One of the pure joys of traveling is discovering the culinary delights that are at your fingertips. Japan, in particular, is a gastronomes paradise.
How to find food:
- Look for restaurants that are busy. A busy restaurant means two things to a traveler. Busy restaurants usually mean good food. Lots of people eating in those restaurants means you can get a good look at local dishes first-hand.
- Department store food courts and train stations are usually pretty good places to eat. Food should be fast and considering how many people pass through these places, the food vendors probably have established a good reputation.
- Unlike their North American counterparts, convenience stores in Japan actually pack pretty decent food.
- If you’re a picky eater, it’s generally safe to stick with noodles and rice dishes. Ramen noodles, udon noodles, beef noodles – there are loads to choose from.
The Japanese are fastidious about manners. We always follow these simple rules:
1. Most places will provide a chopstick rest for your chopsticks. Use it. If you don’t have one you can lay your chopsticks across your rice bowl. Your chopsticks should NOT be sticking out of the bowl vertically. It reminds people of death and funerals.
2. Don’t share your chopsticks.
3. Don’t feed someone else with your chopsticks.
4. Don’t stab your food.
5. Don’t lick your chopsticks
6. Don’t play with your chopsticks.
7. Don’t point at anything with your chopsticks.Don’t walk and eat in public. It’s better to find a place to sit down. Face away from people while you are eating.
8. Don’t pour beer or alcohol into your own glass. Let your guests serve you. Likewise, you should serve the people you are dining with.
9. If you keep your bowl close to your mouth you can avoid making a mess.
10. People don’t normally split the bill in Japan. If you invite someone to eat, you should pay.