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Japanese Eating Etiquette

We have some unique food-eating traditions in Japan. It’s what everyone in Japan does when they eat. I hope you’ll try it when you next sit down for one of our meal kits cooked by you, you’re eating with Japanese friends some day and of course, it’s something that you can take with you on your next trip to Japan!

Table greetings: Itadakimasu!

Japanese meal

In Japan, we always begin our meal by saying ‘itadakimasu,’ – it means ‘I humbly receive’, which basically means that you are thankful for the food provided in front of you. 
 
The proper way of doing it is by putting your hands together and bow slightly and say it. It's one of the most important and, in my opinion, the most beautiful Japanese etiquette!

 

Using chopsticks

 

Everyone eats with chopsticks. 1st hold one like a pencil, then push the other through to your 4th finger. At the start and end of a meal, place them on the hashioki - chopstick rest (the equivalent of putting your knife and fork together). 

 

Slurping is preferred.

 

Yes, you heard it right; in Japan, slurping is a sign of appreciation! I’m not saying that you can slurp in every meal, but when it comes to slurping your noodles, like ramen, udon and soba, I say, slurp away!

 

Lifting your bowls

 

Another custom that may be considered rude elsewhere but considered normal in Japan is lifting the bowls when eating. 

 

Because these bowls are small, it is not only easier to bring them closer to your mouth by lifting them, as opposed to bending your head down, but it is also considered well-mannered if you do!

 

Table greetings: gochisousama

 

When we’ve finished eating, we put our hands together and say gochisousama (or gochisousama-deshita if you want to be more polite). 
 
Gochisousama is used to show thanks to those who worked a great deal to prepare the meal, so it is interpreted as ‘thank you for the meal or thank you for the feast’.

 

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