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Most Common Japanese Eating Etiquettes: Embracing the Culture at the Table


Japan, with its rich history and deep-rooted traditions, has a unique and intricate culture, especially when it comes to dining. Japanese eating etiquette is a reflection of the country's values, emphasizing respect, mindfulness, and appreciation for the food and those who prepare it. Whether you're planning to visit a Japanese restaurant or have the opportunity to dine with Japanese friends or colleagues, understanding and practicing these common etiquettes can enhance your dining experience and show your respect for Japanese culture.

1. Oshibori - The Refreshing Ritual

Upon entering a Japanese restaurant, you will often be greeted with a warm, damp towel known as an oshibori. This towel is provided for cleansing your hands before the meal. Unfold it, gently clean your hands, and then neatly fold it again. This simple act reflects respect for cleanliness and the food to come.

2. Chopstick Etiquette

Chopsticks are essential tools in Japanese dining, and how you use them, matters. Never point your chopsticks at others, as it is considered impolite. Also, avoid passing food from one set of chopsticks to another, as this is reminiscent of a funeral ritual. Instead, use communal serving utensils or the opposite ends of your chopsticks to transfer food.

3. The Proper Use of Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a staple in Japanese cuisine, but it should be used sparingly. Pouring a large amount of soy sauce over your dish is seen as disrespectful to the chef's culinary skills. Instead, dip your food lightly into the sauce or add a small amount to your plate. It's also customary to avoid wasting soy sauce, so don't pour more than you need.

4. Slurping Noodles - A Sign of Enjoyment

While slurping your noodles might be considered impolite in some cultures, in Japan, it's a sign that you're thoroughly enjoying your meal. So, feel free to embrace this tradition when savouring a delicious bowl of ramen or soba noodles.

5. Expressing Gratitude - Itadakimasu and Gochisosama

Before you start your meal, it's customary to say "Itadakimasu," which roughly translates to "I humbly receive." This expression shows gratitude for the food you're about to eat, as well as for the farmers and everyone involved in bringing it to your table. After your meal, say "Gochisosama deshita," which means "It was a feast." This phrase acknowledges the meal's excellence and expresses appreciation to the chef and those who shared the dining experience with you.

Bottom Line

If you're looking to explore the authentic flavours of Japan while embracing its dining etiquette, Wakusei is the perfect destination. Our Japanese restaurant is dedicated to delivering an exceptional culinary journey, from traditional sushi and sashimi to delightful ramen and tempura. At Wakusei, we not only serve exquisite Japanese dishes but also create an atmosphere where you can appreciate Japanese culture and its rich culinary traditions. Join us at Wakusei for an unforgettable dining experience that transports you to the heart of Japan.

Visit Wakusei to indulge in the finest Japanese cuisine and immerse yourself in the beauty of Japanese dining etiquette. Let us take you on a culinary journey through Japan's diverse and delicious flavours.

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