Japanese traditions you should know

 

Eating and serving food is a ritual in Japanese culture, due to its deep-rooted traditions and ancestors. There are customs that have been passed from generation to generation and are still very common today. 

Activities that in other cultures could be mundane, in Japan may be of utmost importance or have a ceremonial meaning. 

We share with you some of the traditional Japanese table customs:

 

Gratitude for food

Usually people give thanks for their meal, and the word itadakimasu is used. It’s important to know that it’s an expression always used before starting a meal (not during or after).

This term is used as two concepts, first is gratitude to the people who have participated in the whole process of preparing the meal: from the people who have harvested the vegetables or have caught the fish to the person who has cooked, or set the table, etc. 

The second meaning is of gratitude to the ingredients, to the food itself. To the fruits and vegetables and to the animals.

"Itadakimasu" will always be said for yourself, before starting to eat, but will never be said by one person to another. The fact that each individual is grateful for what he or she is going to eat and their body is going to receive.

 

Wiping your hands

In many restaurants they offer you a wet towel to clean your hands, wiping other parts of the body such as face or neck is considered impolite. 

 

Japanese etiquette

As in many other countries you usually wait until everyone has their plate served before you start eating. 

When it's time to eat, Japanese people really appreciate that you try to eat with traditional chopsticks to get the authentic experience. It doesn't matter if you are not very good at it. 

 

Drink 

It’s not common to pair food with soft drinks or carbonated beverages, water or tea is more suitable. You should also wait for everyone to have their drink served, and sometimes even give a short speech and say Kampai, which is the equivalent of cheers. 

 

Final thanks

Gochisousama deshita is an expression of thanks for the food or meal we have been fortunate enough to eat and enjoy. It’s an expression that, like "itadakimasu", is said by the diner himself after eating, without referring to a specific person. 

 

These are just some of the Japanese customs that can be had at the table, they may vary, depending on the family or location, no doubt Japan will always be an inspiration in every way. 

 

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Explore different flavors such as Hamachi, Big Eye Tuna or Kurobuta, Kobe and Wagyu, as well as dishes such as gyozas, Japanese mushrooms, robata beef cuts, sushi rolls, miso black cod and much more. 

 

Tora is a Japanese restaurant in Tulum with style, cosmopolitan atmosphere and the best live shows. 

 


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