31 July, 2023


Want to know more about Japanese table manners? Let’s learn about some of these basic and common Japanese rules with Vregi Lite!

Choose the suitable location and seat at the dining table

Choosing a sitting position is an important etiquette in Japanese communication. The most important person chooses the location farthest from the door, sometimes with the best view. In a formal setting, the organizer at the time will coordinate and consider who will sit where as an order. If you are a guest, you should wait for the host or host to choose a place for you.

Always say “itadakimasu” before eating.

“Itadakimasu” is commonly said in Japan before a meal. Itadakimasu” means “I will now have my meal.
When eating in a restaurant, it is not necessary to say it very loudly so as not to disturb those around you, but when you are invited to a house for a meal, it is appreciated if you say it loud enough to be heard by the person who prepared the food and your host.
It is a good idea to remember this.

Eat all the food on your plate.

Some restaurants refuse to accept leftover packets for hygiene reasons, so try to eat all the food on your plate as much as possible. If for some reasons you cannot finish your meal, there is no need to force yourself to eat it, but buffet etiquette is the same throughout Japan, so be sure to grab as much as you can eat for yourself or order a smaller portion. A Japanese proverb says that if you leave a piece of rice, you will go blind.” It means, “Make the most of every grain of rice you eat”

When eating rice, hold the bowl of rice in front of your face with the hand that doesn’t hold the chopsticks.

When eating rice, hold the chopsticks with your dominant hand and the bowl with the opposite hand.
Do not put your elbows on the table!

After finishing the meal

Every family has its own manners, but in strict families, it is forbidden to talk while eating, while many families now enjoy chatting while eating.
People eat at different speeds, but should try to eat at the same speed, and even if you finish eating quickly, do not leave the table and wait for everyone else to finish. This is the manner in which everyone eats together.

Say “gochisousama deshita” after a meal

“Gochisousama deshita” means “thank you for this delicious meal”. The word “chisou” means “In order to entertain an important guest, it was necessary to run around and make preparations. From this, “chiso” was a thank-you greeting for receiving generous hospitality, but in modern times it has come to be used as an after-meal greeting. “Go” and “sama” are very polite words used to express gratitude to those who created this meal.

The Japanese table manners may seem very complicated, but once you understand them, you will feel extremely simple. The rules of conduct introduced are all common rules in daily life, remember and practice as soon as you have the opportunity!

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