Japanese restaurants have a lot of hospitable touches to them, like the oshibori, a thick, moist hand towel (chilled in the summer, but warm in the winter) and an on-table call button so you can summon a waiter without having to raise your voice.Something they generally don’t have, though, is doggy bags.
Granted, even accounting for differences in the average size of people in Japan and Western nations, Japanese restaurant portions are more modest. That said, there are still Japanese people with particularly small appetites, as well as restaurants in Japan that serve up especially generous portions. But if you don’t clean your plate when eating out in Japan, you can expect any uneaten food to go back into the kitchen when the wait staff clears your table, and then into the trash.
So it actually marked a big policy shift whenRoyal Host, a popular nationwide restaurant chain specializing in yoshoku (originally Western-style cuisine adapted to suit Japanese tastes) announced thatit’s now allowing eat-in customers to take their leftovers home, and is supplying containers for those who wish to do so.
So why don’t all restaurants do this?Some citehealth concerns, saying that they don’t want customers to possibly become sick after eating food that wasn’t properly stored or refrigerated between when the customer leaves the restaurant and eventually eats it. This feels like a pretty flimsy excuse, though, given that Japan is filled with convenience stores, bento boxed lunch takeout places, and supermarkets stocked with all manner of pre-made foodstuffs that customers can purchase and take home to eat whenever they want.
It’s possible that such businesses may have specialized licenses that restaurants would need to acquire, but even if that is the case, it doesn’t seem like it would be a particularly high hurdle for restaurants to clear, considering that they already need to show they store and handle the food that goes into their dishes in a safe and sanitary manner.So perhaps much of Japanese restaurants’ reluctance to let customers take home their leftovers comes from an image-management position. It’s simply something that restaurants haven’t traditionally done, and customers walking out with bags of food might be seen by some as something that should be left to cheap fast food joints, not sit-down dining establishments.
But whatever the arguments against doggy bags, Royal Host has decided it’s time for a change. In its announcement, the restaurant chain cited a desire to comply withcalls from the Japanese government’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries to work towards sustainable development goals by reducing food waste.
The path to Royal Host’s new policy’s implementation wasprobably further smoothed by the influence the coronavirus pandemic has had on the restaurant industry in Japan. While in-restaurant dining hasn’t been legally prohibited, many Japanese people are choosing to avoid it. In response, a large number of restaurants that previously did not offer take-out, including Royal Host, have started to. So if Royal Host already has containers and is instructing its staff in how to pack up food, it doesn’t seem like it should make a difference if the food being packed is leftovers.
Royal Host’s new policy went into effect on October 7, and while certain items, such as soup and raw foods, are still on the no-take-home list, it’s a big change for the chain, and hopefully one that other restaurants will implement too.
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Nothing new. Capricciosa ( one of the best Italian food restaurant chains in Tokyo ( unbelievable pasta ) ) - they let people take their leftovers home. I don’t know since when but the first time I went there was years ago. Now with this covid thing going on you can also simply go there and take out. and it’s far from being a “cheap fast food joint” or whatever you wanna call it.
and customers walking out with bags of food might be seen by some as something that should be left to cheap fast food joints, not sit-down dining establishments.
About time. Maybe not for Royal Host, but pasta restaurants and pizza yeah.
On the other hand, when my family would go to a steak house in the States my brother would order the largest steak on the menu and take half of it home. It would tick me off cuz I’m still slowly enjoying my NY Strip and he and his wife are finished, with takeout boxes sitting in front of them.
Letting you take your leftovers home with you(Video) See Which Hotels Were Caught Not Changing Bedsheets for New Guests
It’s possible that such businesses may have specialized licenses that restaurants would need to acquire, but even if that is the case, it doesn’t seem like it
No, it's not regulated, it really depends on each restaurant decide that. Some don't care at all, while others have certain reason like this
Some citehealth concerns, saying that they don’t want customers to possibly become sick after eating food that wasn’t properly stored or refrigerated between when the customer leaves the restaurant and eventually eats it
Covid/Corona has brought many positive changes. In addition to "doggie bags", just offering takeout at non-fast-food restaurants is also relatively new, and greatly welcome.
Let's not forget working-from-home, fewer hanko requirements, less forced overtime, emailing vs faxing, online forms/applications vs in-person, dropping the stupid April hiring cattle calls, etc.
Like many societal advances in Japan, it took a disaster to force progress. But, it always amazes me how quickly Japan adapts once woken from its complacency.
Capricciosa ( one of the best Italian food restaurant chains in Tokyo ( unbelievable pasta )(Video) Welcome To Your Home in Space
Also, one of the few places to get decent pizza in Japan, especially from a chain store. (And, they're not just in Tokyo, btw.)
