I think you may agree with the saying that etiquette is part of the Japanese culture. Familiarizing yourself with the proper manner before you visit Japan can help you enjoy a smoother journey. You may want to try some sushi in Japan but do you know there are some etiquette rules to follow?
1. Avoid wearing perfume or smoking
Enjoying good sushi dishes requires not only tasting but also smelling. A strong smell will definitely bring an unpleasant dining experience to other customers. Therefore you are highly recommended not to wear perfume if you planned to have sushi that day. On the other hand, smoking is not banned in indoor areas in Japan. Although most of the sushi restaurants do adopt smoking bans to ensure the best dining atmosphere, it is also important for customers to behave themselves when there is not any ban.
2. Enjoy your sushi as soon as possible
Enjoy your sushi as soon as possible allows you to have the best taste and texture. It shows respect for the chef as well.
3. Do not put wasabi into the soy sauce
You may have seen some people put wasabi into the soy sauce and dip the sushi in the mixture. In a Japanese sushi restaurant, the chef usually has put wasabi onto the sushi rice in advance. So, you only have to dip the sashimi part (not the rice part) in soy sauce.
4. Avoid too much wasabi
As mentioned, wasabi has usually been put in the sushi before serving. You are welcome to have extra wasabi, but the taste will be too strong and bury the real taste of the sushi if the wasabi added is more than enough.
5. Where to put the rubbish?
Sometimes you may find it difficult to handle some food wastes such as the shrimp tails and rubbish when eating. Conveyor belt sushi restaurants have usually prepared a small trash box on the table. While in the sushi bar, you can feel free to put the unwanted food parts onto the empty dishes. Staff will clear them at once.
6. Do not put any dish of sushi back onto the conveyor belt
You can choose any dishes you like in the conveyor belt sushi restaurants, but it is impolite to put any dish of sushi back onto the conveyor belt for no matter what reasons. Therefore you should be careful not to touch or take the dishes of sushi if you are not sure you would love to finish it or not.
Here are some basic tips for good manners at a sushi restaurant. They may be too much for you to remember but it is also a part of the Japanese food culture. Give it a try next time and it may help you enjoy a better dining experience!