You may have read or heard that locals have their ways when dining, especially in public places. 


Whether eating in traditional or luxury restaurants, it’s essential to know the basic table etiquette to help make the food pleasant and pleasurable.


Today we’ll show you the Japanese table manners.


Japanese table manners


-When you first sit down, many restaurants will provide you with a damp towel. This would be for cleaning your hands, a good idea anyway if a lot of handshakes were exchanged, then fold it and put it aside.


-Start your meal by saying “Itadaki-masu,” which means “I humbly receive. 


-Don’t pour soy sauce directly over your food, especially rice; instead, pour a small amount of soy sauce into the small bowl and dip your food into it.


-When you eat ramen or soup, you can sip directly from the bowl. Don’t be surprised if you hear sipping noises around the table. Unlike what happens in the West, sipping soup is not only acceptable; it shows that you are enjoying the food!


-Cleaning the plate, even all the rice, is considered an appropriate protocol for Japanese food: never waste the food you put on the plate.




Drinks often accompany meals. In Japan, the most commonly served in restaurants are sake or beer. The Japanese usually jump at the opportunity to help each other drinks; you should do the same. Wait for everyone else’s glass to fill first, and once everyone has a drink, everyone can say “kampai,” which means “health” in Japanese.


After the meal


-When the meal is over, offer a formal thank you by saying: “Gochisosama-deshita” or simply “Gochisosama” for less formal occasions.


-If you ate with disposable chopsticks, carefully place them inside the small bag and fold the end. Putting your sticks next to your bowl indicates that you haven’t finished eating yet. 


-When paying, place your money in the small tray provided instead of handing it to the server or registrar. If no dish is present, use both hands when giving and receiving payment.


-Tips in Japan are not typical and are often considered rude. 


We hope the information helps you. It is essential to know these basic table manners before visiting Japan. Besides, being a foreigner and knowing how to act when eating will surprise and leave a good impression on the locals.


Click on this link and see a video of tips about eating in Japan:

In Japan, discipline and obedience are highly important; eating is not the exception.

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