Every culture and society has its own set of taboos or unspoken rules that, when broken, are considered rude, insulting, or offensive.
So when traveling to Japan as a first-time tourist, it’s important to know some of the do’s and don’ts of their culture to prevent awkward moments or insulting a host.
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The Japanese culture is an intriguing mix of both openness and almost ritualistic propriety. And while they share some of our own taboos, much of what seems normal to us would be unthinkable or outright insulting to them.
Contrary to what some people would like to believe nowadays, as a visitor to a foreign country, the onus is on you, not the locals, to conform.
Of course, as a foreigner (and you will ALWAYS be a foreigner to the Japanese, no matter how long you’re there), you’re granted a lot of leeway in this because you’re not expected to know all of the social no-no’s.
But it’s still in your best interest to learn them as it shows a level of respect towards the people they might not expect.
Don’t worry, most of these are very simple and won’t cause you too much hassle.
Some are a bit HARDER for foreigners, particularly Americans, to adjust to due to our physical modesty from our Quaker roots.
But, now that the introduction is out of the way, let’s get started.
Here are the dos and don’ts for first-time tourists in Japan:
- 1. Don’t stick chopsticks in rice.
- 2. Do slurp!
- 3. Don’t pour your own drink.
- 4. Do accept gifts when given.
- 5. Don’t tip.
- 6. Do drink alcohol in public.
- 7. Don’t be loud on public transportation.
- 8. Do be open toward sexual openness.
- 9. Don’t walk on the wrong side.
- 10. Do ask someone’s age.
- 11. Don’t touch.
- 12. Do take your shoes off.
- 13. Don’t blow your nose.
- 14. Do dress to impress.
- 15. Don’t address someone by their given name (without permission).
- 16. Do call for your waiter at a restaurant.
- 17. Don’t get into the tub without taking a shower.
- 18. Do abide by “random” police searches.
- 19. Don’t walk while eating.
- 20. Do check if your medications are legal.
- 21. Don’t maintain eye contact.
- 22. Do expect to be declined service sometimes.
- 23. Don’t go to a tattoo parlor (unless they’re certified).
- 24. Do smoke in designated areas.
- 25. Don’t be like Logan Paul (an annoying tourist)
1. Don’t stick chopsticks in rice.
Here’s one that most tourists to Japan would never think of. After all, rice makes such a good spot to rest your hashi (chopsticks). However, in Japanese culture sticking chopsticks into the rice is reserved for funerals. And doing so outside of that circumstance is viewed as very disrespectful.
So when you’re done eating for a moment and want to rest your chopsticks for a moment, lay them across the top of the bowl. If you’re eating a set meal, there is sometimes a hashioki (chopstick rest) included. If so, place them there instead.
Other things considered bad mannered regarding chopsticks include:
- Pointing with chopsticks.
- Moving bowls or plates around with them.
- Spearing food (as you would with a fork).
- Using the same end to eat and take shared food with.
- Passing food to another person’s chopsticks. This is also only done at funerals.
- Playing with them.
2. Do slurp!
This one may seem silly to mention, especially after such a heavy topic as the previous one, but you might be surprised how much this one annoys foreigners.
I remember the first time my mother visited me in Japan. Out of everything about the culture, this is the one she just couldn’t get over.
Ramen is the most perfect food ever devised by man.
But one look at chopsticks will tell you that they aren’t made for soup. This is where slurping comes in! Slurping noodles allows the noodles to bring the soup to you.
Sure, there’s a spoon with the ramen, but that’s mainly used after the noodles are gone. Slurping also cools the noodles, as ramen is intended to be eaten immediately upon being served.
Slupring also lets the cook know you enjoy the meal. More sound means you can’t get enough!
So go ahead and slurp all you want! Just try not to be messy about it.
3. Don’t pour your own drink.
This one is another one most foreigners wouldn’t think twice about, but is also considered rude and of poor etiquette to pour one’s own, or allow another to pour their own drink. This is a common courtesy that even I find myself forgetting from time to time.
Particularly after a trip home where it’s not a thing. Now, this doesn’t mean you should pick up your glass and start waving it at someone saying, “I want more beer!”
Instead, this one is something of a game of subtle clues. It’s usually best to be the first to offer as Japan is a very status-driven culture. And as a foreigner, you are usually just above children in status until you integrate yourself into a group.
4. Do accept gifts when given.
As a bit of an offshoot of western modesty, we tend to play a game where we turn down gifts until it’s clear that it’s being truly given. Think about when someone buys your coffee or gifts you something.
Your first reaction is to protest the gift and say something like, “It’s okay, you don’t need to do that.”
I call this a game. Because everyone knows it’s expected.
In fact, it’s often perceived as rude to just accept a gift without protesting it first. A similar game is played in Japan. But, unlike in western cultures, an actual refusal of the gift is considered very rude, disrespectful, and a bit of bad luck.
