Wood Spoons


The Japanese eat food predominantly with chopsticks. Japanese restaurants in the U.S. provide ladles for miso soup, but proper Japanese etiquette is to sip it directly from the bowl. Japanese never use ladles for miso soup. Japanese restaurants in the U.S. are just accommodating for the people who consider sipping from the bowl is bad manner.

However, there is a place for spoons on the Japanese table. They are used for congee, soft tofu, or other soupy soft food. Metal spoons could be used, but warm wood spoons match better with chopsticks and other Japanese tableware. They can be lacquered or varnished just as chopsticks.

As shown in the example photos, they are spoons rather than ladles. The ladles which are provided at Japanese restaurants all over the United States are actually Chinese style.

Japanese style wood spoons can be found at Japanese specialty stores and online.


  1. peter meadow says:

    love these red wood japanese spoons. where can i buy them?

    • Hi Peter, I bought them in Japan. Lacquered tableware is hard to find in the U.S., because it splits and peels when it’s brought to the U.S., for some reason. The bottom spoon is actually a fake (plastic), and the middle one is the last surviving lacquered spoon.

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