Foreign visitors to Japan are not expected to be well-versed in Japanese etiquette, but understanding a few fundamentals will go a long way toward assisting you in adapting to local customs and avoiding cultural blunders.
If you’re planning a visit to Japan, there are a few cultural pitfalls to avoid!
- Mind Your Chopsticks
- Never put your chopsticks in your rice bowl vertically; it looks like a burial rite.
- Always utilize the chopstick holder next to your plate if you need to set them down.
- Another taboo is using your chopsticks to transmit food to another person’s chopsticks.
- It’s also impolite to rub your chopsticks together.
- Wearing Your Shoes Indoors
When visiting a Japanese home, it is customary to take off your shoes before entering. You’ll carry dirt inside the room if you tread on the ground with bare (or socked) feet, and you’ll be disrespectful to your host.
- Being Loud In Public
In Japan, talking loudly to one other or on the phone is frowned upon when on public transport. If you absolutely need to answer, keep your voice low and your chat brief, or get off the train at the next available station.
- Receiving Things With One Hand
- When giving and receiving things in Japan, particularly little stuff like business cards, both hands are always utilized.
- When paying at a store or cafe, it’s customary to place the money on the small tray next to the cash register rather than handing it to the cashier immediately.
In Japan, pointing at people or things is considered impolite. Instead of pointing with their finger, the Japanese use their hand to gently wave at what they want to convey.
Instead of pointing to themselves, people will tap their noses with their forefinger while referring to themselves.
In any country you visit, having good manners goes a long way. In order to fully comprehend and accept cultural standards, it is necessary to conform oneself to them.
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