This has always been possible, it's just that people are embarrassed to ask.
In some place they will decline, you can order for take out but they won't help you handle left over.
why don’t all restaurants do this?Some citehealth concerns, saying that they don’t want customers to possibly become sick after eating food that wasn’t properly stored or refrigerated between when the customer leaves the restaurant and eventually eats it
Years ago I went to a Turkish restaurant and wanted to takeaway the leftover Turkish bread. The staff gave me a takeaway box without charge (most Chinese restaurants here charges 30cents for a 650ml clear plastic takeaway container). At the same time I had to fill out a form waiving any responsibility the restaurant have should I felt sick eating the leftover. For some restaurants, letting patrons to take home leftovers is no joke. They are at risk of paying huge compensation if something bad happens.
TARA TAN KITAOKA
Great idea. If you're going straight home then you can put in straight into the fridge and save it for later.
This has always been possible, it's just that people are embarrassed to ask.
We have been turned down many times after asking for either take-out or leftovers.
It has only been in recent years that we noticed more take-out availability, and leftovers being allowed to take home.
And, since "corona", both have increased exponentially. In fact, any restaurant that doesn't offer take-out, only has themselves to blame for financial failure during "corona-toki".
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Can you take leftovers from a restaurant in Japan? ›
While restaurant portion sizes in Western countries have birthed a custom of taking leftovers home for a second meal, this is not the case in Japan. If you are considering asking for a take-home container, the answer, unfortunately, will almost always be no.Is it rude to leave leftovers in Japan? ›
No Leftovers is Basic Etiquette. For your food, only order the amount that you're able to finish. Finishing your plate is considered an act of gratitude towards the ingredients and the people that made your meal. If you have allergies or things you cannot eat, let staff know what they are when ordering.What is considered disrespectful in Japanese restaurants? ›
Don't use the chopsticks like a sword and "spear" your food. The Japanese consider this behavior rude. If the food is too difficult to pick up (this happens often with slippery foods), go ahead and use a fork instead.What do they say in Japanese restaurants when you leave? ›
Instead, it is polite to say "gochisosama deshita" ("thank you for the meal") when leaving.Is it rude to stack plates in Japan? ›
Moving food or picking out what you like from a shared dish is best left to the end of the chopsticks that don't go into your mouth. Don't stack your dishes when you finish a meal. It's actually good manners to return your dishes and chopsticks to how they were before you ate your food.Can you take food to go in Japan? ›
If you mean taking leftovers at a restaurant to go, then no, you usually cannot do that in Japan. One of the reasons why is because unlike countries like the USA and Australia, portions at restaurants in Japan are just big enough for one person.What are 4 dining etiquette rules in the Japanese culture? ›
- Never raise your food above your mouth. ...
- Never rest your chopsticks on your bowl. ...
- Never use your hand to catch falling food. ...
- Slurping is a sign of appreciation! ...
- Eat your soup with chopsticks. ...
- Return all your dishes to how they were at the start of the meal once you're done.
It is not considered rude to use a fork instead of chopsticks in Japan. Restaurants that get a lot of tourists are used to accommodating for that. In fact, if you don't look Asian—or if it looks like you're struggling with your chopsticks—your server may even politely ask if you want a fork.What are 5 table manners in Japan? ›
- Say “itadakimasu“
- Chopsticks dos and don'ts.
- Hold your bowl.
- No elbows on the table.
- Slurping your noodles.
- Use oshibori.
- Wait to drink until “kanpai“
- Pour drinks for others.
If you put your thumb up without context, probably every modern Japanese person will think it means "good/okay." But a thumb up does commonly mean "a male lover" usually implying a secret lover. I don't think the youth use it any more, though. By the way, a pinky up means "female lover."
Is it rude to chew with your mouth open in Japan? ›
Others are manner rules universal: don't speak with your mouth full, and close your mouth while you are chewing. What's special for Japanese food is perhaps the use of chopsticks.Is it rude to burp in Japan? ›
When eating from shared dishes (as it is commonly done at some restaurants such as izakaya), it is polite to use the opposite end of your chopsticks or dedicated serving chopsticks for moving food. Blowing your nose at the table, burping and audible munching are considered bad manners in Japan.What should I reply to irasshaimase? ›
- Ohayo gozaimasu. ( It means Good morning)
- Konnichiwa (it means Hello in the daytime)
- Konbanwa (it means Good evening).
- Alternatively, you might simply nod as a casual bow.
Within minutes of entering Japan, virtually all tourists encounter the phrase “Irasshaimase!” (いらっしゃいませ！), meaning “Welcome to the store!” or “Come on in!.”How do you say thank you in Japanese restaurant? ›
Saying Thank You in Japanese
Arigato: A standard “thank you”. Domo: A less polite, more informal way to say “thank you”. Domo arigato: A more polite alternative to “arigato”, the equivalent of saying “thank you very much”. Domo sumimasen: A very polite “thank you”.
