Visiting Japan? This Is The Dining Etiquette Guide You Need
Image Credit: A restaurant in Kyoto, Japan. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Konnichiwa! If you're planning a trip to Japan, you're in for a treat. Japan is a country with a rich culture and history, and its cuisine is no exception. From sushi to ramen, Japanese food is known for its unique flavours and presentation. 

Dining in Japan can be a wonderful experience, but it's important to be aware of the customs and traditions. It's important to keep in mind that dining etiquette in Japan is different from what you may be used to in India.

By following these tips, you can show respect and politeness when dining in Japan. Remember to use chopsticks correctly, don't pour your own drink, don't blow your nose at the table, don't leave food on your plate, and be respectful. Enjoy your meal, and have a wonderful trip to Japan!

Say "Itadakimasu" Before Eating

In Japan, it's customary to say "Itadakimasu" before starting a meal. This phrase is used to express gratitude for the food and the people who prepared it. It's similar to saying grace before a meal in Western culture. Saying "Itadakimasu" shows that you appreciate the food and the effort that went into making it.

Use Chopsticks Correctly

Chopsticks are the primary utensils used in Japan, and it's important to use them correctly. When using chopsticks, hold them towards the end, and use the pointed ends to pick up food. Don't use chopsticks to point at people or to move plates around. Also, don't stick chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice, as this is considered bad luck and is associated with funerals.

Don't Pour Your Own Drink

In Japan, it's considered impolite to pour your own drink. Instead, pour drinks for others at the table, and they will return the favour. If someone pours a drink for you, it's customary to hold your glass with both hands and say "Kanpai" (cheers) before taking a sip.

Don't Blow Your Nose At The Table

Blowing your nose at the table is considered impolite in Japan. If you need to blow your nose, excuse yourself and go to the restroom. It's also considered impolite to talk with food in your mouth or to make loud noises while eating.

Don't Leave Food On Your Plate

In Japan, it's considered wasteful to leave food on your plate. Try to finish everything on your plate, or at least most of it. If you can't finish your food, it's better to ask for a smaller portion next time.

Don't Tip

Tipping is not customary in Japan. In fact, it's considered rude to leave a tip. The price of your meal includes everything, including service. If you want to show your appreciation for good service, you can say "Gochisousama deshita" (thank you for the meal) at the end of your meal.

Follow The Lead Of Your Host

If you're dining with a Japanese host, follow their lead when it comes to etiquette. They will likely know the customs and traditions better than you do. If you're not sure what to do, observe what others are doing and follow suit.

Don't Be Late

In Japan, punctuality is highly valued. If you have a reservation at a, make sure to arrive on time or a few minutes early. If you're running late, it's polite to call the restaurant and let them know.

Don't Eat Or Drink While Walking

In Japan, it's considered impolite to eat or drink while walking in public. If you have food or drink, find a place to sit and enjoy it. This is especially important in crowded areas like train stations or busy streets.

Don't Blow Out Candles

If you're celebrating a special occasion and there are candles on your dessert, don't blow them out. In Japan, blowing out candles is associated with funerals. Instead, use a small tool provided by the restaurant to extinguish the candles.

Don't Ask For Extra Condiments

In Japan, the chef has carefully crafted the dish to include the appropriate amount of seasoning and condiments. Asking for extra soy sauce, wasabi, or other condiments can be seen as impolite. If you feel that the dish needs more seasoning, try it first and then ask the server for a recommendation.

Don't Stick Your Chopsticks In Your Mouth

In Japan, it's considered impolite to stick your chopsticks in your mouth, even for a brief moment. Instead, place them on the rest provided or on the edge of your plate. If you need to use your hands, use the opposite end of your chopsticks to pick up food.

Don't Take Food From Someone Else's Plate

In Japan, it's considered impolite to take food from someone else's plate without their permission. If you want to try something, ask the person if it's okay first. It's also polite to offer food to others at the table before taking it for yourself.

Don't Leave A Mess

In Japan, cleanliness is highly valued. Make sure to clean up after yourself and leave the table in the same condition as when you arrived. If you spill something, use a napkin to clean it up or ask the server for assistance.

Be Respectful

Above all, be respectful when dining in Japan. Japanese culture places a high value on respect and politeness. Be courteous to your server and fellow diners, and follow the customs and traditions as best you can. If you make a mistake, don't worry too much about it. Japanese people are generally forgiving of foreigners who are not familiar with their customs.