Japanese Drinking Etiquette

Flo’s Japanese Restaurant in Bellevue is more than just a place for good sushi and Japanese food. It’s also a fresh, classy venue to get in a good round of drinks with your friends or coworkers. Boasting an expansive list of Japanese rice wines, along with more familiar reds, whites, and beers both foreign and domestic, ours is a bar that is simply not to be topped! And, if you’re going for a bit of a cultural twist on your usual social drinking scene, try following these simple Japanese drinking etiquette rules.

Just like in many other countries, Japan attaches a lot of tradition to drinking. In any occasion, you can expect a night of drinking to begin with a toast, or kanpai. These work similarly to a Western-style toast; if your Japanese friend offers up a “kanpai”, raise your glass and say “kanpai” in return.

Once you get down to the actual drinking, be aware that it is never proper to fill your own glass. Instead, you should wait for others to serve you. Hold out your glass with both hands and be sure to thank them when they’re done! Meanwhile, be alert for anyone at your table who is running dry, as it may fall on you to fill them up again.