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Why do so many Japanese women take photos of their food at restaurants and post it on Facebook or their blogs?

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Steve@CPFC

If my wife did this after i had paid for a meal i would smash her phone/camera. Who cares what soemone else ate. What is happening to the world.

You may well ask what the world is coming to if you would smash her phone camera. How low class can you get? In my country resorting to violence and meaningless destruction signals a lack of education. An educted person can express themselves verbally and does not need to resort to violence.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Um I do it...and im foreign and male...not sure why..just something to post ..especially if it looks good.

If my wife did this after i had paid for a meal i would smash her phone/camera.

God...what do you do to her if she forgets to make your lunch or meet you at the door upon your return??

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Steve, your lack of tolerance does you no credit. The idea that someone snapping a picture in a restaurant is somehow offensive is rather extreme, and you seem to be implying that people are either setting up huge lighting rigs or are taking hundreds of pictures. Well I've never seen that. I've seen people taking a quick snap of food - usually with phones, which aren't exactly dazzling flashes anyway - and then get on with their meal. I don't do this myself (or really understand it) but it had never occurred to me to be disturbed by it. And if I were so inclined and my phone accidentally found it's way into the aquarium then you might find yourself following it. Accidentally, of course. Lighten up - they're not taking your picture, or pictures of your food.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I always take photos of my meals. I cherish the memories. :-)

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Why do so many Japanese women take photos of their food at restaurants and post it on Facebook or their blogs? possible answers: (1) to keep track of calories; (2) in case of food poisoning; (3) to annoy "steve@CPFC"

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@Steve:

If you are paying a lot of money you expect what you pay for.

Maybe people who are paying this money expect to be allowed to take photos of their food. They did pay for it after all.

As for the question: This is a country with justifiably world-famous cuisine, so it comes as no surprise that food plays a greater role in the social interaction of its people. You'll find more Japanese people talking about (and taking pictures of) food than you will find Irish people doing, because Irish food isn't worth talking about or taking pictures of.

Just as it's not uncommon to see people from other countries taking pictures of beer or wine they're drinking and put them on facebook - the things we take pictures of are in many cases the things to which we attach some kind of cultural value, and in this case is an experience which Japanese people want to share with others.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I like to go to top class restaurants and order the fries and photograph everyone else's meals.The wife and I enjoy discussing the photos and how good the food must taste before enjoying our fries.I do actually need to get an 800mm zoom, though so I don't have to lean over so much.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

If food is presented well, why not take a picture. Let them take a picture of the ceiling if they like.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I always take photos of the wonderful food served in Japan. I put together slides shows for family and friends, and when they come to visit, they have a good idea of the food they want to try. This is a food culture, and I have never been to a restaurant here where I was told to not take pictures. The chefs were proud of their work, and thanked me for taking a lot of good shots. I even furnish them with copies if they ask, as I know what I am doing in the digital world. Itadakimasu! Snap Snap

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Why limit the question to only one gender? Both genders do this. A LOT.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I know quite a few people that do this on FB, both male and female. Some append the restaurant name and price...and then have friend's comments thanking them for the recommendation.

Steve : Sounds like you are talking about a pet...

7 ( +8 / -1 )

So many things people do and you can sit their and judge and criticize all day long. But in the end, this one is peaceful, friendly, and annoys none but those actually seeking annoyance.

I would rather discuss the question: Why do some people seek annoyance in the harmless activities of others, then dream of extreme actions in response?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Sorry steve I don't see what your problem is. She's pleased about the food you bought her and wants to show her friends how well her man treats her - what is that to get all riled up about? (Unless she adds a comment to the effect, Look what cr@p he's making me eat today!) And I'm sure the restaurants don't mind - it's all free advertising.

Like others have said, it isn't exclusively a female thing, or a Japanese thing. I have a male friend in Florida who does it all the time, both restaurant grub and meals he's cooked himself. Can't say I see the harm in it, though I don't feel the urge myself.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I am very tolerant. If i got to fast food and cheaper places i expect what i pay for and i expect taht when paying more. Who cares what some half witted shallow woman had for her dinner?

Not sure what [;aces you go to. The last time I was at a fairly high end place (it has a Michelin star and dinner for two cost 80,000 yen), they encouraged us to take photos and also took some for us. Memories of a particulary nice birthday dinner...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

If my wife did this after i had paid for a meal i would smash her phone/camera. Who cares what soemone else ate

Rrrrrr photo bad, me smash photo, rrrrr

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Everything looks delicious and smells delicious, and then it is delicious.

Actually, if you listen carefully, there's a code:

bimyo na ajizuke - not enough seasoning

nohkoh na aji - too much seasoning

hagotae ga atte - chewey

amasuginakute - This is supposed to be a dessert??

fukuzatsu na aji - What is this? It's horrible!

sutamina ryori - fatty and garlicky

natsukasii aji - I used to have to eat this as a kid.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I do that too. Later on, I can watch them and remembering the good time I had eating out with friends. The other reason is if the food is well presented, I might take it as an inspiration when I will be cooking something nice.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Steve

You seem to be bothered by (1) camera flashes and (2) people yakking on the phone while you eat. So presumably a quick snap taken unobtrusively without flash, and then the phone straight back in pocket wouldn't bother you?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I occasionally do this. Usually if it is an especially nice dish or restaurant. A friend of mine does this too and posts it on Facebook. I look forward to seeing some of the delicious stuff he is eating as well. We are both foreigners and male.

I also like watching food programs like No Reservations and enjoy reading about food.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I have a female Japanese friend who takes photos of everything she eats - home cooking or restaurant. She got me to help her buy a better camera for this purpose. She also runs her own cooking school, writes magazine articles and cook books and is sometimes on TV.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

My friend does this all the time and posts the pics on facebook. I just dont look at them and get on with my life. Doesnt bother me and I have more important things to get upset about.

If Im in a restaurant and someone wants to take pictures of their food, let them get on with it (quietly). If someone wants to take pictures of MY food - well, if they ask nicely and do it quickly, I am not going to be rude to them and tell them no. No harm done to me.

If people start taking pictures of me and/or my food without asking first - THAT is different (and yes, it has actually happened a few times). I HATE it when people take pictures of me without my permission, especially men. Gives me the creeps. Sorry to all the decent guys out there, but then any decent guy would actually ASK first.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Why so many women...post it on their FB or blogs? Probably because women ,who usually in Japan don't work, have more time and will to maintain blogs or keep their FB pages alive. Take photos of their food... Japanese consider beautifully arranged food worth admiration, just like beautiful yakimono or ikebana. Just like they admire the form of a chawan before drinking the tea inside it, or the shape of wagashi before eating them, same is with the food. And this tradition has continued for centuries. That's why admiring food's arrangement and shape is important part of Japanese people's aestetc view of the world. Of course, there are different people, and while one would admire real cullinary masterpiece, another will yell "Sugoi" to anything different than the tasteless stuff she cooks at home. Also, there's this special attitude towards food, born in the Bubble Era, as a reaction towards decades, if not centuries of restriction and starvation, beginning with several known great food crisises in Edo, then in Taisho, when people from Tohoku sold their daughters for food, and the WW2 and post-war crisis.When during Bubble era Japanese people not only had plenty of food, but had very good, high-class food, and they could afford to eat as much as they want from this once unreachable and even unthinkable food, they felt happy and proud, as if food became a symbol of success and happy life. This way of thinking towards food has obviously embedded into the minds of the ordinary Japanese and turned into a feature of the national psychology. When some lady puts a photo of good-looking, yummy looing food on her blog, this is to show that she really can afford to eat such food therefore she is happy person. Well, this is only my opinion, I may be wrong, of course.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

steve@CPFC "Photographing things such as a meal are low class" I say smashing your spouse's camera/phone is low class.

5 ( +6 / -2 )

A broken phone or camera would be a small price to pay for her disgusting manners. BTW, my wife is a lady and would never act is such a poor fashion.

Not if she knows what's good for her, apparently.

5 ( +6 / -2 )

If my wife did this after i had paid for a meal i would smash her phone/camera.

