Eating at a Japanese restaurant etiquette, according to Nick Haque

Whether you are preparing for a future trip to Japan or you wish to try the most recently Japanese-influenced restaurant in your surroundings, you definitely wish to make sure that you know exactly how to behave while dining at a Japanese restaurant in order to respect the most important customs and traditions from the Japanese culture when it comes to eating. Respecting the customs and traditions of a different culture than yours is not only a sign of good education but also a sign of respect for all the differences which might exist between different cultures from all corners of the world. Japanese culture is definitely a unique and fascinating one containing numerous customs which you might not be familiarized with. So, the iconic restaurateur behind the famous Japanese-influenced restaurants in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Bangkok, and Qatar, Nick Haque gives the best advice for how to be polite while eating at a Japanese restaurant.

Use chopsticks

The main eating utensils used in Japan for eating are the famous chopsticks. Simply being able to maneuver the chopsticks without spilling the food on your clothes or on the table is definitely a great reason to be proud of yourself due to the fact that it is a skill which requires practice and good coordination of your fingers. Even if you are not sure of your skills of using chopsticks for eating, you might wish to make an effort and use the chopsticks while you are eating at a Japanese restaurant rather than asking for a fork because it is a sign of respect for the Japanese culture. Moreover, the most important dining etiquette which you need to respect is to never stick your chopsticks vertically into the food, especially a bowl of rice, when you pause eating due to the fact that it resembles with the ritual used at funerals of burning incense sticks. 

Pouring drinks

Another important dining etiquette rule which you should know before eating at a Japanese restaurant is the fact that when pouring drinks such as sake or beer for you and your company at the table, you should never pour drinks in your own glass. It is a sign of good education to always pour into the glasses of the persons who accompany you while eating and only after that someone else from the table will fill your glass for you.

Lifting plates and bowls

In most of the other cultures, lifting bowls and plates from the table while eating is a sign of bad manners and you probably believe that you should never do that while eating. However, when it comes to the Japanese culture, lifting your bowls and plates from the table while eating is totally accepted and you should not worry about someone thinking that you have bad manners. The traditional Japanese meal is served on low tables or on the floor which makes it incredibly hard for you to reach your food unless your lift you bowl or plate.

Say thank you before and after eating

Saying thank you before and after eating is usually an etiquette rule incredibly important while dining at the house of a local from Japan. However, most traditional Japanese restaurants are definitely going to appreciate your gratitude for the food which you are going to eat.

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