Planning For a Japan Trip? Some Customs and Ways You Need to Know and Learn
Japan is a very progressive country that is being travelled by many tourists because of its rich culture and amazing industrial structures. But if you decide to go to Japan, there are customs you need to know to avoid getting embarrassed or insulted. Japanese are very protective of their culture and you need to respect them if you want to be respected as well. Learning their ways is a great addition to your travel experiences while enjoying its culture.
Here are some customs you need to learn and know before going on a trip to Japan:
- Bowing, a sign of respect: bowing is a signature gesture of Japanese that shows respect to someone. The inclination and duration of the bow depends on the level of the person, but for tourists, a simple bow or inclination of the head will usually suffice. Also, when addressing someone in Japan, you should add the suffix “san” or “sama” to their last name as a sign of respect to the person you are referring.
- Some table manners: when in a dinner party and received a drink, you should wait until everyone is served before raising it to your lips. Wait for someone to finish his speech, raise his drink and shout “kampai” which means cheers.
Most Japanese restaurants offer a small wet cloth to be used in washing your hands before eating. Never mistake it for a napkin or use it for wiping any part of your face. After using, carefully fold it and put it back on the table.
It is ok to slurp noodles or make loud noises when eating because it shows that you enjoy the food. Raising your bowl of rice to your mouth is also acceptable to make it easier to eat with chopsticks.
- Tipping is not in Japan’s culture: unlike other countries, tipping in Japan is kind of an insult. There is no tipping either in restaurants or cabs since the services provided are covered with the price given. In Japan, a price is a price.
- Using chopsticks: if you decide to visit Japan, you need to at least learn how to use chopsticks since they use it most of time when they are eating. Using chopsticks is not that hard to learn. Don’t be surprised if you get a look of amazement the way you eat like Japanese if you are dining with some of them.
- Threshold manners: Japanese are known for their cleanliness and orderly manner. When you are visiting a home or a hotel, taking off your shoes is a polite way of showing respect. A rack is provided where you can put on your shoes and a pair of guest slippers is just nearby for you to use. Don’t forget to remove toilet slippers for it is extremely bad manner to reenter the main room wearing dirty slippers.
Surely Japan is a wonderful country that you can go to. While enjoying the city’s wonderful attraction sights, it is also enriching to learn their cultures and ways. Just be sure to learn a few of their cultures to have a more enjoyable visit like using chopsticks when eating and taking off your shoes or slippers when entering someone else’s house. Be respectful to other’s culture.