Folded hand towels against a gray background
The Correct Way To Use The Wet Towel When Dining At A Japanese Restaurant
Rolled, miniature wet towels known as oshibori or otefuki may be presented to you when you dine at a Japanese restaurant. The towels will be warm or cool, depending on the season.
As tempting as it may be to warm up or cool down by using these towels on your face or neck, they're given to you so you can clean your hands before tucking into your meal.
If your towel arrives on a tray, wipe your hands and set back down on the tray with the used area folded inside. Otherwise, you can just put it on the table off to the side.
These towels are a sign of hospitality and allow you to enjoy your meal without worrying that your hands are dirty. If you need to wipe your face or neck, do so in the washroom.