The tea drinking rule to remember when at a restaurant in Japan -- Sep 05

As a visitor in Japan, it's easy to be overwhelmed by customs at the table. There are rules for how to use chopsticks, giving gratitude before a meal, and even how to hold your rice bow!

But there is one rule that's easy to remember because it's consistent: use both hands when drinking a beverage, especially when the drink is matcha prepared in a tea ceremony. A Japanese tea cup (or bowl, in the case of matcha) may seem small, but etiquette dictates that you should hold the cup with your right hand and support the bottom of the cup with the left.

Using two hands when holding, giving, or receiving an item is considered excellent manners — a sign of respect for the object and the person who offered it. The practice of holding cups and bowls with both hands conveys cultural respect and appreciation. Holding a teacup with both hands also helps to keep the tea warm for a longer period of time. ...continue reading