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Rules for Eating Sushi at Traditional Sushi Restaurants

Sushi can be found anywhere around the world nowadays, but nothing beats the experience of being served at a traditional sushi restaurant. However, to fully enjoy the experience, you also need to learn the art of eating sushi. Here are the dos and don’ts you need to remember.

  • Call ahead to make reservations especially if you are coming as a group. This is also a good idea if someone in the group has dietary restrictions so that the restaurant can make adjustments.
  • If you want to see how sushi is made up close, you should sit at the sushi bar. However, you should never order drinks and other items from the sushi chef or itamae. You can only order sushi at the counter, while other orders are handled by the crew.
  • Do not take photos without asking for permission especially if you are sitting at the sushi counter.
  • Some restaurants are lenient when it comes to wearing perfume, but part of the appeal of sushi is the aroma of the fresh food. If you are planning to go to a sushi restaurant, do not wear your perfume.

  • To best enjoy your experience, start with sushi with the mildest flavor especially if you are in a conveyor belt-type restaurant. But to be safe, follow the recommendations of the sushi chef on what to eat first.
  • Don’t leave your food on the table if you do not like it. It is impolite to have leftovers, so ready your palate if you want to try to eat at an authentic sushi restaurant.
  • It is okay to ask for specific items on the menu especially if there are seasonal items offered on the list.
  • You might be offered a hot towel before the meal. This is called oshibori and is used to wash your hands. Make sure to fold it back the way it was given to you after you use it.

  • Some sushi types should be consumed by hand while others will need chopsticks. For example, nigiri-zushi can be eaten with the hands, but sashimi needs chopsticks.
  • Each sushi is meant to be consumed as one piece, so do not cut up a piece to make smaller portions. That is considered impolite.
  • If you are served ginger or gari, you should only eat it between each sushi piece as it is meant as a palate cleanser. Do not eat it with the sushi.
  • If you are given a bowl of soup without spoon, you are expected to pick up the bowl and sip from it.

  • In some traditional restaurants, you will be expected to drink alcoholic beverages only before and after being served sashimi. The itamae considers most sushi not complementary with sake because they are both rice-based.
  • If you have alcoholic beverages on the table, however, you will be expected to pour for your companions. Do not pour a drink for yourself. It is also customary for the most senior in the group to pour the drinks for the others.
  • If you are giving tips at the bar, you may do so separately for the itamae for serving sushi and the crew who served you the drinks and other items. In some traditional restaurants, the tips are included in the bill.

Phone Etiquette for the Modern Girl

Our cellular phones have become an extension of ourselves. We constantly upgrade them to make sure that we have the latest and coolest gadget there is. We fill them up with various mobile apps that help us manage our daily lives, entertain us during idle moment and help us stay in touch 24/7. It has definitely become an essential part of our daily lives, but that doesn’t mean that we can forget about the basic etiquette of using phones. Start becoming a considerate cell phone user now by simply following these basic rules as you use your phones.


  1. Turn it Off When You Are in Movie Theatres. Sure, we all see the pre-movie reminder about turning our phones off or putting it to silent mode before the show starts, but that reminder still doesn’t stop some people from constantly checking their phones and even texting during the not-so engaging scenes of the movie.


Although sound isn’t an issue here, understand that the bright light of your phone’s screen can distract your fellow moviegoers who are sitting just few rows behind you. If you simply can’t go on without checking your phone for an hour or two, then don’t subject other people to it as well – especially if you forgot to set it in silent mode and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” comes blaring across the room.


  1. Stop Yourself From Documenting Every Single Thing. Sure it’s tempting to document every moment of the must-see concert you’re attending now, but think of how much you’re missing out as you focus on getting that one perfect shot. Think of the things you’ll miss while you upload that shot in your social media accounts.


By all means, take photos of the moments you want to share but don’t get so caught up in doing it that you end up missing out the experience that’s just right before you. The people behind you will definitely thank you as well for not blocking their view every few minutes just to take some photos.


  1. Put Your Cellular Phone Down. We all know one person who’s overly attached with their phone that they find it hard to put the gadget down even for just a couple of minutes. You know the type: They have to constantly check their emails, respond to texts, or update their social media account several times a day. Basically, they live through their cellular phones and you’re just second to their gadget.


As much as possible, don’t be that type of person to others. If you made plans with your friends, be in the moment and enjoy one another’s company. Remember that these are all fleeting moments, so learn to make the most out of the time you spend together so that your memories are of these wonderful people, and not the ones seen through their up-to-the-minute social networking accounts.


  1. Keep Your Phone Conversations to Yourself. There is just nothing worse than trying to relax in a coffee shop, or standing in a checkout counter, and hearing a one-sided conversation of someone who simply doesn’t know the use of indoor voice. Understand that nobody cares about what you’re planning to eat tonight, or if your boss is acting like a jerk today. Be considerate to the people around you and learn to keep the volume of your phone down. If possible, call the person back later or move to a more private area as you take their call.

By being so fixated with the pint-sized dynamos that we use every day, it’s really easy to just throw out the basic cell phone etiquette out of the window. Still, this will never be an acceptable excuse. So start becoming a smarter and more considerate phone user by keeping these basic rules in mind, especially when you’re using your gadget around other people.

Business woman using a smart phone