Traveling to Japan for the first time or just arrived there? Then this blog is undoubtedly for you. Here I discussed all the things that you should not do in Japan that can get you in trouble or caught by the police!! (worst scenario) We often get into trouble with the things that we do compare to things we do not.
Japanese Culture is unique from the rest of the world in every aspect, whether it is food or clothing, travel, or history. It never forgets to amaze travelers and newbies. Followings are the 12 things not do in Japan:
Do not eat or take a drink while walking:
Sounds weird, right? Yes, you should not be eating or drinking while walking!. There is no legal obligation to it, and the police will no arrest you for not practicing it. But there is high social pressure which discourages this and if you are daring enough to give yourself a chance, then get ready to experience awkward stares from surrounding and the feeling of being alien in japan.
It is not just a Japanese cultural thing but has many social benefits. For instance, you are carrying coffee in your hand, and suddenly you bump into someone, your whole coffee will become another person’s shirt print and ruin their day.
Do not ignore chopstick etiquette:
Chopsticks are the first thing that comes in our mind when we think of Japanese food etiquettes. Japanese mostly eat food with chopsticks, rice, noodles, sushi, so I recommend you to learn its basics and they take special attention towards its etiquettes:
- Never play with chopsticks, like spinning and especially rubbing with each other. It is considered rude in Japan as you are humiliating the host or restaurant owner to provide low-quality sticks.
- Never put sticks vertically up in food. It symbolizes funeral food and always use chopsticks holder to keep them.
- Do not pass food to someone from chopstick to chopstick; this is also a symbol of funeral food.
Do not speak loud on the phone in public transport:
It is highly discouraged to speak on the phone on public transport. Again this is very shocking for foreigners as we have a habit of making long phone conversations during travel to kill time, but you can be caught by police and thrown out!!
The most common Japanese public transport trains and most of the time, it is full of passengers. Japanese is a very hardworking nation, and they have very long working hours; on the way home, many of them fall asleep. Likewise, many people are ill or mentally stressed, and they Do not want to listen to your story, but you are forcing them to do so against their will and irritating them. To take good care of their people, there are weird laws in japan like this one.
Do not blow your nose in public
It would be best if you never blew your nose in public. It is okay to blow your nose in a handkerchief or tissue paper in many countries while you are in public, but the Japanese do not do this. Even in trains, there are compartments between carriages to avoid infecting other people from the flu or virus.
Do not get physical:
The specialty of Japanese culture is respected; they Do not get physical in the first meeting or shake hands; instead, they bow in front of each other, symbolizing respect. So in the first meeting, do not try to get physical or shake hands, but when they want to show old business terms and long friendship, they shake hands.
Do not underrate the significance of the business card:
A question must have struck in your head, why business cards are so important in Japan? In many countries, we take the business card as a paper with a written person’s name and number. But in Japan business card is taken as a physical representation of the company.
Here is a business tip, if someone gives you his/her business card read it meticulously and put it in the card folder or on the table, and Do not put in your back pocket in front of them. And always keep your business card with you, never know when you need to present your company.
Do not be over-opinionated:
To be judgemental is one of the first things not to do in Japan. There is a very great thing in Japanese etiquette that they are not over-opinionated or straight forward and do not judge people at first sight. They never make an individual judgment on someone’s first expression but always give others a chance to prove themselves even when they are sure about something. They always take time before they pass their decision or judgment.
Many exciting incidents happen with me, many times during discussion or making a business deal. I knew the other person’s ultimate answer and eagerly wanted him to reply to him right now. Still, he always took a day before giving any explanation. From this, I learned a lesson, do not make an opinion or pass judgment in a hurry, and always take time to make a decision.
Do not get in the house with shoes on:
To keep shoes out of the house is an essential Japanese etiquette, so do not forget to take off your shoes at the house’s doorstep and wear in house slippers before getting into the house.
To keep shoes out is not just Japanese but an Asian culture. In Japan, there is a small area at the entrance in every house reserved to keep shoes and in-house slippers, and there is a small step up, which indicates that you cannot take on outside shoes from here.
That is not just in the house, but several other places like shrine, temples, and schools also have this rule. So wherever you see a line of shoes outside, it should be obvious to take off shoes. Do not even dare to ignore this manner, or somebody will kick you out of that place.
Trust me; it is a personal experience!!
Do not litter
While preparing for a trip to Japan, prepare your mind to carry litter for very long distances and not rubbish despite the frustrating absence of bins. Sometimes, you have to walk for a few kilometers to find a dustbin.
But surprisingly, the streets of Japan are spotless despite long distances between the dustbin. The Japanese carry trash with them unless they find a proper place for disposal, only outside of the convenience store. People buy food or drink, have them, throw the trash in the bin, and then move on. That is another reason why you won’t see anyone eating while walking.
Do not get into the public bath without a shower:
It sounds quite weird; why we go into the pool if already taken a shower?
There are public baths in Japan both for men and women separately, where they take a bath with many other strangers. That may sound not very comforting to you, but the Japanese enjoy it very much. To keep water as clean as possible. so it is compulsory to have a shower before getting into the bathing pool so that so you should wash any dirt or dust from the body and everyone enjoys a clean and mesmerizing experience.
Do not cross on red:
You’ll be thinking, why I’m telling this? No one cross on red. But the unique thing is not to cross on red even the traffic is absent. That may sound silly, but it is one of the Japanese things to do. The essence behind the wait is not standing but to respect the state’s laws and make a habit of following rules. Because all rules are there, people to benefit and break a rule create a habit to break the rules.
So if you get impatient while standing there and crossed the road, then be ready to take foreigner rule breaker looks’ from surroundings which follow all the day and make you feel guilty.
Do not tip in Japan:
You might be thinking why it is rude to tip in Japan?. As tips add a little extra income into the waiter’s wallet. Many consider it to be a good thing. But whenever you tried to do it, you’ll be called by someone from the back and asked to take your money with you. Japanese believe in 120% of customer service \. They include everything in the bill, so when we are trying to tip them, they get offended as we are trying to pay for their hosting, which can’t be paid by money.
And surprisingly, this saves 40% of the money we spent on food every month. So you can have more dinners out!
These were things not to do in Japan and the last thing is do not worry about each and everything and do not be stressed. Every place is different from others, and it takes time and observation to understand it. And the Japanese are very friendly, and they always give a chance to make mistakes