Do you get violent when she does other things you don't approve of, too?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Quite true Oracle. Good food is fabulous. It is meant to not just be eaten but talked about and shown to others. Taking a picture does no harm at all.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I agree that it's not limited to Japanese, nor specifically to Japanese women. There are far more Japanese people I know who take pictures of their food and post it than in other countries, but it's still done. Sadly, I myself occasionally take pics of food -- but it's usually food that I made myself (I love cooking, and do it well), or else food that I eat while travelling abroad (and which is hard or impossible to find here), or occasionally at a 'foreign' restaurant. The funny part is while I was doing this back home at local restaurant once, a friend of mine from highschool looked at me incredulously and asked what the heck I was doing and said I look like a Japanese tourist! :) I can tell you I never USED to take pics of food before coming here... maybe it rubbed off on me. Either way, I see no problem with it. If you don't like such posts, ignore them! If people are happy taking and posting such photos, why does it become YOUR problem?

steve: "I myslef am British and if you took a photo of your meal whilst i was dining with my friends we woudl of course let you know that this is bad manners."

And I would tell you and your friends to kiss my backside and mind your own business -- it's far more rude to dictate what others should be doing than for them to take a picture of the food they paid for if they so choose. Saying you would take someone's camera or keitai and throw it in the restaurant aquarium is admitting you would commit a crime solely because you are intolerant of what others want to do. If you were to ever do that, I hope you would get arrested and banned from said restaurant for good; talk about bad manners!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Going to a fancy ( aka expensive ) resturant doesn't mean you have to act like a pompous arse. If a patron decides to take a pic of his/her food at his/her private table, that's their private space and it's none of your business . To go over and toss their phone/camera only show a lack of " class " on your part and you may get toss out by the waiter or worse.......................

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Steve

You know you have talked about having respect for your wife, yet the very thought of you saying that you would resort to a violent act if she did something that displeases you tells everyone otherwise.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

steve@CPFCAUG. 31, 2011 - 08:09AM JST If my wife did this after i had paid for a meal i would smash her phone/camera.

Maybe you need anger management :) lol Chill out friend, Everyone has their own interests. If she likes doing that and is not harming anyone, so what? If that makes her happy, it's your job as a husband to see that she's happy. No?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I brought my daughter ,grandson granddauhter and her boyfriend to a reknowned fish and chip restaurant whilst they were on holiday here. They ordered cod and chips with a side dish of mushy peas. The meal arrived at the table plates of freshly fried golden crispy on the outside chips, topped with a huge golden crispy battered fish. Piping hot and absalutely delicious. Out came my granddaughters camera, the other diners beamed with pleasure that such a humble favourite cullinary dish was deemed worthy to be recorded to show to friends and workmates on her return to Japan. Noone was offended and laughed when with a big grin she recorded the totaly cleaned plates afterwards.The chef s face crinkled into a huge smile as he quoted, fame at last

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Steve : Have you ever been to the "Tour d'Argent" ? Have you even ever heard of it ? You mention your bill came to 10.000 yen... My bill came to more than 70 000 yen... and I could have taken photos - had I not forgotten my camera...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

(PS: I do it, too. So does my Brit male friend. So do lots of people.)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

steve@CPFC

I respect your opinion. But mouthing off about what you would supposedly do is not impressive.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

All readers, please stop sniping at each other. Please just post your opinions on what the question asks you and not at or about other readers.

I frequently take a photo of what we are eating, using a mobile phone, no flash. When it's great food and presented in a great way, I take a shot and post it to my friends along with the details of the cafe/restaurant. Too many silly comments on this topic. Taking a photo is certainly less of a problem than someone constantly answering their phone?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I take a photo if I feel like it, whether its at a 10,000yen per person restaurant or a local Izakaya. No one gets hurt and I have a photo to share and enjoy at a later date. You people who get angry about this sort of thing need to chill the frak out.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Steve, you seem to be confusing the question - which is clearly dealing with the general situation - with a very extreme example which I for one can't recall experiencing. Clearly we're talking about people taking casual snaps, not about setting up tripods, big flashes, and generally acting obnoxiously. Equally clearly, most restaurant owners - at any end of the price spectrum - are NOT throwing people out or throwing phones in aquariums. When you go to an expensive restaurant you do not pay for the right to have other patrons stopped from snapping their food - unless of course the restaurant is one of those that forbids cameras. In which case, your solution is simple.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Taking a picture is not like taking a phone call.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

When you pay 10,000 Yen + for a meal you expect privacy not flashing cameras which you do not know at the time at what they are pointed at.

@steve

You sure you're out with your wife, and not a "niece", Steve? (wink wink)

@everyone

Anyway, it's bad form to be downvoting Steve for having an unpopular opinion. Enough groupthink around here already.

Personally I take pictures for several reasons. I'm a guy, for the record. (That's not a reason.)

The first is recon, so when I go a place I can show friends what's on offer. This is good for the restaurant, unless the presentation or portions are poor. The second is that Japanese are pathetic at describing dishes. What did you have for dinner? "Nimono, yakimono and yudemono." Completely useless description. Photo solves that. Third is that Japanese are obsessed with presentation, so a photo is appreciated. If the restaurant has rules against photos, I'm more than happy to comply, but this has never happened. More often the waiter will ask if I want him to take a photo of my gf and me.

Anecdote time (stay with me)...

I remember in Hakodate at a famous local burger joint called Lucky Pierrot, one guy ordered the Lucky Burger, a chin-high stack of a dozen patties on an overdressed bun with all the trimmings. (Cleo, read on at your own risk.) No way to eat that fleshtower without looking like slaughterhouse worker-of-the-month. Anyway, when they bring it out, they ring these handbells, like Salvation Army Santas. Everyone looks up at this Babel-burger. A customer sidles over and asks to photograph it. One by one, every other customer in the shop, including my friend, goes over for a shot. The customer looks half proud and half embarrassed. His date was much less happy with the attention.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Do they need a reason?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

YongYang: "BTW, if you can't grasp that Steve@CrystalPalaceFC is talking about top end restaurants, where idiots wouldn't be taking photos..."

Unless there's a sign that clearly expresses taking photos is forbidden, it doesn't matter if it's a five-star restaurant Micheline's recommended in a desperate attempt to stay relevant, or a food stall outside a train station in the boonies -- if people want to take pictures of their food, it's their right, and you have NO right to tell them otherwise or inflict violence on them as some posters say they would. If you don't like it, either stop complaining and try living your own life, or stick to the restaurants where taking photos is 'kinshi'.

Maitake: "I firmly believe that people take pictures of the'r food etc and post it on farsebook etc to boost the'r ego. "hey look what I ate!" ..."

I believe people post comments like this about other people because they are misdirecting some sort of inner lack of confidence and forcing their beliefs on others and/or belittling them for simply enjoying themselves is how they try and compensate and feel big.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Steve, what it boils down to is a threat - you are saying if your wife behaved in a way you didn't like, even over something as innocuous as taking photos of her own meal, then you would destroy her property in an attempt to control her behavior.

Do you not see you are threatening spousal abuse unless she does what you want her to do, and behaving in a controlling manner? Not surprising for someone from somewhere as low class as Croydon, doesn't know any better and all that.

Perhaps your wife might like to take photos, but is scared of your reaction.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

All readers back on topic please. Spousal abuse is not relevant to this discussion.

They do it so they can show it to their squeaking mates and everyone can agree on a ritualistic "Oishi sooooooooooo" instead of trying to have a proper conversation like grown-ups do.

Exactly :)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Darren you made my day, and it has not been a good one. I just got back from lunch, and I shot a picture. Tantanmein. I shot pictures before and after, as I can only eat almost a half of those giant bowls.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I've seen better, Ivan.

Nessie - that's what they all say...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

In my 17 years in Japan, whether in an expensive or less expensive restaurant, I can't ever remember once feeling disturbed by someone at another table?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

My one regret... not having taken my camera to the restaurant where we were celebrating my son's 20th birthday... It was NOT "McDo" it was none other than the "Tour d'Argent" (Tokyo) and the tab was more than 70 000 yen...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Thanks spot. And pink toe nail polish today.

