Learn About Japanese Chopstick Rests
Where should you place the chopstick rest in a table setting?
The place where you put the chopstick rest will depend the style of food being served.
・ Chopstick rest on the side for western food
When serving western or fusion cuisine, it is customary to place the chopsticks to the side of the dishes, oftentimes alongside other cutlery such as a knive for fork.
・Chopstick rest in front for Japanese food
If serving Japanese food ("washoku") with a Japanese table setting, it is customary to place the chopsticks on the chopstick rest in front of the dishes, closest to the edge of the table.
The direction that the chopsticks are pointing is also important. Make sure the the tips of the chopsticks are pointing to the left, as viewed by the person eating. This is because when offerings of food are made at a Japanese Buddhist altar, the chopsticks are pointed in the opposite direction—to the right.
What color chopstick rest should you choose?
When thinking abut which chopstick rest to choose, consider the general color scheme of your other dishes and try to pick a color that matches. Many people also like to use a sesonal pattern or design, and it's not uncommon for houeholds to have many different sets of chopstick rests that can be used at different times and with different combinations of table settings.
Do you really need chopstick rests?
Of course you could get by without chopstick rests, instead placing the chopsticks directly on the dishes or table instead. However, chopstick rests really add the perfect final touch to a Japanese table setting and will also make it easier to put your chopsticks down during the meal. Chopsticks tend to roll around, and they are much more likely to accidentally fall on the ground than other utensils. A chopstick rest provides and easy place to set them down without worry of them rolling around and getting your tablecloth dirty.
Browse All Chopstick Rests