Published On: Thu, Nov 20th, 2014

Knowing the Proper Manner and Custom when Eating in Japanese Restaurants



Eating in Japanese restaurants is certainly different from the ones you generally found in Western restaurants. Although the customs are different, you can undoubtedly enjoy exciting and unique eating experience that you may not find in other places. The varieties are endless, but the eating guidance is practically similar from one restaurant to another.


Zashiki Style

Zashiki Style


Upon Entering

There are some interesting facts you can learn when eating in Japanese restaurants. Most of Japanese restaurants have this wax or plastic replicas displayed in the entrance window. In case you are a foreign traveler that isn’t familiar with Japanese culinary, the display can provide information and clearer ideas of what you want to consume. If you don’t speak Japanese, you can simply point to the example so the restaurant knows what you want to have. When you enter, it is general custom that the staff will greet you and show you where to sit, although it is also possible that you find the seat on your own – but it is very rare. Different restaurants have different arrangements. Some will have layout like the one found in Western restaurants, but the most common arrangement is for you to sit in zashiki styling, which means that you will sit on the floor –on pillows, mind you – in front of low traditional Japanese table. If you want to have this zashiki style, make sure to take off the shoes before entering the seating area.





When you are eating in Japanese restaurants, most of the restaurants are allowing smoking. Some provide both areas in separated ways, while some don’t allow it at all. In case a restaurant provides both options, the usher will generally ask you when they greet you upon entering, so they can provide the right seating. When you sit, don’t be too surprised if you are presented with tea or water; it is the complimentary drink and it is free. In case it isn’t provided, you can find one in self service area within the restaurant. You will also generally get oshibori (wet towel) before eating. If you don’t get chopsticks, they are usually available within the chopsticks box in your table. The menu is generally provided in texts as well as illustrated images, so simply point to the one you want. To order, simply signal the staff or push on the call button available on the table, if there is any.



Bills and Paying

Once you have finished eating, you will be given the bill. Generally, you will have to bring the bill on your own as the cashier is located near the entrance. Paying at the table isn’t common in Japan. The payment is done in cash, although some restaurants may provide credit cards these days. However, smaller restaurants may have different mechanism. Before entering the restaurant, there is a vending machine where you can buy the meal ticket and simply hand the ticket to the staff who will serve your meal. Tipping isn’t customary when eating in Japanese restaurants, as the staff will chase you down and return your money if you ever leave a tip.



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- the man who love japan , culture, people ^_^

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