When I was in London at some very expensive restaurants, I shot pictures to send home, as everyone always says English food is bad. I found it good, and would go back as long as there are no riots. People smiled when I shot pictures. Exchanged mail also. Nice place.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Tried to talk about this in a text I co-authored and one of my colleagues said that Japanese people don't do this. I was dumbfounded to say the least! See it all the time and it doesn't really bother me too much. Heck, see people back in the States do the same. Don't think it is a "Japanese" thing.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

My Japanese wife doesn't do this so I can't ask her, but I imagine it's like a hobby. Females tend to enjoy eating more than men. If taking pictures, sharing pictures, and looking at pictures makes them excited, why not do so? I don't see any problem with it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why do Japanese women take photos of food in Japanese restaurants?

Because food in Japanese usually looks good and tastes good.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to photograph the taste - but who knows what advances iPad 25 will bring?

But, at least, having a picture can remind one of the taste.

And the presentation is often very beautiful.

If it seems curious, it's probably because for most Americans, food isn't something that's given much attention. It's just another bodily function.

Most "food" in American restaurants is machine produced. Each dish looks and tastes exactly the same. It's loaded with chemicals and sugar and prolonged use produces the typical "pear shaped" American body.

It's not only women who take photographs of food.

I take photos of food in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Australia, China and (occasionally) the U.K. too.

Why on Earth not?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

It is better than seeing it on the way out.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

azninvasion: "Personally I find when people take pictures of the food they are eating and post them on blogs they appear too simple in the head and very petty. It shows what type of character and frame of mind the person possesses."

I find people who bother to stop paying attention to their own experiences to live vicariously through and pick on others to be petty and 'too simple in the head', but that's me. Personally, when I go to a restaurant to eat with a loved one or friend(s) I don't spend my time watching what others are doing, complaining, and threatening to smash their phones if they don't do what I like -- I enjoy the time I have with the people I'm with, and I'm pleased if others can do the same.

Why are people being catty with steve, you ask? well, why are you and steve so quick to be catty with others who are simply minding their own business while you should be yours? That's the better question. You and steve have the power to make your experience more enjoyable for YOURSELVES. Letting others dictate your mood and affect your experience are not only signs of malcontent with your own lives, but indicative of pent up aggression and obviously intolerance.

Again, if people want to take pictures of their food for memory, and whatever reason they so choose, it is not YOUR choice at all and you can do absolutely nothing about it unless they are causing a 'reasonable' disturbance (and doing something you simply don't like and/or disagree with is not a reasonable disturbance, unless of course the restaurant bans photo-taking/cell phones).

JapanGal: "I always take photos of my meals. I cherish the memories. :-)"

Short, sweet, and a wonderful post. No one has the right to take this away from you based on their petty disagreement with what you do.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I do this all the time, and I am not a Japanese woman.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I like it when some of my friends take food pics because it opens me up to try new foods all the time. Both guys and girl friends do it, not just my japanese friends.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@tmarie... so sorry to inform you.. but your correction of english is WRONG.... Brainiac was right... i am having roast pork now... is correct.. i am having a roast pork.. is incorrect.... i am having a roast pork sandwich is correct.... Learn english before you correct somebody elses .. thank you

2 ( +2 / -1 )

I do this all the time, especially during street festivals like Taste of the Danforth (Greek food festival). Or sometimes restaurants. The phone camera doesn't have a flash in my case.

This is neither a Japanese nor exclusively woman thing to do. It's a human thing to do, to share the experience. And it happens everywhere either more or lesser extent.

I find this question judgemental and xenophobic, like no one else exists.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese food is close to art at times, a joy to look at. I take pics myself, but never use flash (ruins the shot anyway).

Not sure if someone is posting to wind people up though..

1) If my wife did this after i had paid for a meal i would smash her phone/camera. 2) I am very tolerant.

Not exactly complementary ;)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

food is a universal presence in everyone's life that all people can relate to and having differing opinions about it is not likely to offend anyone else.

But they never do have different opinions. Everything looks delicious and smells delicious, and then it is delicious. On television everything is so delicious that it's necessary to shout in astonishment. This is someting to do with the subtlety of the culture, apparently.

The only exception is if the dish contains a trace amount of spice, in which case the dish is karai.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I'm out to a two star Michelin restaurant tonight. And for sure I'll be taking photos. I've been there before and taken photos and the staff have no problems at all. Not in the least bad manners.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Because Japanese cooking is an Art!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My gf does this, too. When we went out for my b'day dinner she was so excited due to all the secret preps with the restaurant staff that she forgot to record the meal for her blog. I don't think of this stuff until after I devour the meal... During dessert I realized the meal was not photographed and she was so disappointed when I made the comment. I felt bad for a moment, she likes that stuff and I support her. No place or amount of expenditures dictates my treatment to her or others, in any situation. I have yet to read a book on etiquette regarding photographing meal presentations in these shutter happy "blogging" times. I guess it is o.k. to make your own rules within your relationships, there are some of us who are equally affluent, however less of a "stuffshirt" than others. Rule, if any? Use that darn washcloth after using her camera because she always wants from my order, more than I care to try what she orders. So far, no problem here.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ahem, the topic is about people taking pics of their own foods at their own tables.

I see no mention of them walking around and shooting pics of other peoples food(if they did they wouldn't do so without asking for permission, now would they?).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Search for food pics on Flickr. You'll see how popular it is, and who's doing it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I should take pictures of food more often. I love looking at pictures of food.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Cameras are design to take pictures. They will be useless if you don't use them especially when there are rare occasions you can visit a fine dining restaurant. Subject for photography has no limit even the food you will eat.

No one in his right frame of mind will take a shot if there is a "NO CAMERA" sign in an establishment. And in my experience, I try to ask if it's OK to take pictures if I am not quite sure if it is okay to do so. Have a memorable meal. ^^

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I recently went to a restaurant for masochists, so after I took pictures of my meal I smashed my own camera.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I am neither a woman nor am I Japanese, but I take pics of my food sometimes. For me it all started some 16 or 17 years ago when I was working at an ad agency. I took it upon myself to review all of the local restaurants that people in the office could go to for lunch. So everyday when I went to lunch I would bring my digital camera, and if we went to a new place or I tried a new dish I would grab some photos. I built a small website on our office intranet that ended up having over 60 restaurants listed on it with photos of several dishes from each of them.

More recently I went on a diet a few years ago and as a way to motivate myself I decided to take a photo of every single thing I ate. This was so I could see the volume of food I was consuming and to make it impossible to cheat when counting calories. You know you tend to forget little things here and there. For me personally this worked great almost immediately it became easier to restrict my food. It made me accountable to those I shared it with and I could see visually in moments what I was consuming.

I have to be honest though two of my favorite hobbies are photography and food. So to this day I still take photos of interesting food that I find in restaurants or if I cook something special at home it might deserve a photo as well.

It is a little surprising to see some of the angry comments on here. I know the internet is a rough place but I have honestly never been aware of negative reactions towards photography of food before. I am fairly certain though that this practice is not unique to Japanese woman, but if that is the demographic that we want to address I am afraid I have no idea why they specifically as Japanese woman take photos of food. I suspect it has nothing to do with being Japanese or female.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You should have Jacqueline. That is a nice place and they would encourage you to take pictures as it promotes them.

Any restaurant that has signs saying no pictures is a low life, classless place. I would walk out immediately, as they obviously have something to hide.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Steve

It all depends on the place and the type of meal wanted. People are saying why should i bother about photos, well they may well be taking photos of us, what do i do. ask to see what photo they took? It is good manners to respect others whilst out, old fashioned and indeed dying out if we take most posts here seriously.

Hmmm. They aren't taking photos of you Steve, they are taking photos of their food. High end place or not - it doesn't make a difference. Usually at high end places you are further away from other diners, so actually it should bother you less. The higher prices you pay at these places aren't charged for privacy - unless you book a private room of course.

In any case, you don't seem to have a problem with people taking photos at a low end place. Well guess what; they may be taking photos of you there as well.

