Japanese Drinking Etiquette

You can enjoy a good selection of wines and beers at our Issaquah Japanese restaurant. Drinking socially is as big a part of Japanese culture as it is of American culture and, as is the case with much of Japanese culture, this is a practice that is rich with tradition and rules. If you want to try properly immersing yourself in your Japanese experience, or if you’re playing host to some friends from across the Pacific, try keeping the following in mind:

First of all, never pour your own drink at a Japanese table. Wait for someone else to fill your glass for you, meanwhile keeping an eye out for someone who needs you to fill his or her glass. If somebody offers to refill your drink, finish off what’s in your glass quickly and hold your glass out to him or her. It can be considered rude to decline a refill, particularly from a senior! This can lead to over-drinking if you’re not careful, so try to keep a semi-full glass in hand if you’re reaching your limit.

Drinking does not start until after everyone at the table is served. At this point, a toast is made. Raise your glasses and say “kampai”, much as you would offer a toast. Now you are drinking in the Japanese tradition!