Why wet towels are served at the sushi bar

Do you like sushi? This Japanese food is best ordered at the sushi bar, where the preparation and presentation of the dish follows original traditions. Do not be surprised that in such an institution even before the meal you will be served wet towels . We will talk about this tradition in more detail.

The inhabitants of Japan fill their lives with secret rituals that help them cope with the negatives accumulated over the day. For example, they have a special technique for preparing and serving small wet towels before a meal. They are used for their intended purpose to wipe their hands.

IMPORTANT! The Japanese also believe that wipes remove accumulated negative energy. Therefore, in addition to hands, sometimes a face is wiped with a textile product.

When and why wet towels are served at the sushi bar

We are all used to textile and paper napkins in restaurants. But the first time they got an osibori, some visitors to the sushi bar are surprised that they are wet.

Moisturized small napkins are served in restaurants and sushi bars just before meals .

Important! Wet towels are used in any restaurant or cafe in Japan. This is an important tradition that all residents of the country observe.

They are served by waiters just before the meal, so that a person can refresh themselves and carry out hygienic cleaning of their hands before eating.

The Japanese erected the supply of small wet wipes into real art. Some sushi bars serve animal-shaped towels. Beautiful coasters and decorations are also used.

IMPORTANT! Keep in mind: the presence and proper delivery of osibori can be for you an additional indicator of the institution.

What is good to know about towels at the sushi bar

The custom to serve wet wipes before meals has been with the Japanese for a very long time. During this time, the technology of supplying textiles has come to this ritual. Towels are prepared and served in a special way. They are considered a special accessory that helps fight the negative accumulated energy.

What are the right towels

In Russian, the name of the Japanese wet wipe sounds like "osibori" or "mistaken . " They are disposable or reusable sanitary napkins that are served in restaurants so that a person can wipe his hands and face before and during a meal.

Towels are served on a special stand.

This tradition is a must for all real sushi bars, no matter what country they are in.

Types of Wet Towels

You should also know that these napkins can be different.


Disposable towels are usually a small paper towel, which is impregnated with an antiseptic composition, often based on alcohol. They are set on tables in restaurants in special plastic packaging or sold with chopsticks.

After use, immediately discard.


Usually these are textile terry or waffle products . After use, they are taken to dry cleaning and washed to be reused for customers.

Keep in mind: you can get different towels: cold or hot. This is due to the peculiarities of serving at different times of the year.

  • In summer, osibori are cooled in ice water or in a special refrigerator.
  • And in the winter they are heated with hot water or a steamer.

Important! Many restaurants have additional refrigerators and steamers for preparing osibori in their arsenal.

How to use Osibori correctly

So, special wet wipes in front of you. How to use them?

  • Start with them! Wipe your hands; you can also wipe your face.
  • If you have been given disposable towels in a plastic wrap, pay attention to the special incision on the packaging. This is done so that the customer can easily remove the packaging.
  • Rubbing your hands, you can safely eat sushi with your hands! This is not against label rules.
  • Wet towels can be used all the time while you are at the table.
  • At the end of the meal, just throw out the disposable napkin. But the fabric is usually folded as carefully as it was filed. All napkins are placed on the stand, which was used for osibori when serving.