2 ( +1 / -0 )

I just took a picture of a 7-11 sandwich.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

steve@CPFC: Jeepers, buddy. Lighten up. We can type here because we don't have anything better to do. Just enjoy what you can of this (or any) place. Food is fun here. That's why we go out to eat, or get special things to eat at home that aren't readily available in our home 'hoods. Sites and scenery are fun here, too. If it ain't fun for you, don't do it. There are plenty of options.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Whether photographs are or are not taken of a meal, seems to me to be best left entirely at the discretion of the restaurant, on behalf of its clients. It cannot possiblly be judged as any kind of rule of good taste, since each of us may be offended, or enjoy, a very wide difference in social habits. As long as there is freedom of choice for both restaurant owners and the clients who use them, I would not accept any kind of aggression against anyone as being justified.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My girlfriend does this all the time. Each time a course comes out, she snaps a picture. She also puts updates on our meal on Twitter for her friends. "I'm having roast pork now."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Agree with Godan, I dont think its a Japanese thing. I sometimes do it just to make the people back home jealous hah, who cares, ive seen people take pictures of less trivial things :

1 ( +3 / -2 )

They do it so they can show it to their squeaking mates and everyone can agree on a ritualistic "Oishi sooooooooooo" instead of trying to have a proper conversation like grown-ups do.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Well my take is this...watch Japanese TV. Half the shows are some people going to some restaurant and yelling oisshii. Going to that same restaurant is like a trip for them...like if a gaijin went to a temple...They get a photo to remember it by and share with their friends.

Who cares what some half witted shallow woman had for her dinner?

maybe her friends do? or maybe shes a writer for a food magazine or blog... Keep throwing cameras in aquariums and make us gaijin look bad...you might not be my nationality but from the locals eyes we are all gaijin...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think its because of the popularity of all the food shows on TV..I mean there is at least one running on TV at any given time...still its better than the upskirt pics Japanese men seem to specialize in ( especially public servants & cops )

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@jack

It is better than seeing it on the way out.

True, but judging by recent "video camera found in toilet" news stories, there seems a fair amount of interest in that too!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Hiroto Imae

I think it is okay to take photos if people want to unless the restaurant has a sign that forbids it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think it is really petty to allow a person taking a quick picture of their food annoy people so much. Get over it. Eat your meal. If you are so dissatisfied, speak with the waitstaff or manager. If you are still dissatisfied, do not return to that establishment. Pretty soon you will be eating alone where no one can ruin your perfect world. A better world for all of us.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

azninvasion: "ts just like taking a phone call during a meeting. It is quite annoying. If you are eating alone that is one thing, but if you are eating out(or in) with others it is just bad taste to be whipping out your phone and spoiling the whole atmosphere."

If you are constantly emailing and/or talking on the phone during a social dinner then yes, perhaps it's rude. However, phones these days do just about anything, and 'whipping out your phone' to take a pic is not necessarily rude or bad manners. What if the person wants to take a pic of you and his/her friends together? is it therefore rude because they pulled out their phone to do it? If all of them want to take pics of their respective dishes and other candids then what's the problem?

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you think, and I'm not saying you do, Azn, it's rude to take pics in a nice restaurant, so be it. However, IMPOSING your beliefs on others is just wrong unless they are in some way breaking the law, and taking a photo is not. Nor is taking the phone of a loved one and smashing it on the table because you think he or she is some kind of slave to your expectations and beliefs right in any way whatsoever.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I've thought it is normal to take photos of own foods and post it. I mean that it is considered normal that when you experience unique events, you take photos and post them on your blog or something. In that case, the unique experience is to have the dishes at a restaurant with you. Those women rarely take photos of everyday food. Besides, posting photos of food hardly put pressure on you in point of disclosing others' privacy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I agree completely with Smith. It's a good day :)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

steve: "A writer for a magazine does not take photos willy nilly in teh restaurant with paying customers around."

Actually, if he/she is a food critic they most certainly DO go in when other customers are dining, and if their column requires a picture they will take it then and there (who says they run around 'willy nilly'? People who take photos of the food at their table don't run around to other tables doing so, my friend). Show me a critic who makes an appointment on a restaurant's off-day. They deliberately go on a regular day, unannounced, so that they can judge how the food is served regularly, what it looks like, the service in general, decorum, and what have you. At BEST the restaurant catches wind that a critic is in town and may stop by, so they suddenly act unnaturally and be more careful than usual.

Anyway, steve, not that you have, but saying you WOULD smash your wife's phone is indeed physical violence -- it is also an indirect threat.

bicultural: A good day indeed.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's not just a Japanese thing; most of my girl friends from different nationalities (PRCs, Singaporeans, Malaysians, Filipinos etc.) do take photos of their food as well. I usually just shrug and gobble my food before they try to snap photos of MY food. LOL

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Sasoriza

Why so many women...post it on their FB or blogs? Probably because women ,who usually in Japan don't work, have more time and will to maintain blogs or keep their FB pages alive. Take photos of their food... Japanese consider beautifully arranged food worth admiration, just like beautiful yakimono or ikebana. Just like they admire the form of a chawan before drinking the tea inside it, or the shape of wagashi before eating them, same is with the food. And this tradition has continued for centuries. That's why admiring food's arrangement and shape is important part of Japanese people's aestetc view of the world. Of course, there are different people, and while one would admire real cullinary masterpiece, another will yell "Sugoi" to anything different than the tasteless stuff she cooks at home. Also, there's this special attitude towards food, born in the Bubble Era, as a reaction towards decades, if not centuries of restriction and starvation, beginning with several known great food crisises in Edo, then in Taisho, when people from Tohoku sold their daughters for food, and the WW2 and post-war crisis.When during Bubble era Japanese people not only had plenty of food, but had very good, high-class food, and they could afford to eat as much as they want from this once unreachable and even unthinkable food, they felt happy and proud, as if food became a symbol of success and happy life. This way of thinking towards food has obviously embedded into the minds of the ordinary Japanese and turned into a feature of the national psychology. When some lady puts a photo of good-looking, yummy looking food on her blog, this is to show that she really can afford to eat such food therefore she is happy person. Well, this is only my opinion, I may be wrong, of course.

Best post in this thread so far. You were either born or raised here, right? Your knowledge about our old history left me breathless. Good for you, dear. (^v^)

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@gaijintraveller, I hope you are British! Great response.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I quite like looking at the pictures, they give me cooking inspiration sometimes.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It is probably done in the States so that you have photographic evidence to show the court when you sue them for making you sick

... or for making you obese....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Steve@CrystalPalaceFC is not being very politically correct today, usually he is overly PC but today the PC Halo seems to have slipped down a fair bit.

Smashing someones cell phone is NOT PC steve.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

people vote with their clicks, leave the sheila's alone on this one

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Steve.

Good for you but none of the western(few countries) nor japanese ladies I met and dated would cater for your view-point. Glad you met your soul-mate and fitting partner.

OTOH, many friends thought the same and got the rude wake-up call once they acted on their instincts. Just saying. ;)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have seen very high level foreign managers of foreign companies taking out their cellphones and snapping pictures of food they were served... Definitely not only a Japanese thing, therefore bad question, JT...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maitake: "I firmly believe that people take pictures of the'r food etc and post it on farsebook etc to boost the'r ego. "hey look what I ate!" ..."

Similar to people posting their thoughts and opinions on a forum too I might add. They both could be considered boosts to one's ego.

IMO it's no more nor no less then anything else now-a-days related to sites like FB, MySpace, +, etc. It is a part of feeling a part of a community.

I can recall growing up and my Mom and Dad going out to eat and then Mom sharing with us and her friends, sometimes in great detail I might add, what she had to eat at the restaurant they were at the night before, and I recall her also commenting that she wished she had a camera with her at the time to show everyone how beautifully the food was presented when they were served.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I take pictures of food but i don't post it on facebook. i just want to remember the ingredients so i can prepare them at home for myself. And i'm not japanese.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I also take pics at times BUT I always ask the proprietor or waiting staff if it is ok to do so. That way if anyone complains I am covered.

Found most of them actually like it and some even suggested a certain angle, etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ivan.

Got to disagree. Even on TV you can tell if the food is really good or the person is putting on an act. Now if they would just stop people talking with a full mouth or tell them to chew with their mouths closed.

I know many japanese that LOVE spicy/hot food. Not sure where your views were formed but not in the Japan I know.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Even on TV you can tell if the food is really good or the person is putting on an act.

