Eating and drinking
Go along with everything that is being suggested. Don't be the first to suggest. Even at meal times, let them choose.
Lunch is often very short. Longer and more sociable business is conducted in the evening at dinner.
If you drop a utensil on the floor (chopstick etc.) don't pick it up and use it again.
If things are going badly, get drunk (or pretend to get drunk), all will be
In a restaurant, the "best" seat is usually facing into the restaurant with back to the wall. The senior guests are usually invited to sit in these seats.
In a restaurant, the first thing to be served is "o shibori" - a white cotton cloth, like a face cloth which is usually sterilised and packaged. The o shibori is either hot or cold, depending on the weather, and is used to clean fingers. Some people dab at their faces with it, but do not open it out and use it as a face cloth. After using, fold it up again and place it in the original container.
When beer or other drinks are served, people usually pour drinks for each other and keep them topped up during the meal. Don't pour a drink out for yourself - wait for someone to do it if your glass is empty, and if you see someone's glass getting empty grab the nearest bottle and pour for him/her.
When pouring drinks, receiving dishes, or passing food around use both hands.
After food has been served, before eating everyone says "itadakimasu", which roughly means "bon appetit" or "Thanks for the food". It literally means "I am receiving something from a superior source".
Don't blow your nose at the food table.
Many Japanese people smoke and it is not unusual for smokers to smoke between courses (sometimes between mouthfuls).
Offer food and pass things around. If possible, eat every grain of rice in your bowl - Japanese people respect rice and rarely leave it uneaten.
Don't lick the ends of your chop sticks, spear food, select or choose food from a communal serving carefully.
Copy what the others do. It is OK to slurp noodles, soup, tea etc.
Often, Japanese people use a toothpick at the end of a meal. The toothpick is held in one hand and the other hand covers the mouth to conceal the details of the toothpick activity.
At the end of a meal, say "gotchisoo sama deshita" to the host if you are a guest and to everyone in general even if you are paying your share.
If you are not being treated, then the bill will be divided equally by as many people as are eating. Offer to pay your share, especially in informal eating / drinking sessions.
Don't leave the table before the most senior person has left. After the senior person has left, often the others will stay behind and drink more, or move to a second and third bar to continue the talk and sociability.
It is not necessary or expected to leave a tip.
Using Chop Sticks - using both ends, chop sticks rests,