Before eating, Japanese people say "itadakimasu," a polite phrase meaning "I receive this food." This expresses thanks to whoever worked to prepare the food in the meal.What's considered rude in Japan? ›
Pointing at people or things is considered rude in Japan. Instead of using a finger to point at something, the Japanese use a hand to gently wave at what they would like to indicate. When referring to themselves, people will use their forefinger to touch their nose instead of pointing at themselves.What do you say when eating in Japan? ›
- Meshiagare: “bon appétit” ...
- Itadakimasu: “to eat and receive” ...
- Gochisousama: “thank you for everything” ...
- Harapeko: “I'm hungry” ...
- Oishii: “it's delicious” ...
- Okawari kudasai: “more food please” ...
- Kuishinbo: “a person who loves to eat”
Japan strictly prohibits entry of narcotics and related utensils, firearms, firearm parts and ammunition, explosives and gunpowder, precursor materials for chemical weapons, germs that are likely to be used for bioterrorism, counterfeit goods or imitation coins or currency, obscene materials, or goods that violate ...What are you not allowed to bring into Japan? ›
- Heroin, cocaine, MDMA, opium, cannabis, stimulants, psychotropic substances, and other narcotic drugs (excluding those designated by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Ordinance);
- Firearms (pistols, etc.), ammunition (bullets) thereof, and pistol parts;
Is water free in Japan restaurants? ›
Water is Free
In Japan, you are served water as soon as you get seated. This water, called ohiya, is always free. Some travelers are surprised to get it, especially when they receive cold water in the winter. Though, if you're lucky, you might receive hot tea instead of icy water.
Some people now use chopsticks because they think it is cleaner, but in most Japanese restaurants you wipe your hands with a hot towel first. Only sashimi you never eat with your hands.Is it rude to share food in Japan? ›
Because sharing dishes is so common in Japan, you are expected to ask for the group's permission before eating the last bit of something. The exception is when you personally divvy up a dish for everyone evenly.When dining in Japan What should you not do with chopsticks? ›
- 1) Do not rub your chopsticks together. ...
- 2) Do not stick chopsticks into your food. ...
- 3) Do not pass food to another pair of chopsticks. ...
- 4) Do not use one chopstick. ...
- 5) Do not leave your chopsticks crossed on your bowl or the table. ...
- 6) Do not point with your chopsticks.
2. When you are eating food with chopsticks, especially with rice, do not stick your chopsticks into your food or rice. This is seen as a curse in Chinese culture. This is taboo and said to bring bad luck because it reminds people of the incense used a funeral.Why is it rude to rub chopsticks together? ›
People rub cheap chopsticks together to remove splinters from them. This is often the case with waribashi (disposable chopsticks that you break in half before use). If you rub your chopsticks together, it shows that you think the host has provided you with cheap/ low-quality chopsticks. This can be taken as an insult.Is it rude to slurp noodles in Japan? ›
Slurping is a sign of appreciation
Some good news, while slurping can be a sign of bad manners in other countries, in Japan it's completely acceptable and encouraged. In Japanese culture slurping your noodles shows how MUCH you are enjoying your meal.
Not finishing one's meal is not considered impolite in Japan, but rather is taken as a signal to the host that one does not wish to be served another helping. Conversely, finishing one's meal completely, especially the rice, indicates that one is satisfied and therefore does not wish to be served any more.Why do Japanese bow before eating? ›
Bowing is one of the biggest etiquette rules in Japan and is customary when greeting people. Before meals, offering a bow the correct way can speak volumes to how the rest of the meal will go.Is it considered rude to not finish food in Japan? ›
Not finishing one's meal is not considered impolite in Japan, but rather is taken as a signal to the host that one does not wish to be served another helping. Conversely, finishing one's meal completely, especially the rice, indicates that one is satisfied and therefore does not wish to be served any more.
Is it disrespectful to not finish sushi? ›
Finish What You Order
When dining omakase, finishing everything that's put in front of you is essential for good sushi etiquette; it's considered extremely rude, not to mention wasteful, to leave any of the pieces uneaten.
Because sharing dishes is so common in Japan, you are expected to ask for the group's permission before eating the last bit of something. The exception is when you personally divvy up a dish for everyone evenly.Is it rude to refuse food in Japan? ›
It's not rude to decline, as long as you decline it properly. If you don't want it, just pat your stomach implying that you're full and say "kekko-desu" (no thank you) with a smile. If they're very insistent, you can even wave your hand or push your hands against the food to imply "no, no, please".