That's my point. They have to put on an act to pretend that every piece of food, no matter how bland or commonplace, is the most wonderful thing they've ever had in their mouth. Nobody ever disagrees. Just once I'd like to see someone say, "Actually, this tastes of nothing".

Also the Japanese definition of hot and spicy seems to differ very considerably from what the expression hot and spicy means.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

People do this in many countries, not just Japan, and while it may be that women take pictures of food more often, some men do this frequently as well.

Now, I've never taken a photo of just food alone when in public, but I see no big difference between having your picture taken with friends at the table and taking a picture of the food itself. Food brings people together just as much as music, dancing, and other cultural factors/events do. What's wrong with creating a little reminder of an ocassion, no matter how simple or commonplace, if it commemorates both good food togetherness? Nothing!

If the restaurant does not allow photographs, that's understandable for keeping ambience and minimizing distractions. Otherwise, I say feel free to snap a few as long as you're not being obtrusive about it - like standing on chairs or hoisting up candelabras just to get the right angle and lighting.

Anyways. This is a trend that's not going away, and in any case, it's harmless. Complaining about is pointless. Raising a flag on such an immaterial issue is no different from Hayao Miyazaki's aversion to people using the iPad because he thinks it's suggestive and perverse - stupid and illogical. Making such a big fussy deal of something so benign is asinine and, even more so, tight-@ssed.

There are more important things to worry about and more intrusive or harmful habits that can be done away with.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As a middle aged male, I planned and did take photos of my meals most times while I was in Japan for the first time as all the food was new to me and I wanted memories of the tastes as well as the sites/places I went to.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've seen better, Ivan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good ones from Cleo, especially the last one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Agreed 2yrs ago we took my son to a local pizza place(often shown on TV now, like yesterday).

Wish I had pics of the "Cake" that we ordered for him, cost more than the meal + drinks for three.

But alas no camera handy and even than son demolished it fast, never got finished was just too much for the three of us.

And why would a restaurant owner refuse FREE advertisement for his place?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@J4: Sure there is, a scale of 1 to 5 is also used to rate the ambiance, setting and decor, and is symbolized by a crossed fork-and-spoon icon. So there. As this thread has proven, it's not all 'just' about the food, son.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You know what? Life is short. If somebody finds pleasure in something that harms no one else, good for them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Appreciation of a meal used to be expressed verbally with prayer in the U.S., and still is by many families (though surely with the curtains drawn so the anti-religion police can't see). In Japan, school children actually sing a song to their bento, thanking mom for the care and welcoming what they are about to enjoy. Combine that with the Japanese desire to preserve all of life's small but special moments on film, and it is a perfectly legitimate thing to do.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

MR Mori;If you need to ask if you can take photos then forget it, you cannot afford those places.

I don't mind, as I've said, they are rare occasions. Because there are times my Japanese friends invite me to these gorgeous places and since it's a rare experience, I tried to maximize the whole experience. Once again, have a wonderful and memorable meal. Happy flashing! ^^

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I just had Oden for lunch...and guess what I did? Pictures!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Yeah, women taking photos of food is ridiculous! It doesn't make any sense whatsoever they have an appreciation for food or the art behind it. IT'S STUPID.

And what's with those people who take photos of stuff like buildings, cars, and other people? No one likes crap like that and it's so pointless.

You know what? Cameras in general are a nuisance. Let's just rid ourselves of them so no one can post their dumb, trivial pictures with others!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Maybe it's kind of like saying grace a little pause to appreciate.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Dennis.

Because most of those food programs, ditto for the train, travel and ranking programs are nothing more than paid advertisements for those places.

But there are a few talento that will openly say if the food wasn't great on a program, usually you can tell by the language they use.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My cooking may not be the most tasty in the world but me and my husband enjoy taking pictures of our dishes and post them in our livedoor blog for the delight of our close friends. Most of the people we know love to have a good conversation about food and wine. There is nothing wrong about posting pictures of food as long as its your own or you ask permission if the dish belongs to someone else. Manners please.

To those who cook and take photos of their cooking and post them in their blogs: You have my respect!! It's really a wonderful and healthy hobby~~ (^_^)

Well said. My wife does this all the time and puts them on her Mixi blog for her friends. What the hell is wrong with that? Saturday brunch I made Irsih potatoe cakes topped with smoked salmon and poached egg along with a side salad and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic for effect. Looked a picture and became one. response from most of her friends is 'wish my husband could cook'.

Can't imagine why this could possibly annoy some people anymore than a picture of a lovely lake/beach/temple that they visited and posted on their blog.

Blimey, some people should get a life!

1 ( +1 / -1 )

it simple. japanese people love food. it's such a huge part of japanese culture. just look at japanese tv. 90% of the varitey shows are about food or some how incorporate it. definitely due in large part to cultural influence.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I know it's done a lot cos I see the pictures on FB all the time, and not just by women. I imagine Mixi is worse. It is very odd, because most of the pictures are of very commonplace, sometimes rather dull plates of food.I could understand it if it were some sumptuous feast, but not a plate of noodles.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Because a lot of them are halfwits with the brain of a 3-year child. Give them a pile of dogdirt, colour it pink and stick love heart stickers on it and they'd take photos of that, too.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

You are misunderstanding the question. This is not about someone invading your privacy and taking photos of what you are eating at your table. Please stay on topic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If we're talking about people prancing around in a posh restaurant squealing oishisooooo! and upsetting other diners, then I'm with steve. But I'd also be annoyed about people in that kind of restaurant nicking folks' cameras or phones and chucking them in the aquarium. Decorum works both ways.

There's nothing wrong with taking a couple of kinen shashin if it's an occasion, and if it's a cheap grub shop I don't see anything wrong with taking photos.

Seems there's a lot of people here who get upset about what strangers telephone their friends about. If you don't want to listen to those 'Ima doko?' conversations (for want of a better word) - don't listen.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Stay on topic please. Phone conversations are not relevant to this discussion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Firstly yes, Japanese women in general do post far more of these photos on their feeds than other 'groups', especially as a percentage of their total posts.

For the reason why I think you've got to go with Occam's Razor here - people post about the things they do and certainly the single working women I know seem to go out for meals with their friends several times a week, so it stands to reason that that's what they'd post about. People who go to the gym, do yoga, play sports or watch a film after work often post about that...etc.

I don't really get the appeal myself as the meals are usually typical fare and look nothing special, but their girlfriends seem to get into with the exaggerated "oisshisoo/tebatai"s. Just scroll up and what was that? Oh never mind.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

azninvasion: "I just deal with the fact it is irritating and because that person is my friend or acquaintance,"

Well, part of friendship is understanding, and that goes both ways. Instead of being irritated about it if it happens often, perhaps you could broach the subject gently. If the person is offended by you stating how you feel either you need to talk about it further, simply try not to mention and instead deal with it (remaining as non-irritated as possible), or stop hanging out with said person in situations that will have them focussing on their cell phones or what have you. I had a friend once say something along those lines to me because I was emailing while we were at dinner (not a lot, but was in a rather tense situation with an ex-girlfriend, which I explained later, after apologizing) and with said friend tried as much as possible not to use my cell from that time forward. I don't do it regularly, but we talked it out for a moment and understood each other well. As for what others are doing at other tables, it's none of my business.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I mean what's the big deal? Like others have posted much of what makes Japanese food appealing is the presentation and taking pic's of a good looking meal to share with your friends is similar to a guy taking a picture of the big fish he let get away.

The convenience now a days of having cameras in one's cell phones gives everyone the freedom to share more with friends and families more than ever. Sure maybe some may go over board, but I thinks it's neat to see what someone else had to eat and just maybe when I get the chance I'll visit that establishment and give it try too.

I sincerely hope not all Brit's think like Steve here, I couldnt imagine what a scene it would be like to actually take one's wife's cell phone and smash it just for taking a picture of a meal that they may share, poor form for sure.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@electric

Dead right. Although small talk all over the world tends to be pretty dull. In England it'd be:

**Bloody freezing isn't it?

Aye, I thought they said it'd stop raining last Friday...

And this food tastes bloody awful....Is that pork or chicken?

Mmmmm....Can't tell to be honest... lamb, maybe....**

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Hiroto Imae

Not that they appeal to themselves, they are trying to imitate the celebrity that she has respect.

