"Thanks to this website, I have found the woman of my life." - Mark T. Osaka

Have good table manners (the Japanese way!)

What to do to please your Japanese girlfriend?


Whether you are dating your girlfriend in Japan or in any other place in the world, you will need to have good tables manners, period.

Westerners have a tendency to be very loose on table manners. For both Japanese man and Japanese, table manners are very important and when it comes to Americans because of the unfamiliarity with what constitutes good table manners, doing something that is distasteful at the table would be causation for a bad date.

You need to have the right Japanese dating etiquette or regular dating manners when dating a Japanese woman. Such would really create a good impression and might even be strong factor in making your date successful.

Japanese table manners

Tables & Sitting

In Japan, some restaurants and private houses are equipped with low sitting tables and chairs. It’s very much different from the western type of tables and chairs because in Japan, sitting on the floor with your feet crossed (for men) or kneeled down (for women) is a common thing. It is important to know which way to sit, esp for men and women. Only men are supposed to cross their legs and women kneeled.

Wet cloth

You may be provided with an o-shibori or a damp hand towel, before the meal. This is basically used to wipe your hand before eating. Although men might wipe their face as well, a woman should only wipe her hands with o-shibori. Once you are done with it, just fold it and put it back on tray.

Itadakimasu and Gochisosama deshita

Itadakimasu is a phrase that is most often used before you eat. It literally means "I receive". It is a polite phrase that is normally said right before you begin to eat the food, with your hands palm to palm (gassho in Japanese), like a Catholic praying motion. Gochisosama deshita is the phrase you say at the very end of a meal, it basically means "thank you for the food". It is performed in Gassho (hands together, like a praying motion).

Shared dish

Unlike western culture where food is served individually, Japanese share several dishes of food at the table. If you are being served shared dishes, you are supposed to move some food from the shared plates onto your own plate by yourself, using the opposite end of your chopsticks (if you have used them already) or with special chopsticks that may be provided for that purpose.

Bring it to you

Lift your bowl of rice or soup while eating. It is considered to constitute good table manners. Making slurping noise whilst having noodles is not considered bad in Japan. Instead, Japanese people believe that noodles taste better if they make slurping noises.

Good to the last bite

Emptying the dishes till the last grain is considered to be good manners. Try not to leave any scraps in your plate.

At the end of a meal:

Once you have finished eating, move the dishes back to the same position as they were before the start of the meal. Replace the lids on dishes and put your chopsticks on the chopstick holder or back into their paper slip.