Simple tableware guide

Currently I obsessed with how Japanese mom could pull their cooking skills and create many colorful meals everyday! My instagram timeline and feed recommended will be flooded with pictures of meals almost everyday (when it’s not recommending cat stuff lol).

One thing that sparks question in my mind is how amazing the amount of tableware they are using every time they serve the meal. Someone on my timeline once posted a set of dinner with 9 tiny plates.

*Me and my kitchen detergent has left the chat*

A standard Japanese meal (usually, but not limited to) consists of a bowl of rice, 2~3 dishes, one serving of pickle, and one bowl of miso soup. The standard tableware following the meal arrangement will be:

Rice bowl (Chawan)

Rice bowl will be in located on your left side. Use your left hand to hold the bowl.


There are 3 sizes of plates for serving dish. The first one is chu-zara (medium plates) for serving main dish such as grilled fish or yakiniku, and then ko-zara (small plates) and mame-zara (tiny plates) for serving dishes in a small portion.

Tiny plate for serving pickle

Usually pickle will be served using a plate that has similar size with mame-zara but a little bit tall and has wider opening.

Soup bowl

A bowl for serving miso soup.


A pair of shaped equal-length wooden stick that is used as eating utensils.

There are some etiquette for using chopstick and you want to pay attention for that! Keyword to search: Chopstick etiquette.

Chopstick rest

Chopstick rest is a tool that is rather new for me, but it’s very common in everyday life. So, instead of resting your chopstick on the top of the bowl, rest it on the table (or on a tray if you use tray) with a chopstick rest.

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