Nice try. Not everybody shares the same TV-tarento motivation, ok?

My cooking may not be the most tasty in the world but me and my husband enjoy taking pictures of our dishes and post them in our livedoor blog for the delight of our close friends. Most of the people we know love to have a good conversation about food and wine. There is nothing wrong about posting pictures of food as long as its your own or you ask permission if the dish belongs to someone else. Manners please.

To those who cook and take photos of their cooking and post them in their blogs: You have my respect!! It's really a wonderful and healthy hobby~~ (^_^)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

My daughter does this sometimes, but she has a fairly large digital SLR, and is doing an "artistic look" at the food. Trying to get a scene like large magazines do. But not with a flash, and only her own food, not someone else's.

Quite honestly, I don't care. I'm going to eat either way, so let them imitate the "Oiiiiiiiiiiishiiiiiiiiiiiiii" crowd.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is done in the states also. the main reason to share with others so they can talk about it, theres usually pictures in Restaurants & it help me decide what i want. but doing this evryday would be crazy. (johninnaha ) "If it seems curious, it's probably because for most Americans, food isn't something that's given much attention. It's just another bodily function" you are an Idiot! what does this have to do with Food in the US? theres fast food in MANY countries. & Many TOP restaurants in the US!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Raymasaki says: "This is done in the States also."

It is probably done in the States so that you have photographic evidence to show the court when you sue them for making you sick.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I am with the others, what is the big deal?

So someone whips out the ol' cel-phone or insta-matic and takes a shot of their plate. Big whooping deal.

I have taken Ceo's, etc to posh eating places(incl some very traditional downtown places) and they did it to show their families, etc.

One shot = 1/10 of a second and flash(if used), now if they try to take multiple shots to just get it right that is different.

Might be a bit eccentric but harmless in the end.

As for the posters that say they would throw it into the aquarium or smash it on the table. Enjoy your visit to the local police head-quarter and watch out for those stairs to the cels and those nasty metal drawers that can catch unguarded fingers.

Now if I smashed the phone of my wife or date, lets just say sleeping on the couch for days would be the pleasant options. More likely to come home and find my cases outside the door and the locks changed or her waiting with the divorce papers.

In the end all the patrons paid the same for the food and if the proprietor is ok with it = that's it as he sets the rules in his establishment on what is acceptable or not.

Nuff said.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's not limited to Japan and not limited to women. Good food is more important in Japan than in many other countries, so obviously people talk and write more about it. Nothing wrong with that. But I think there is a large group of Japanese women who do this because they have nothing else to do and to talk about.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Darrin, to be fair to tmarie, I don't think she was correcting anybody's English. I think she was commenting that Japanese ladies who Twitter about their meals probably get their English wrong, too.

'I come for shopping and now having a roast pork in restaurant with darling.'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

****I can appreciate if you are dining out at a nice restaurant, that you may not want to be bothered by the flashing of other peoples cameras. Fair enough I suppose. Most good cameras nowadays you don't need a flash anyway to get a good picture. If the person is not bothering anyone else why should I care if they take photos of their food? Each to their own.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My wife does it all the time. I suppose it is partly a lack of interest in my outgoing things. But I suppose each to his or her own.

@sf2k - are you saying you are a womam, or just androgynous?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am American, and I think it is very nice that both Japanese women and men like to remember beautiful meals. One girl I know here in the USA, who does not speak a lot of English, always says "Happy Memories" when ever she takes a photo of any nice scenery or food presentation.

I now find myself taking photos of beautiful foods and other nice things and forwarding these photos to some my Japanese friends, because I know they both enjoy and appreciate my sharing these things with them. Some people in the US are fascinated at my enthusiasm about doing so, and actually are both impressed and encouraging about my taking the time to do this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am sure Steve would be shocked if he was at a posh restaurant and a celebrity came in and took a snap of their food. Stranger things have happened. ;)

Celebrities are human after all and many have admitted to taking food snaps.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Darren

I can just imagine you stumbling across Steve's table somewhere in the Keio Plaza Hotel one unfortunate night. Maybe after you'd both had a couple of bottles of strong lager.... :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is beautiful Christina! You made a lot of people smile!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

steve: "Japanese eateries have so much to offer outside of bored women taking snaps for a blog only their close circle read."

It's not just the 'women folk', as you call them, who take such pics, nor is it just Japanese. You really ought to rethink your biases and find ways to release all that pent up anger (without destroying your better half's phone if she disobeys you, that is).

People are free to take pics if they want, and you can bet all the money you'll ever make in your life that if you went to the finest restaurant in all of Japan and a celebrity was dining there and wanted to take a picture, they'd be given permission because of their status.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My hubby has taken photos of food when he's traveled overseas. I do it because I like showing off my mad cooking skillz (^_^)

I don't care if folks want to take photos of their food (especially the booze) hehe.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I took a picture of a bowl of ramen that I cooked.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My wife doesn't do this. But her sisters do. But hey, if food is that big a deal to them, then I don't mind. I remember being kind of astonished with the Japanese obsession with food when I first arrived in Japan, and it took me a fair while to come to terms with the fact that it is a sun around which much of the culture orbits. But as a result many Japanese people I know have a very refined and sensitive palate, and the simply LOVE good and well crafted food. Now, when I first arrived in Japan and was told that Japanese rice is the most delicious, I scoffed. 'Rediculous', said I 'Rice is Rice'. But my friend was adamant about her claim, and over time I have come to agree with her (with the exception of a good brown rice). 'Sashimi tastes better when cut properly with an extremely sharp knife'.....'Ludicrous!' said I. But then, perhaps it's true, and I just don't have a refined enough palate to taste it? In any event, I've come to quite like the Japanese obsession with food. I myself don't share it, but I think it quaint and quirky, and at then end of the day, what harm can possibly come from someone snapping a piccy of their lunch? None, me thinks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

would restaurants even care? free advertising through PWOM(positive word of mouth). I mean you could just tell your friends you ate this really good dish at whatever, describing it in every tantalizing detail, the curiosity might be enough for them to go, but Im sure having visual cues would handy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Steve, I applaud your manners and sense of style. You sound like the perfect English gentleman - until you talk about smashing your wife's camera, and abusing other guests. But I'm sure you were joking. Anyway, you have won people around to your point of view I think - started with 52 dislikes, next went down to the 30s, 20s, and then under 10. :)

Back to the topic. Japanese just love food. They take photos of it for the same reason, that when you go out you all have to say it's oishii, even if 6 other people have said it. (It's a cultural difference. Can you imagine being with 6 Americans and saying "This is delicious", after 3 people said it? You'd have your camera smashed for being unoriginal!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yasukuni : You sound like the perfect English gentleman

who probably relishes English cooking...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think it's mostly because they can't cook and this gives them an idea that might help them gain favor in the kitchen...as we all know, Japanese are good at copying, so this is just an example of trying to copy something that looks delicious or presented well

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My wife does.... Actually there is a iPhone app called ramen, let's you find the best stores where you are, handy yo! I don't see why all the fuz....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A couple things come to mind after reading these comments: 1.) I do it when I get a dish that is very well presented. Presentation of food is not that important in the American culture that existed when I moved here, except for the "eclectic-y" restaurants that just do lots of swirls and stuff with sauces. So its unique enough to photograph and share with friends from home. B.) We're not all from the UK, so who cares about pseudo aristocratic whiners? That's amusing enough on its own. and 6.) why should I not have fun while I'm eating, no matter where it is? If taking a few pics of a great dish and sending them to my mom overseas, or friends who are always curious about life here, than, so be it. Its fun to absorb the whole experience in any way I see fit if its unobtrusive to the restaurant, and they wouldn't present food in a fun, artful and interesting way.

However, I seriously thought the age of all the psuedo-aristocrats had passed a very long time ago. Some people are just so full of themselves, they can't stand it. And neither can I. I'd suggest some good long-term therapy, or moving someplace where you can deal with the culture on your terms. Just do something to knock your self-esteem down several needed notches to that of the rest of us mere mortals.

Of course, one exception, which is off topic (please forgive me - sorry moderator!) and many westerners are horrible at, is talking LOUDLY on their keitai. It does happen in the west, but is rare here. There, I do draw the line, as the high volume level is truly annoying to everyone around. So if someone's taking a pic, and then quietly calling their friend to send and show what they're eating, cool.

