Things to know when drinking in public
When it comes to drinking alcoholic beverages with someone there are many unwritten rules in Japanese society. First you cannot start drinking until everybody's drinks are served and ready. Yes even you bought your own beverage you need to wait for others. Then some one lead to say Cheers! the rest of people followed then you can start drinking. Kanpai! is Cheers in Japanese. Next we serve each other. Pouring your own beverage is considered to be a bad manner. You need to look around the table to find if any one holding an empty cup you have to pour it to him or her. It's his or her turn to pour their cup and vice versa. During being pouring you need to hold the cup with both hands. At finish you should say Thank you! express appreciation. Always younger persons have to do first serve to elder's. One more thing. There is a seating order everybody knows. The seats far from the door is considered as a primary seats. We call it Kamiza, literally means Upper seat. Closer to the door is the opposite usually younger ones seats. If you have honored person like a boss, a teacher or elderly persons have to sit in those Kamiza seats. I didn't appreciate all these rules when I was young.