An o-shibori (おしぼり or お絞り) or hot towel in English is a wet hand towel offered to customers in places such as restaurants or bars in China and Japan and in some Chinese and many Japanese restaurants worldwide. O-shibori are used to clean one's hands before eating, and have long been a common sight in China and Japan. Cold oshibori are used in summer, and hot oshibori in winter. In mājan parlors, the words atsushibo and tsumeshibo, from the Japanese words atsui (熱い), hot, and tsumetai (冷たい), cold, are sometimes used to refer to hot and cold o-shibori respectively.

from Oshibori (Wikipedia) CC BY SA 3.0

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How to be Polite in a Restaurant in Japan?

These are not just little finger towels placed neatly next to your plate for conveniently wiping stray food off of hands and fingers...these Oshibori are almost like an appetizer to the meal itself. You go into a restaurant, settle in with some water or tea and an Oshibori wet towel. Some places wi…(139 words)