Aside from that, or maybe someone taking the food off my plate, I'd say its not a bad thing and chefs wouldn't present things so eloquently if they didn't want patrons to appreciate their creations to the fullest extent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oops. " and they wouldn't present food in a fun, artful and interesting way." What I was going to type is: " and they wouldn't present food in a fun, artful and interesting way... if they didn't want patrons to appreciate that in the first place."

They'd just pile it on and say "here ya go, bud".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't go to Burget King for a speciall occasion so i do not really care.

So you only don't like people taking photos of you when it's a special occasion.

Try taking snippy snaps in some of the good London places and they will politely ask you to stop. You will also be asked to turn off phones in consideration of other diners.

None of the high end places I've been to in London. Phones yes, cameras no. And I agree that someone talking on a phone can be annoying. Taking photos is not. I took photos last week at a two star Michelin restaurant and neither the waiting staff nor the other customers minded at all.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

shock news flash: japanese men ALSO take photos of food too!! another flash: and so do other nationalities

oh and no need to be violent about it as another posters spectacularly unpopular posts suggests

0 ( +1 / -1 )

For a person who has a daily photo blog that is followed internationally, shots of specifically-Japanese dishes of food can be one way to to add another posting and might actually be interesting to people not familiar with Japan.

I don't think the action of taking a photo without flash is any more disturbing to other guests as, say, picking up a napkin, unfolding it and placing it on one's lap; or gesturing to get the waiter's attention. Now if someone were to stand up on their table to get the shot and step back onto my table with the heal of their shoe in my soup I might be less than pleased.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Are you sure it's just them? I'm neither Japanese nor a woman but I've done it too.

Japanese cuisine is famous for its visual aspects. Why not photograph it and post it?
0 ( +1 / -1 )

I know I'm replying to the very beginning of this thread, but Steve missed the point right from the start. This thread was never about running up to OTHER peoples' food and taking pics, it was about simply taking a pic of the food you order.

I'd like to know Steve's opinion of that.

I have to agree with most people here thought that it's hardly reserved for Japanese women. This is a case where "everyone" does it. At least people in every group.

Since being on Facebook, I've taken tons of quick snapshots with my iPhone. I get lots of positive comments. A LOT of people ask me where I ate, and then they go there. So the pics are very helpful. Usually I take a pic of something I'd eaten before, because I know it's good and want to let others know.

Sometimes I take pics just because they look good.

But as far as Japanese, as many people have stated, they are probably put the most effort of any society into the presentation of their food.

If you can't go out often, why not look at a pic and remember how good it was? I think that's a great way to budget!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh....restaurant critics ive seen always seem to just pop in and review not have a photo shoot...then theres also the internet...tabelog, hot pepper and what not...doesnt seem to professional level to me either...but whatever...

Hopefully we never dine at the same place.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not that they appeal to themselves, they are trying to imitate the celebrity that she has respect.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Probably the answer to the question can be found, when looking at the expression most often used at the start of a conversation by mobile phones of young Japanese ladies, as one can easily hear:

"Ima, doko?"

Then:

"Ima, nani tabeterun desu ka?"

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Just thought of something else. Should we ban picture menus then?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

well if anyone remembers the Andrew Sisters e.g. - "Hold tight, want some sea food" - you'll also be reminded that food is in-its-own-way, all about something else, hence the diary.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why does that quote singles out Japanese women ? 98% of food photo on the net are not from them. It's a common hobby over the world. There are also people that make videos of their cats.

"Probably because women ,who usually in Japan don't work, have more time and will to maintain blogs "

What kind of inaka are you posting from ? Suprising you have the internet there. Most women in my city work (80% of those between 22 and 60, last time they counted), many post photos and have hobbies. I have always worked, a lot. I have posted thousands of food photos. 1% for my job, 99% for my pleasure. That said, in restaurants, I take quick snapshots with a mini camera for memory. They are usually not good enough for my blog. I don't mean the food, but the light conditions. And I don't want to disturb anyone by bringing high-tech photo stuff. It's possible some exagerate and their taking photo is a nuisance. There is no smoke like cigarette, no noise like telephones conversation and ringing, so that's not so common other customers even notice the next table is taking a photo (they have to spy them to see that). It's the job of the staff to ask them to stop those that pass the limit. But shooting the food is rarely problematic. The issue is photos of people, staff, other customers and even other guests with you. They may not want too see their mugs on tweeter. Their privacy should be respected.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@SmithJapan: Most, well I thought most, don't need signs and the common sense of good manners literally spelled out for them. Taking photos in a top end eatery of your food is not good form. Go into a Michelin 5 rated and see what you get.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There is no such thing as a Michelin 5 star restaurant.

If I was in a nice place and someone took photos of my food I would be very upset indeed.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Flikr really does have some very nice food pictures. Sorry folks, I will not post my URL as I have the blog open for comments and do not want to get harassment by a select few.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I take pictures of dishes cooked by my Japanese wife because I appreciate her for cooking. Also she has a collection of nice crockery & it enhances the food we eat at home. Now she is doing it herself. So I'm not surprised at all Japanese women are doing so. If I can post some of these pictures here, I would do it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

because they like it

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Pathetically unexciting lives maybe?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Very true hanabee

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You've always seen critics pop in and do photo shoots, really, sorry don't beleive you. If that happened in most places i eat at customers would be enraged and demand a refund, photo takers would also suffer the wrath of teh chef.

not a photo shoot genius but they snap a few pics of their meal and maybe one of the entrance. Silly gaijin.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I will post it on my Japan Food Blog tonight. I also post the names of the restaurants if they allow me. First I show them the site on my iPhone, and if they like it, they get free advertising from me. All parties happy.

-2 ( +2 / -3 )

if you watch Japanese TV and see the zillion food programs then you why, and everything is "ooishii", "umai", "maiu" etc.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It is probably done in the States so that you have photographic evidence to show the court when you sue them for making you sick.

Bet post here! I'm gonna def. start doing it in Japan now - what with all the food safety issues this joint has! Yaki-niku joints, family restaurants...I'm gonna get snap happy. Could be some pretty big hush money coming up when the next bout of dysentry or food poisoning comes up!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

stevecpc - I am sure that you are a very kind and nice person. I feel sorry for you that you always seem to be miss understood (you are the negative thumbs down champion)...

I agree, having a date/private lunch is not about photographs of the food.

-3 ( +4 / -6 )

I do this all the time, and I am not a Japanese woman.

perhaps not, but you're still a synonym for a pussy cat... meeeeowwww

I firmly believe that people take pictures of the'r food etc and post it on farsebook etc to boost the'r ego. "hey look what I ate!" ...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

My J-wife does this. I told my son`s Chinese GF about the strange hobby, and now she is doing it too! I never understand women.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"I'm having roast pork now."

Doubt it. "I'm having a roast pork now" I would agree with!

-4 ( +1 / -4 )

Why do so many Japanese women take photos of their food at restaurants and post it on Facebook or their blogs?

Because they are obsesses by food. They live to eat as opposed to eat to live, and their mentally is that of a spoiled child. If you have a GF like this get her to change her ways immediately, if she doesn't then dump her quick sharp...

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Sasoriza: when some lady puts a photo of good-looking, yummy looing food on her blog, this is to show that she really can afford to eat such food therefore she is happy person.

That is a rarity. Through surfing friends blogs or just blogs in general, I have noticed that the trend is more photos of regular, standard fare foods. For example, a bag of chips, or a bar of some chocolate, or a bowl of spaghetti etc. Very rarely has it been some intricately made, unique concoction, in which, I think it is completely reasonable to post. But posting pictures of regular items all the time, you just start to wonder why..

@smithinjapan I cant count the many times I have been out having coffee or a meal with friends and they snap a pic of the meal (its fine up to there) BUT I am left there on the spot waiting for her to finish uploading/ writing up some comment to go with the photo and THEN waiting for it to upload while I just sit there sipping on my drink. Its just rude and I would understand if we were having some unique meal that was worth photographing but all those times, it was things like a regular cup of coffee (believe it or not) or a really regular bowl of pasta or ramen etc.

