette in Japan, including entering the restaurant, ordering food, table manners, payment and tipping etiquette, and avoiding offending Japanese people.

2. Dining Etiquette Basics

One of the most important things to remember about dining etiquette in Japan is that politeness is key. It’s important to be respectful to both the staff and other customers at all times. It’s also important to remember that Japanese restaurants are typically very quiet, so it’s best to keep your voice down when speaking. Additionally, it’s polite to wait until everyone has been served before beginning to eat.

Japanese Snack Box

3. Entering the Restaurant

When entering a restaurant in Japan, it’s polite to bow slightly as you enter and greet everyone with “Konnichiwa!” (Hello!). You should also take off your shoes before entering if there are slippers provided for you at the entrance of the restaurant. If there are no slippers provided, then leave your shoes on but make sure they don’t touch any part of the floor or furniture inside the restaurant.

4. Ordering Food in Japan

When ordering food in Japan, it’s polite to say “O-meshiagari kudasai!” (Please bring us our food!) when placing your order with a waiter or waitress. It’s also polite not to order too much food as this shows respect for the chef who will be preparing your food. Additionally, if you need more time to decide what you would like from the menu then politely say “Mou chotto matte kudasai!” (Please give us a few more minutes!).

5. Table Manners

When eating at a Japanese restaurant, there are several table manners that should be observed:

• Refrain from talking with your mouth full or making loud noises while eating

• Do not stick chopsticks into food as this can be seen as disrespectful

• Do not pass food directly from one person’s chopsticks to another person’s chopsticks as this is considered bad luck

• Do not leave chopsticks standing upright in a bowl of rice as this resembles offerings made at funerals

• When eating noodles such as soba or udon noodles it is polite not slurp them loudly

6 Payment and Tipping Etiquette

In Japanese restaurants it is customary for customers not to tip after their meal has been served. If you do choose to tip then make sure you do so discreetly by putting money into an envelope and handing it directly to the waiter or waitress rather than leaving it on the table or giving them cash directly.. Additionally, payment should always be made at either at reception or after receiving your bill rather than paying for each individual item during your meal..

7 Avoiding Offending Japanese People

It’s important when dining out in Japan that you avoid offending anyone by being aware of certain cultural norms:

• Don’t point with chopsticks – instead use gestures such as nodding towards something if needed

• Don’t blow your nose at the table – instead excuse yourself from the table if needed

• Don’t drink alcohol too quickly – instead take small sips throughout dinner

• Don’t talk about money – discussing money matters can be seen as rude

8 Conclusion

Dining etiquette in Japan is an important part of its culture and observing proper etiquette will help ensure that everyone enjoys their meal without causing any offense or embarrassment.. By following these guidelines regarding entering a restaurant, ordering food, table manners, payment and tipping etiquette and avoiding offending people you can ensure that dining out in Japan is an enjoyable experience for all involved..

9 Resources

Tokoyama C., (2020). What Is Proper Dining Etiquette In Japan? [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 May 2020].

What is bad table manners in Japan?

When eating from a shared dish (a common practice in some restaurants such as izakaya) opposing chopsticks or special chopsticks are used to transfer food to ones plate. Blowing your nose whispering and slapping the table are considered bad manners in Japan.

Is it rude to not finish food Japan?

Not finishing a meal is not considered impolite in Japan but is considered a sign to the guest that you want to help others. Conversely complete elimination of food especially rice indicates that one is satisfied and therefore does not want to serve more.

Why do Japanese put hands together before eating?

In Japan we respect food by holding hands before and after meals. Itadakimasu is said before eating and kochizo-sama after eating. Two phrases are said with two different forms of gratitude.

What is considered rude behavior in Japan?

Prolonged eye contact (rolling) is considered rude. Dont show affection by hugging or patting him on the shoulder in public. Do not point with your index finger. Japanese people extend their right hand forward bend their wrist downwards and wiggle their fingers.

What do you say before and after eating in Japan?

Itadagimasu is said when you start eating but when the meal is over dont forget to say thank you again with kochisousama which is a sign of respect for the chef. This translates to a formal way of saying a feast as kochizo means a meal of good food.

Is it rude to stand up and eat in Japan?

The Japanese do not eat while walking or standing on the street. But standing next to a vending machine and drinking is acceptable. Eating and drinking is frowned upon on local trains but also on long-distance express trains.

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