Japan has attracted many visitors thanks to its unique culture, friendly people, and impressive natural scenery. This country also has “unwritten rules, which are the etiquette and customs that you should know.
Before traveling to Japan, you should keep in mind what you are not allowed to do in this country.
Here is a list of things you should never do when visiting Japan.
Do not tip
Unlike other countries, Japanese services don’t require a tip.
If you tip someone in Japan, they will feel confused and give you back.
Sometimes accidentally giving a tip will lead to some unnecessary hassles. Tipped staff will feel guilty because they don’t seem to have done a good job, and some even consider it a loss of their dignity.
You pay for your food, and the waiter gets paid exactly what they have to and did.
So don’t use tips in Japan.
Do not eat when walking
In Japan, people don’t eat or drink while on the go.
Fast food is sold at the counter, and customers will stand to eat on the spot.
Drinks from vending machines will be served immediately, boxes or bottles will be put in the recycling bin next to the machine.
Similarly, eating and drinking on transport is not very polite, except for long-distance trips.
Do not make noise in public transports
On public transport, many people use their phones to text, listen to music, watch videos or read books, but few make phone calls.
If necessary, they only exchange briefly and very quietly.
If you need to use the phone in public transport, try to keep it short and call the other person again when you leave the bus or train.
Do not rush when queuing
Japanese people line up everywhere, at bus stops, train stations, or elevators.
At the train station, people line up at the marked location on the floor. When the train arrives, commuters will wait for people leaving before boarding.
Cutting lines or interrupting will make you “outstanding.”
Do not wear shoes inside
If you don’t want to be judged as disrespectful, do not bring shoes or slippers into the house.
Remove your shoes and sandals at the door, and you will be given a separate pair of slippers. If not, wearing socks or bare feet is an appropriate option.
Do not smoke in public
In most cities, including Tokyo and Osaka, outdoor smoking (especially during the day) can be fined up to 50,000 yen, except for certain designated areas that allow smoking.
Do not shake hands
Most Japanese think that shaking hands is not polite.
Instead of shaking hands, bow to an angle of about 90 degrees when you meet new people to show respect to the other person.
If you meet an older person or a high-status person, a deep bow will be most appropriate.
Don’t bargain when buying
Stores in Japan have a clear price list, so you shouldn’t bargain or ask for a discount like other countries in Asia.
However, when you buy items such as fruits or vegetables in small areas, the sellers are usually happy to give you a little more.