At that point it stops being 'kawaii' and starts being petty.

I dont impose my beliefs, because that would mean I really DO grab their keitai and smash it, but I do not, for I am not a madman. I just deal with the fact it is irritating and because that person is my friend or acquaintance, I overlook these things and it doesnt change anything in the friendship. But it is a good thing for me that most of my friends do not find simply things like a pocky SO interesting they must spend 3-5 minutes uploading it on their blog every time they meet up with me.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I do understand stevePFC's point. In a high end place, there's no call for doing this.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

People have no class or manners these days.

Taking photos of your meal to post on failbook, how sad.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I dont understand why people get so catty toward steve. I for one have always agreed with his points, not just on this article, but on all the other articles.

Personally I find when people take pictures of the food they are eating and post them on blogs they appear too simple in the head and very petty. It shows what type of character and frame of mind the person possesses.

Food is just food. A curry rice or a bag of chips is not something worth telling the world you are eating, as if they give a ; as if they care.

But if people want to do it (go ahead!) but I will judge.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Because so many Japanese women are childish and selfish. That's the reason.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

cleo; There rae places that actually ban photos and ask for you to turn off your phone because of these idiots. If you are paying a lot of money you expect what you pay for. I think in amny places teh chef or owner would throw peoples cameras or phones in teh aquarium for having poor manners, and too right..

Precisely. Its just like taking a phone call during a meeting. It is quite annoying. If you are eating alone that is one thing, but if you are eating out(or in) with others it is just bad taste to be whipping out your phone and spoiling the whole atmosphere.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

I used to take photos of food, but now they all come out 'white', no picture. BTW, if you can't grasp that Steve@CrystalPalaceFC is talking about top end restaurants, where idiots wouldn't be taking photos... then keep snapping at GUSTO!

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

There are plenty of restaurants that do not allow photos and ask you to turn off your phone in the UK. These are high end places where people pay large amounts of money. I did visit a place in Brighton on my last UK trip which had no photo signs and that was not ahigh end place, lunch sets were about 15 GBP.

It all depends on the place and the type of meal wnated. People are saying why should i bother about photos, well they may well be taking photos of us, what do i do. ask to see what photo they took? It is good manners to respect others whilst out, old fashioned and indeed dying out if we take most posts here seriously.

-10 ( +2 / -11 )

2020hindsights; I am talking about my own experiences and i will go to places where we are guarateed a certain amount of peace and quite whilst enjoying dining. So no places ban photography you reckon?

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

2020hindsights; I don't go to Burget King for a speciall occasion so i do not really care. Try taking snippy snaps in some of the good London places and they will politely ask you to stop. You will also be asked to turn off phones in consideration of other diners.

What you expect depends where you dine and what type of atmosphere you want. As i said before i don't mind photos or noisy people in cheaper places where i am just eating but when i am going somewhere special i don't expect people mucking about with cameeras whilst eating.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Mr Mori; There are also places without high price sthat have fantastic food and of course you can take snaps etc, the environment. Used to go to a place near Nishinomiya Hankyu Station with sublime pizzas for 800Yen. Quite small and good place for romantic meal for those on a budget. Japanese eateries have so much to offer outside of bored women taking snaps for a blog only their close circle read.

-12 ( +1 / -12 )

Mr Kempeneer; You seem like a thoroughly decent chap, but these ramen places are like cafes and i guess in those places are fine. But places where one goes on special occasions and serious wedge are involved need better manners.

-12 ( +0 / -10 )

MR Mori;If you need to ask if you can take photos then forget it, you cannot afford those places.

-13 ( +1 / -13 )

smithinjapan; If i pay for a meal whcih costs waht many here earn in a week i expect to enjoy it and to have private personal space, good food and quality service. I am going out for a dining experince not a photography contest. Sure;y it is possible to describ ea meal to a friend rather than take a snap.

Is's ME; Actually the police where i live do not behave in that manner, perhaps in the sticks they behave with a bit more civility. How can a woman make you sleep on a couch? Fistly think of this. You take your wife to a special intimate place and she starts taking nsaps liek a tourist. She would be the one who deserves to sleep on teh coauch or whatever. A broken phone or camera would be a small price to pay for her disgusting manners. BTW, my wife is a lady and would never act is such a poor fashion.

-18 ( +2 / -19 )

it'sME; 21 years and going strong, we are fine thanks.If we were all the same and our women folk also it would be a tediously boring existence.

oberst; The kind of places i am talking about people would not take photos and i would not go to a place that allows it for a intimate special meal. I would not be the only one taking exception to theis type of poor manners.

I think though some may have not read everything i have posted earlier and i indeed stated that i am referring to top end places. Of course if i popped into Burger King or Skylark i would expect noise, possible photos and a completely different atmosphere.

-19 ( +3 / -20 )

cleo; There rae places that actually ban photos and ask for you to turn off your phone because of these idiots. If you are paying a lot of money you expect what you pay for. I think in amny places teh chef or owner would throw peoples cameras or phones in teh aquarium for having poor manners, and too right..

-20 ( +3 / -21 )

lucabrasi; That woudl not bother me because it would not intrude on my special CPFC private space that i am paying good money for. As i said before that some find hard to understand , i would not complain in a cheap place like Mcdonalds or a cafe. You pay for what you get. Seems like many who criticise have never been to teh type of place i mean or they would know that kind of behaviour would see you ejected.

-24 ( +4 / -26 )

ADK99; I am not talking about Gusto of cfaes i am talking about proper restaurants. It is no coincidence that many good restaurants in th world are no asking patrons to turn off their phones and have a no photos allowed policy. The fact is these idiots don't usually take 1 pic, they take numerous of every course. I have seen it happen a couple of times when out.

When you pay 10,000 Yen + for a meal you expect privacy not flashing cameras which you do not know at the time at what they are pointed at.

I am very tolerant. If i got to fast food and cheaper places i expect what i pay for and i expect taht when paying more. Who cares what some half witted shallow woman had for her dinner?

-31 ( +3 / -31 )

Soux Chef; So what are you childishly trying to imply? No, i don't use physical violenec on any family members then again they act with decency and manners unlike meal photographing idiots who are too selfish to consider others.

-32 ( +2 / -31 )

genji17; Wjat Japan do you live in, or what planet are you on? A writer for a magazine does not take photos willy nilly in teh restaurant with paying customers around. If some self centerde idiot wantsphotos for their blog, don't doing during my dinner. In the eye of the locals i am different than most probably incluidng you. I am part of the community and lived for years and i put plenty of time and dosh in the community.

-37 ( +1 / -35 )

Cleo; Photographing things such as a meal are low class and i expect privacy when handing over my money for a meal. It is different in the privacy of your home but i don't expect flashing cameras whilst dining or people chatting on their phones. I am not talking about fast food places or cafe's but places where i would be spending considerable wedge.

-39 ( +2 / -39 )

tokyokawasaki; You are correct. we don't have much chance to go out for a private meal. When we do i don't want flashing cameras during our meal. Of course if someone is celebrating something special on a hen or stag night we can overlook and give them our best luck to the future. However is someone is too self centered to realised that they are disturbing others then it must be pointed out to them. I have been to a couple of places where phones are aksed to be switched off and no photos.

In a few weeks it is our anniversary and i have planned a speacial evening out which includes one of her favourite restaurants and it is not cheap. If someone behaved in a rude way and started taking photos i would expect the staff to reprimand them otherwise i may do and the offenders camera may well accidentaly fall into the restaurants aquarium.

-40 ( +1 / -38 )

johninnahaa; Most of us are not Americans. I myslef am British and if you took a photo of your meal whilst i was dining with my friends we woudl of course let you know that this is bad manners. If you were rude and offensive it may take a good doctor 2 to 3 hours to retreive your camera.

"It's not only women who take photos of food". Indeed it is not, but the 10% or so of te male population who take this kind of photos are hardly likely to dine in places of my choice.

-41 ( +3 / -41 )

genji17; she comes with me and behaves with good manners and i show to her in return.

-51 ( +3 / -50 )

If my wife did this after i had paid for a meal i would smash her phone/camera. Who cares what soemone else ate. What is happening to the world.

-68 ( +6 / -72 )

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