I found this article via my friend Hide and I must say that I agree to a lot of it.
When you come to Japan – and if you are a westerner – there will be soooo many things to get amazed of.
You can read the article here:
10 things Japan gets awesomely right
We have a lot of customs and rules when it comes to “eating in a mannered way” here in the western world and I actually don’t know much about it… Like which fork to use to which desert and so on.
Usually it doesn’t matter if you’re not eating with the King or something like that anyway.
Other manners are quite obvious and some are not. For instance, in almost every restaurant in Sweden, we have toothpicks so people can clean their teeths after dinner. I was about to do it once when I was eating with my Peruvian niece and she got so disgusted when I grabbed the toothpick so she looked away. It’s apparantly not accepted in Peru.
Here, this girl explains some eating manners in Japan that are actually modern, so they might be good to know!
Maybe you are going to Japan or maybe you stand face to face with your favorite jrocker at a signing session.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to introduce youself in Japanese?
Here’s a quite and simple lesson!
And with that I mean: Do you know how to eat sushi according to Japanese customs.
I realized that I’ve been doing it wrong… ^_-
I guess it’s the same in most western countries as in Sweden: slurping when eating soup or noodles is considered to be bad table manners. Children gets chided in early ages not to do so. And if you do it among you’re friends, it’s usually ’cause you want to annoy them. ^_-
But lo and behold: in Japan it’s the absolute opposite! You can slurp as much as you want (well, ALMOST as much as you want, depending on situation). So don’t get confused if you’re Japanese friend are making loud noises next to you.
Japanese girl eating noodles
It’s actually considered to be good table manners and often you are expected to make slurping sounds when eating noodles like ramen, soba or udon. That’s a sign of that you are enjoying the meal and as louder you slurp, the bigger appreciation and enjoyment you express. I can tell by my own experience that I find it hard to do so, basically ’cause I’m raised not to. I actually ate a bowl of udon last night and I found it awkward to slurp even though I was alone. Ha ha. ^_-
Some people says jokingly that the best way to find the best ramen restaurants in Japan is to pop in your head and measure the loudness of slurping-sounds. However it’s true, I don’t know, but it sure sounds funny. ^^
In other words: slurping is a way to show that you are enjoying your food, and if you don’t slurp, it might actually be regarded as a bit offending. Many people also say that the food tastes better if you slurp. Does it?
Important to note though, is that TOO loud slurping sounds may be considered as rude among some Japanese people, so don’t overdo it.
There are SO many rules considering table manners in Japan. It’s truly not easy to manage them all as a westerner. ^_-