Dining Etiquette in Japan


Japanese people have very good manners when it comes to eating.
In this lesson, let’s learn about Japanese dining etiquette!

Say “いただきます” before you start eating

Before you start eating, be sure to say “いただきます(Itadakimasu)” and put your hands together.
The word “いただきます” has the following meanings.

One is to express gratitude to all the people who were involved in making the food and cooking the meal.

The second is gratitude for the ingredients. When we eat meat or fish, we are receiving the life of the animals that lived. In the same way, we believe that vegetables have a life of their own, and we are grateful for the fact that other lives are transformed into energy for us to live.

Say “ごちそうさまでした” when you finished eating

When you finish your meal, put your hands together and say “ごちそうさまでした(Gochisousama-deshita)”.
As with “Itadakimasu,” this is a sign of gratitude.

Eat with small dishes in your hands

Rice and miso soup are essential to Japanese meals.
Most of the time, rice and miso soup are served in small dishes that can be held by hand.
In Japan, when you eat something that comes in such a small dish that can be held in one hand, you must hold it in your hand.
It is very rude to eat with the food on the table.

Do not put your elbows on the table

It is rude to eat with your elbows on the table.
If you are in a casual setting with friends, or at a company drinking party, do not eat with your elbows on the table.

Don’t make noise when you chew

When eating, it is best to avoid making chewing sounds.
Close your mouth and eat quietly!

Every country has different rules!
What are the rules in your country?

Please tell us in the comments!
See you in the next post!