[Basic knowledge] 10 Japanese eating utensils for your good experience of Japanese food culture

This page is to help the people :

  • Who are interested in Japanese culture
  • Who want to enjoy Japanese cuisines
  • Who want to get knowledge of Japanese utensils


I want to try to cook Japanese Cuisines.


That’s nice !


However, I don’t have any Japanese utensils nor don’t know how to use them….


No problem, in this case, I would like to introduce Japanese Utensils to you, which all of Japanese use frequently !

This page is about

  • Name of Japanese eating utensils
  • Use of Japanese eating utensils
  • Pictures of Japanese eating utensils

With reading of this page, you will get above listed knowledges as well as Japanese have. I will be very glad if you could read this article to the end.

Thank you !


SHINTA / Japanese blog writer, born and raised in Japan, visited more than 20 countries, introducing Japanese culture to the world, with both domestic & international experiences.

Hashi and Hashi-Oki

Hashi, as chopsticks in English, is essential items in Japanese food culture. Almost in all Japanese cuisines, Japanese use Hashi to eat it. The material of Hashi is mainly wood, in Japan, while we often see steel chopsticks in Korean restaurants.

Hashi-Oki is item to put Hashi, during a meal. It’s not so strict, however, in Japanese eating manner, it’s impolite to put Hashi on dishes during a meal. So you have better to put Hashi on Hashi-Oki, than put on dishes.


Chawan is small bowl to eat rice in Japanese cuisine. There are several Chawan in Japanese words, like ‘Gohan Chawan’ to eat white rice, ‘Yunomi Chawan’ to have Japanese tea. However, in. current Japanese culture, ‘Chawan’ means ‘Gohan Chawan’ in most of cases. So the word, ‘Chawan’ is simply used only to have rice nowadays.

Chawan is made by ceramic in most of cases. And sometimes, it’s by wood or plastic. It’s very rare with other materials, like steel. It’s not popular to use Chawan for rice dishes cooked by pan, like fried rice, paella, etc. These are on plates, usually.


Owan is also small ball, which is mainly used for soup in Japanese cuisines. We, Japanese, eat soup, like miso-soup, Osumashi soup, Zouni soup, etc. Owan is generally made from wood and we often see it with ceramic or plastic.

Hachi (Donburi bachi, Ramen bachi, Kobachi etc)

Hachi is also kind of bowl, and there are many kind of hachi, in Japanese food culture. Donburi bachi is used for ‘Gyudon’ as beef bowl, ‘Tendon’ as tempura bowl, etc. And Hachi is also used for noodles, like ‘Ramen bachi’ is for ramen.

Kobachi is small bowl. ‘Ko’ means small. Donburi bachi is larger than Owan generally, and Kobachi is smaller than Owan. In fancy Japanese restaurant, various kinds of cuisines are provided with Kobachi. Generally, both of Donburi and Kobachi are made from ceramic.


Jyubako is wooden box to put various food. The most famous food in Jyubako is ‘Osechi Ryori’ which is traditional Japanese cuisine to have in new year days. In case of putting rice on Jyubako, rather expensive ingredients are topped on, like ‘Unagi’ as eels which we call as ‘Unajyu’ , ‘Tenpura’ as ‘Tenjyu’.


Nabe as pot is mainly used in winter season. There are many kind of Nabe cuisines, all over Japan. And it’s very popular to make Nabe cuisines in each house. In Japanese Ryokan hotels, dinner is provided with small nabe in some cases. Nabe is generally made from ceramics or steel.


Shoyu-sara is ceramic plate, only to put soy sauce. When Japanese eat sashimi, we put soy sauce on Shoyu-sara and adding wasabi. In Japanese cuisines, soy sauce is used very well for seasoning to eat. So Shoyu-sara is quite popular item in Japan.

Kyusu and Yunomi

Kyusu is Japanese teapot. And Yunomi is Japanese teacup. Both items are to have Japanese tea. Tea strainer is inside of Kyusu. Putting leaf of Japanese green tea and hot water in Kyusu, then pouring into Yunomi. Kyusu is made from ceramic or steel and Yunomi is from ceramic.


Now you get Basic knowledge about Japanese utensils. I hope that you can enjoy Japanese food better than before.

In the end, I would like to summarize the points of this article as follows

Eating utensils, frequently used in Japan

  • Hashi & Hashi-Oki / Chopsticks and item to put it
  • Chawan / to put rice
  • Owan / to have soup
  • Hachi / Bowl, for Gyudon, Ramen, etc
  • Jyubako / Wooden box, for Osechi Ryori, etc
  • Nabe / Pot, mainly in winter season
  • Shoyu-sara / to pour soy sauce
  • Kyusu & Yunomi / to have Japanese tea

Thank you very much for your reading and see you again !


Please try to cook and eat Japanese cuisines with Japanese eating utensils !