The answers you’ve all been waiting for! Enjoy sushi more with these twelve etiquette rules!
1. Neta and rice together!
Sushi restaurant’s artisans have put all their craft into creating the perfect nigiri, so eat the neta topping and the sushi rice together and enjoy it the way they were meant to be.
2. Freshness is the life of sushi!
Sushi is at its most delicious just after it has been molded into nigiri. The chef has made great effort to prepare it so it can be enjoyed at that exact moment; eating it right then is the best way to thank the chef for all his hard work.
3. Fingers or chopsticks? Both are OK!
You can bring the sushi to your mouth using either your fingers or your chopsticks. Do as you please and enjoy it!
4. Soy sauce – always sideways or upside down!
When you want to put soy sauce on your sushi, do it by turning the piece sideways or upside down so the sauce goes to the neta and not the rice. That way you get the taste without the sushi losing its beautiful shape.
5. Ironclad rule! All in one bite. If you can`t, reduce the rice.
A piece of nigiri zushi must be eaten in one bite. If that’s too hard, you can ask the chef for pieces with a little less rice.
6. Smoking, perfumes and other things with strong smells: No!
Smoking during eating ruins sushi’s flavor so try to avoid it. Also, try to avoid wearing perfume when going for sushi. Strong smells interfere with the taste of the food.
7. If there is a table, it is OK not to sit at the counter.
Where you sit doesn’t make any difference in the price you pay, so sit anywhere you like. A place at the counter is best because there you can appreciate the chef’s craft.
8. Don`t touch the sushi-dai (the wooden platform sushi is being served on)!
When the chef has prepared a piece of sushi, he will put it on the small wooden platform. Please avoid using it as a chopsticks’ stand or as your personal plate. As a matter of fact, it is best to not touch it at all.
9. Eating order: light to dark tastes better!
It is often said that you enjoy sushi more if you start with a light-color neta and gradually move to the more dark-colored ones. This is not a set rule though so you can very well ignore it and enjoy your sushi the way you prefer.
10. Don`t return plates on the conveyor belt!
Putting the plate back on the conveyor belt after you have eaten your sushi is a major breach of etiquette. The same goes for only taking the sushi and leaving the plate on the belt.
11. My seat is my territory!
Unless you need to go to the restroom or to pay the bill, please try to avoid leaving your seat. Another no-no is trying to get a plate that is out of your reach.
12. Loud voice and noise annoy!
A kaiten zushi restaurant is a place to enjoy yourself but even if you get excited, please try to curb your enthusiasm: other guests want to enjoy their sushi, too!