Initial days in Japan

I just started living in Japan, almost three months now after I landed at Narita Airport. When I moved to Immigration check at Narita Airport, the Japanese Immigration officer told me “Namaste”. I was surprised a Japanese remember and use an Indian salutation word. After a finger print session, I moved outside. I could see a different world outside compared to our land, India.

The first Japanese word I learned was ‘Ohayo gozaimasu’ means good morning. Then ‘Arigatou’ for Thanks, ‘Konnichi wa’ and ‘Konban wa’ used after morning 10’O Clock and in the evenings respectively.

Japanese Food and Table Manners

Initially I was wondered about the Japanese foods. Like me, many people who visit Japan will be excited about the variety of food available. On the other hand, many people must be a little nervous about table manners and how to eat Japanese food.The most important table etiquette in Japan is saying traditional phrases before and after a meal. Japanese people say, “Itadaki-masu” before a meal and say “Gochisou-sama” after a meal. These phrases mean thanks for the food.At first I failed many times to eat with chopsticks.

I purchased two sets of Chopsticks. In Japanese it is ‘Hashi’. Japanese people use knives and forks for western food such as spaghetti and steak. Also, spoons are used for eating certain dishes, such as stew, curry rice, and desserts. However, chopsticks are the most frequently used utensils in Japan. Restaurants in Japan serve disposable wooden chopsticks.One of chopsticks etiquettes is not to directly pass food from your chopsticks to somebody else’s chopsticks or vice versa. I asked one of my Japanese friend why this is so. He told, the reason is taboo that the bones of the cremated body are passed in that way from person to person in Japanese funerals.Japanese people lift small bowls of rice or soup when you eat. It prevents the dropping of food.

When we do not get a soup spoon, we can drink the soup out of the bowl and eat the solid food with chopsticks. For large pieces of food, we have to separate the piece into small pieces with the chopsticks, or we can just bite a piece off and put the rest back into our plate.It is a Japanese custom to make some slurping noises while eating noodles such as Soba, udon, and somen. People say it tastes better if they make slurping noises. People who eat noodles without a sound could seem strange in Japan.I have tried many varieties of Japanese food except Sashimi – The raw fish.

Living in Tokyo
Cost of living in Tokyo is the highest I have ever experienced than any other place. And if foreign people still stick to their traditional food habit in Tokyo, the living cost will be further go up. The best way is to adjust to maximum extent to the Japanese foods.

Author: Jayaprakash

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