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Etiquette When Visiting a Restaurant in Japan

To fully enjoy your dining experience, it's beneficial to familiarize yourself with Japanese etiquette before your visit.

  • Allergies
    Allergies / Dietaly Restrictions
    If you have any food restrictions or allergies, make sure to inform the restaurant as soon as possible. If your companions also have such restrictions, it is best to mention them at the time of booking. The chefs in the restaurant work tirelessly from the moment the reservation is made until your arrival, thinking about what meals they can provide for your enjoyment. Changes to the menu cannot be made on the day of your visit.
  • ArriveEarly
    Arrive Early
    In many high-end restaurants in Japan, course meals are often served simultaneously. To prevent keeping other guests waiting, ensure to arrive at least 10 minutes before your reservation time. If you are late, you may end up receiving fewer dishes.
  • NoPerfume
    No Perfume
    One of the most distinctive features of Japanese cuisine is its delicate aroma. To fully enjoy this aspect, pelase refrain from wearing perfumes, strongly scented cosmetics, or hair products when visiting the restaurant. Often, you will be seated at a counter close to other guests, so please be mindful not to interfere with their dining experience through strong scents.
  • Photoask
    Some restaurants do not allow taking photography. This is because they want the food they serve to be in good condition and eaten quickly, and they do not want to inconvenience other customers. Therefore, please check with the chef or staff and ask for permission before taking pictures. Also, when taking pictures, take care not to show employees or other customers.
  • EatWhileFresh
    Eat While Fresh
    To enjoy each dish at its best, begin eating as soon as your meal is served. The flavor of the food starts to decline every second from the moment it's presented to you. Leaving the dish untouched immediately after it's served can potentially be considered disrespectful to the chef, so please keep this in mind.
  • Countertops
    Sushi and Japanese restaurants treat their counter tables as sacred. To avoid scratching them, please be careful not to place hard objects such as smartphones or keys directly on the table. Using a handkerchief or similar item as a buffer is seen favorably by the restaurant staff.
  • smartphone
    Please refrain from making phone calls during your meal. Not only can this disrupt the chef, but it can also be a nuisance to other guests, significantly detracting from the dining experience. If you absolutely must make a call, make sure to excuse yourself with the staff first and move to outside or to an area where you won't be disturbing others to make your call.
  • softvoice
    Soft Voices
    In many high-end Japanese restaurants, you will be seated next to other guests. The dining experience in such establishments involves consideration for others. Speaking loudly could give other guests an unpleasant impression, so please be mindful of your volume.