Why a Japanese Food Restaurant Job is the Best Way to Learn Japanese Culture | Guidable Japan

Why a Japanese Food Restaurant Job is the Best Way to Learn Japanese Culture

By Alex Gray Dec 20, 2022

Do you love Japanese food? Sushi, ramen, donburi, tempura – Japanese food is loved all over the world. Eating at restaurants in Japan is a great way to get to know the culture; if you choose right, it can be cheap, and it’s always delicious. There’s no way to go wrong! Well, if you love the cuisine, why not get a Japanese food restaurant job in Japan? There are so many unique jobs related to Japanese food for you to try – let’s look at why this is the best way to learn about Japanese culture.

Why a Japanese Food Restaurant Job Can Teach You About Japanese Culture

japanese food restaurant

Working in a Japanese restaurant can give you an insider experience of Japanese culture – especially the food and work culture. You’ll learn how to prepare and cook Japanese cuisine and all about the different ingredients used. Such as how to cook ramen noodles to perfection, what seasoning brings out the flavour in karaage chicken, and how soba is made. It’s a great opportunity to learn these skills that can be brought back to your daily life. Learn all the secrets of delicious Japanese food, and impress your friends and family at home. 

Hierarchy and Relationships

Learning about Japanese relationships is an important part of the work culture. When you start work, you will often be at the very bottom of the chain – unless you have some experience. You’ll learn your daily tasks from your senpai (senior worker). Through working in a restaurant environment and observing your co-workers, you’ll gain valuable insight into how the senpai-kohai (senior-junior) relationship works. 

Japanese restaurants also have various specific job statuses and hierarchies (serving staff, cooks, masters etc.) which is a great way to learn how to interact with other members of a team in Japanese society.

Attention to Detail

japanese food restaurant making ramen

Attention to detail is so important in a kitchen – and this is a great skill as it is highly valued in Japan. Differences in preparation, serving size, seasoning etc., can make a customer unhappy – so is to be avoided at all costs. Training in such precision is a valuable experience. It’s a skill that you can use throughout your work life in Japan, even if you aren’t planning to continue in the restaurant industry – it’s essential everywhere. 

You’ll start to notice how Japanese people rever attention to detail in Japanese daily life and culture – the impeccable trimming of bonsai trees and displays, practised steps in Japanese dance, slight differences in facial expression in Kabuki – and so many more!

Japanese Language and Communication

In an office job, you will learn certain Japanese words or phrases, and then a lot of the time, you’ll be working on certain tasks focusing on your PC. But in a kitchen or restaurant, there are so many instances when you’ll be learning and using Japanese. From the names of ingredients, food and dishes to instructions on preparation, and finally to engaging with customers. You will generally need to have some basic Japanese language skills to serve customers, as this is Japan, after all, so what better motivator to help you study? 

The required Japanese skill depends on the restaurant and job. If you are working in a ramen restaurant, you will need to communicate with your coworkers, but if there is a ticket machine (maybe you’ve seen them in noodle shops before) that takes orders instead, you won’t be chatting with the customers much. So you can choose the job based on your language skill if you are worried about your Japanese. 

What Japanese Food Restaurant Job Can You Get?

So what Japanese restaurant jobs are available? If you have no experience, you can start out in almost any restaurant and gain more skills on the way. Do you have a favourite Japanese food? Why not start there? You’ll be able to learn more about how to prepare the food, and some restaurants even have cheap food allowances for employees. Yum!



Japan is the country of rice – Japanese rice is so so good. Some of my Japanese friends even take rice on vacation with them; they love it that much. Donburi are “rice-bowl dishes” where a variety of ingredients are cooked together and served over yummy Japanese rice.


Working in one of these restaurants gives you access to many different recipe variations that are easy to make at home. You can really bring your gained skills into your daily life! Donburi are cheap and delicious, which makes them a favourite, so why not learn their secrets while learning more about Japan?   

work at a japanese restaurant donburi



Ramen is now hugely popular in other countries, with ramen shops opening up in cities all over the world. Why not learn from the best in Japan? Have you ever wondered about the perfect length of time to cook ramen noodles to get them to taste so good? What secret ingredients go in the soup? Maybe you’ll learn if you work there!

work at a japanese restaurant ramen


making soba noodles

Soba noodles, made from buckwheat flour (and often mixed with wheat flour), are another favourite. They have a long history and were first introduced by Buddhist monks from China to Japan in the 13th Century. As they are mostly made from buckwheat, they are healthy and nutritious! Soba restaurants are quintessentially Japanese and a great place to learn about the culture. Maybe you can perfect the noisy noodle slurp too! 

work at a japanese restaurant soba


japanese izakaya

Izakaya, often translated as the Japanese pub or bar, are the ideal place for after-work drinks. Here you will find groups of co-workers or friends enjoying food and drink and chatting away. In popular places, it can get quite busy – so you’ll be able to test your productivity skills. But during slower hours, you might find yourself in conversation with friendly customers, relaxed after their drink. 

As lots of different small dishes are provided at an izakaya, you’ll learn many different ways to prepare, cook and fry food. by working in an izakaya, you can learn about Japanese society and relationships from both the staff and if you’re observant from the customers too. 

work at a japanese restaurant izakaya



Sushi is known all over the world – and such restaurants are in demand everywhere! You might have seen sushi restaurants or been to one in your own country. But there’s nothing quite like authentic sushi from Japan. 

Sushi restaurants in Japan are steeped in tradition and are a great place to learn about the culture. The art of precision here is key – preparing the fish, and other ingredients in the right way is what makes sushi so delicious. You will learn all about Japanese fresh fish and seafood, and some establishments will show you the right way to make sushi – an art form that has been studied for years. 

work at a japanese restaurant sushi

Our Recommended Jobs

If you’re looking for some restaurant jobs in Japan, here are our recommendations!

What Japanese Food Restaurant Job Interests You? (Conclusion)

There are still so many different Japanese restaurants to choose from, but this is our favourite list. Living and working in Japan is so special because of the variety of food available, and the quality is always exceptional. Have you ever eaten out in Japan and thought, “Well, that tasted awful; I’m not going there again”? I haven’t! 

Working in Japanese restaurants is like joining a crash course in Japanese life and society – you will work and meet with many different people and learn to interact with them. If you want to integrate into Japanese life super quickly – why not apply for a restaurant job? We have so many options at Guidable Jobs – hope to see you there! 


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