How to be Polite while Eating: Table Manners in Japan

  • HOW TO
  • Eating is the funnest part of traveling. However, each country has a set of rules to abide by when it comes to table manners. Following them is very significant as a sign of honoring the food served to diners. Japan’s table manners are as unique as they come. In order to know more of the Japanese culture, it would be best to understand them. Here are some of the table manners you should know.

    It is Okay to Slurp!

    It may sound rude to some people but slurping is a sort of compliment to the food maker when you eat noodles in Japan. This is the total opposite of Western style dining. If you eat your noodles very quietly, Japanese will think you’re not enjoying your meal. It is also a sign of appreciation regarding the meal.

    Chopstick Rules

    A way of offering your bowl of rice to the spirit of the dead is by vertically sticking your chopsticks on top of it. Never use chopsticks in this manner when you eat in restaurants. This is considered terribly rude.

    Do not use chopsticks one at one time. They should always go together. You have to consider using them in a manner similar to tweezers or thongs. Another no-no is the passing of food from one pair of chopsticks to the other. Again, it is also considered part of the funeral ritual for Buddhists.

    Do you know that chopsticks should never be used as hair accessories? They are totally different from kanzashi, the hair ornaments used for adorning traditional Japanese hairstyles.

    Proper Way of Eating Rice Bowls

    The best way to eat a rice bowl with chopsticks is by holding the bowl while scooping the rice into your mouth. This is considered as good manners as it prevents making mess from rice droppings.

    These are just a few tips concerning table etiquette in Japan. On your next visit to the restaurant, please do not forget these manners!