10 things that you should know before eating out in Japan

Dining out in Japan has good points and bad points.  One notable point is that substitutions and changing menu items is very difficult here.  The best way to deal with restaurants is to learn the rules and not bother trying to change them! =)  You will be much happier in the long run. 

  1. Restaurants often do not have a vegetarian menu nor do they understand the concept of “vegetarianism”
  2. Rather than pour your own drink it is customary to have someone poor your drink
  3. Doggy bags are not common due to health laws
  4. The hot towel/ wet tissue is for before you eat, and is for your hands (not face and neck)
  5. There is usually a seating charge for being in an “Izakaya”, and you get a small dish for this.
  6. It is not necessary to tip.
  7. If there is a queue, you usually need to sign yourself up on the board
  8. You can’t bring your own alcohol in to the restaurant
  9. It is customary to wait until everyone has a drink and toast before starting
  10. Seating position is important when eating out formally or for business purposes



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