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10 things you should never do in Japan


A special country like Japan with its distinctive culture can intimidate and embarrass tourists with the rules and laws that govern public life and social relations. Travelers who enter Japan are not expected to know Japanese etiquette and social norms, but being familiar with a few basic norms will be very influential in helping you adjust to domestic customs and refrain from making cultural mistakes. If you decide to travel to Japan, the following list consists of things you should never do in Japan.

Things you should never do in Japan

Tipping is not allowed.

1.Tipping is not allowed.

Although in some countries like the USA it is very common and even necessary to pay a tip, in Japan it is not common and customary to leave a tip and it can be even regarded as a rude or even offensive act. In fact, your server is not expected to follow you outside of the restaurant to get the tip that is left on the table. This rule is not applicable to servers only.  This unwritten rule is also applicable to hairdressers, taxi drivers, and hotel employees. The Japanese culture puts a strong emphasis on dignity and respect and staff consider their hard work and exceptional service as a part of their job. Tipping is one of the things you should never do in Japan.

2. Don’t put on shoes inside

This unwritten rule applies to some other Asian countries, but in Japan, it is much more important! The people who live in a house should obey the strict no-shoes-inside rules. Some workspaces, schools, restaurants, and hotels, may request their guests and employees to take off their shoes and wear indoor slippers or shoes. Wearing shoes inside is one of the things you should never do in Japan.

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Do not talk loudly on public transport

3.Do not talk loudly on public transport

The number of rules that is applicable to public transport like buses and trains in Japan is very few. One of the most significant things a tourist must not do in Japan is talking loudly on buses and trains! It is something completely noticeable that most Japanese people sit silently on the train and talking loudly or any other distractions is considered to be insulting. If you want to talk, you should be prudent and careful.

What is not allowed in Japan?

4. Obey the rules of chopstick etiquette.

This is one of the most important points which is overlooked by many visitors. Imagine this, you’re eating at a restaurant or at a friend’s home and you want to take a break between eating. But you are not aware that what you should do with your chopsticks, thus you may just put them in the rice. But this is not an acceptable act! This is the symbol of death, and people usually do this during funerals in Japan, it can also stand for bad luck. You can put your chopsticks either onto the provided rest or next to your bowl.

5.Do not overlook the queuing system

This is a taken-for-granted rule, but in some countries ignoring the queuing system is completely normal (and perhaps is the only way to get to the front. Still, it is completely different with Japan, since Japanese people take this rule very seriously. Japanese people are very urbane and well-mannered, and will stand in a row in an organized way for everything from the train, bus, a seat in a restaurant and etc. They are just fond of a good queue. There are also a set of marks on the floor to tell you where to stand while waiting at the bus station.

10 things you should never do in Japan

6.Do not open the taxi door yourself

This is one of the strangest rules that you have ever heard about it. Most people who travel to Japan don’t have an idea that the driver opens the taxi doors. When you want to take a taxi, you must wait until the drivers open the back door before you can get into the taxi. This is done to ensure the safety of the drivers. When you get out of the taxi, the driver will also open the doors once you’ve paid.

READ MORE:  the art of henna in Muslim cultures

7. Don’t point

It is rude and insulting behavior to point at things and people in Japan. Rather than making use of a finger to point at something, the Japanese people make use of a hand to calmly wave at what they want to show. When talking about themselves, they usually utilize their forefinger to touch their nose rather than pointing at themselves. It’s also regarded as rude behavior to make use of your chopsticks to refer to something. Pointing at others is one of the things you should never do in Japan.

What is not allowed in Japan?

8.Do not eat and drink on the go

This is undoubtedly one of the most difficult customs to follow! It is such a unique and unrepeatable experience to explore a new city with delicious food in hand, eating and enjoying the interesting places as you go along. You will be in difficulty eating and drinking while enjoying seeing the city, and there are selected places to eat in public in Japan.

9.Avoid getting into a bathtub before showering first.

It is very common to have a good soothing soak in Japan. There are so many amazing onsens around that make you try them even for once! Of course, there are a few severe and unwritten rules about using these onsens. One of these unwritten rules which are easily ignored is showering before getting into the bathtub! It is not good for anyone to remain in a hot bath with other people. You should completely clean yourself before getting in. You should also do the same when you want to get out.

10. Do not give and receive things with one hand.

In Japan, people always make use of both hands when they want to give and receive things, such as small objects. When you want to pay the cost of purchased things in a shop or cafe, you should put the money on the tiny tray close to the cash register rather than giving it directly to the cashier.

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