If you are considering visiting Japan, then there are some things you need to know the country most especially about their cultures and customs very well. You should know their manners and cultural rules to avoid any offensive behavior. In reality, most countries have their own rules of society and you should always respect it. Japanese people usually take care of their guests and they usually welcome their visitors cordially.
But, these polite and reserved people might notice all your manners and behaviors towards them. So, you should know some basic behavioral dos and don’ts, before you travel to the country.
1. Don’t bathe dirty: This very first point might be a surprise to you. Those deep relaxing ofuro tubs you see are for soaking and soothing, not for cleaning. You must soap and scrub yourself in the adjacent shower and then you can take a spa like soaking in the steaming hot water. Remember; don’t flush out the water after from the tub, because many people can be waiting in there to enter into the same tub.
2. Don’t tip when visiting Japan: All the types of workers in Japan usually get proportionate wages. Therefore, they don’t usually practice tipping in Japan. You shouldn’t try to tip any Taxi driver, waiter and hairstylist. They may take it as an insult. Therefore, it is important for you to remember this just to safe yourself from any awkwardness.
3. Don’t queue for the next stall: People living in Japan don’t usually form a line to go the restroom. It is their culture to use a restroom randomly without forming any line. Ain’t it weird? Yes, it’s actually a different culture than the western people. Being in a desperate condition will make this system to be frustrating to you. But, you just don’t have a choice except, relying on your luck.
4. Don’t litter in Japan: There are some impressive manners you can find in Japan. In Japan, they recycle most of their garbage and you just don’t see any rubbish on the streets at all. While American recycles 20% of their garbage, Japanese recycle 77% of their garbage. It is really an impressive action. From a young age Japanese kids are taught, to desist from throwing rubbish on the ground. So, they have this awesome convention which we should follow.
5. Don’t sip or snack while walking: It is not accepted to chew or much any food while walking or moving on the street in Japan. They usually respect their food. Itadakimasu (I humbly receive) is a prayer and they begin their meals after this prayer. One great thing you will notice while visiting is that all the fast food restaurants and food stalls have a place to “sit and eat”.
6. Don’t pour your own drink: There is one interesting tradition in Japan, whereby it can be beneficial to a foreigner. It is a custom to constantly refill the cups or glass of friends and family. Special guests from another land are likely to receive more attention and your drink will be forever full but you should remember to return the favor. (Kampai = Cheers).