10 little-known rules for eating Japanese food

1) Never use your hand to catch falling food

2) Avoid using your teeth to bite food in half

3) Never mix wasabi into your soy sauce

4) Don’t invert the lid of your bowl

5) Don’t place clam shells in the bowl’s lid or on a separate plate

6) Don’t hold your chopsticks before picking up your bowl

7) Don’t hover or touch food without taking it, and always pause to eat your rice

8) Never rest your chopsticks across the top of your bowl

9) Don’t use the opposite end of your chopsticks to take food from a communal plate

10) Never raise your food above your mouth

Read MORE about these rules HERE! ^^

Japanese food

10 things Japan gets awesomely right

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


Modern Japanese Table Manners

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!

Slurping is GOOD table manners in Japan

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

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. ^_-

Why Japanese wear masks

If you’ve been to Japan, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of Japanese cover their nose and mouth with a mask. This might appear very strange for a westerner.

Face masks in Japan

Face masks in Japan

For a while ago I escorted some Japanese friends to a hotel and when the woman behind the desk saw them wearing masks, she kind of gasped and asked me: “Why are they wearing masks? Do they have a dangerous disease?”

She obviously thought they had some really contagious and nasty illness and got scared. But it’s rarely that bad.

There are several reasons behind the masks:

* You are sick and wear a mask to prevent transmissions of germs to others. It doesn’t concerns any deadly illness though, you might just have a slight cold and in Japan it’s a courtesy to others to wear a mask to protect others of getting it too. Walking around coughing and sniffing and NOT wearing a mask is really bad manners.

* You are allergic. Unfortunately allergies are very common in Japan and the masks are helping.

* Protect yourself from others germs. Maybe people at work are sick? This reason is mostly nothing people like to admit though.

A Japanese friend of mine also told me once that the mask keeps the skin moistened and protects the face from dry air.

Seems like some pretty good reasons to me! Well, I bought a pack of masks when I was in Japan last time and was eager to wear them at home, when needed, but people had such big problems with it so I stopped. In other words, wearing mask in Sweden is not as acceptable as in Japan. ^_-

Face masks in Japan

Face masks in Japan

The 7 Deadly Sins for us that visit Japan

“No, the police don’t have a soft place in their hearts for foreign tourists who just wanted to express themselves.”

Gaijin 7 deadly sins

Gaijin 7 deadly sins

I found a pretty funny page on the web that has listed 7 things we foreigner SHOULD NOT DO when we visit Japan. A lot of them seem pretty obvious to me, but it’s always good to get a reminder. The sins concerns:

1. Selfishness
2. Impatience
3. Pride
4. Forgetting Yourself
5. Lameness
6. Sloth
7. Inflexibility

Take a look at the whole article here: The 7 Deadly Sins of Japan Travel