10 types of Japanese tableware that you should know

Check out what’s on the table when you dine at Japanese restaurants.


Japanese Culture

You probably have seen different bowls served when you dine at a Japanese restaurant. But did you know that the different bowls (although some might look similar) are used to serve different kinds of food, it is just like different wine glasses for different types of wine? Let’s check out some of the common tableware you will find when dining in Japanese restaurants.

1. Chawan


This bowl comes in the right size for your hand is to hold rice, the Japanese staple food.

2. Chopsticks


Instead of a fork and knife, Japanese people dine only with chopsticks most of the time. Even spoons are not commonly seen on the table. If you are dining out and require a spoon, fork, or knife, do not hesitate to ask your server.

3. Hashi-oki

Ippei Suzuki/Flickr

Hashi-oki is the the chopsticks rest. If one of these are available, do not rest your chopsticks on the plates or the table when you have paused or finished eating.

4. Shiru-wan

Lucy Takakura/Flickr

The shiru-wan usually comes with a lid. It is used to serve soup. It is usually lacquered and has beautiful designs such as flowers.

5. Yakimono-zara


Yakimono-zara is a flat plate that is used to serve grilled foods. It comes in various sizes and is usually rectangular in shape.

6. Chuzara and Kozara


Chuzara and kozara are plates to hold food such as sashimi. Chuzara is slightly bigger than kozara.

7. Kobachi


Kobachi is a small bowl normally used to hold sunomono (dishes with vinegar) or chimmi (special delicacies).

8. Donburi-bachi


Danburi-bachi is a large bowl in which soba or udon are usually served. It is also used to serve donburimono (rice dishes).

9. Nimono-wan

City Foodsters/Flickr

Nimono-wan is a wide-mouthed bowl that usually used for stewed and boiled food.

10. Yunomi-jawan

David Z./Flickr

Yunomi-jawan is the tea cup used when having Japanese green tea. The size varies depending on the occasion.

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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