So, in Japan (and in very Japanese fashion), there is actually sort of a tradition in gift-giving and receiving. The best way to accept a gift is to politely refuse it once or twice, but no more than three times.
Then, accept the gift with both hands while bowing and say, arigatou gozaimasu (thank you). Unless specifically asked to do so, never open the gift in front of the giver; it gives the impression that the gift is more important than the person.
Other things to remember with gifts include:
- Give gifts at the end of the visit, privately if possible.
- When giving gifts, as with receiving, pass the gift to the person with both hands while bowing slightly.
- When giving the gift, it’s common to say, “tsumarainai mono desu ga.” Which translates to, “it’s boring, but please accept it.”
- Avoid giving gifts in groups of 4 or 9 (e.g., giving 4 cupcakes). The number 4 (shi) in Japanese sounds like their word for death (shinu), and 9 (ku) sounds like suffering (kurushimi). It’s like you’re wishing death or suffering on the person.
5. Don’t tip.
This one is actually one of my favorites (and will appear again on another list I’m writing). Tipping in Japan is a big no-no in almost all situations outside of foreigner owned bars.
In fact, tipping your waiter, hotel, taxi, etc. is considered rather insulting in most cases. As if you’re looking down on them for the job they’re performing.
So when you’re done your meal, thank the person who brings the check, and just pay without trying to figure out what 15% of 3700 yen is.
6. Do drink alcohol in public.
This one is actually my favorite difference between the country’s laws because I feel like it just treats people like adults.
Much to my surprise, when I tell people about this law back home I’m often treated to wide-eyes and remarks like, “I can’t imagine how much-drunk driving they have” or “The streets must be filled with drunks.” The entire concept is ridiculous to them.
Some key differences here:
- The legal drinking age is 20.
- Public consumption of alcohol is legal anywhere.
- Homebrewing of alcohol over 1% is illegal (though rarely enforced).
- Alcohol sales are 24/7.
- 0.03 BAC constitutes Driving Under the Influence (DUI) ((Arrest of a U.S. Citizen | U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Japan. (2018, August 8). Retrieved October 21, 2019, from https://jp.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/arrest-of-a-u-s-citizen/)).
- Drunk driving is severely punished.
I bet some of you are sitting there wondering how this could be possible while still having a functioning society. Well, America used to have similar laws, until people with dumb ideas about alcohol took power.
The main reason this works in Japan is that alcohol is so deeply ingrained into their culture that only green tea is a more culturally relevant beverage. This means that alcohol isn’t both glorified and taboo like it is in America.
Alcohol, instead, is just part of life here.
Now, there is certainly public drunkenness here, but in a very Japanese fashion. As long as you’re not directly bothering others, driving, or committing a crime, then it’s not a crime to be drunk in public.
It’s not uncommon to see a group of friends carrying one of their own back to the train when they’ve had too much. Or, salarymen drinking all night with their bosses, only to sleep it off at work the next day.
For those of you worrying about drunk drivers, don’t. Drunk driving isn’t a big problem here.
As pointed out above if you’re caught driving while drunk you could face immediate revocation of your license, fines in the range of $5,000-$10,000, and imprisonment of 2 or more years. And remember, that’s just for a DUI. If you hit someone, or god forbid, kill someone, it’s over. You’ll be spending the majority of your life in a Japanese prison.
7. Don’t be loud on public transportation.
If you’re traveling in a group, then try and keep yourselves together and speak quietly to avoid being a nuisance to those around you. This includes phones as well.
Avoid making phone calls, playing videos with sound, etc. If you’re listening to music on headphones, keep it from being heard by others.
There are a lot of people living in Japan in very small spaces, so the Japanese live by the concept of oyomiyari, or having compassion and being considerate of those around you.
While we’re on the subject of public transportation, you should also know these bits of etiquette:
- Always give up your seat to the elderly, mothers, or expecting mothers.
- Don’t use your phone near the designated handicap and elderly seating areas.
- Don’t speak across from you. Sit next to the person you wish to speak to.
- Don’t eat on the train, bus, or while walking down the street. Drinking is okay.
- Respect the “Women Only” train cars during the designated times.
- Don’t cross your legs. I’ll admit, I’m guilty of this one. But it’s viewed as rude because it’s considered very casual, and it takes up more space on the train.
8. Do be open toward sexual openness.
This one is without a doubt the biggest culture shock for westerners, particularly Americans, with our prudish heritage.
If you’ve ever seen a Japanese anime or manga, then you have at least some idea of how the Japanese view sexuality in media. But you may not be ready for some of the other ways they’re more open about it.
For instance, they’re not over-protective of their children when it comes to adult content. It’s not uncommon to find adult porn manga next to the teen or children’s manga in stores. The same goes for pornography magazines. They don’t cover them up as you would see in an American store.
They have entire stores dedicated to adult media, including rooms to…uh, watch them in. There are many hotels specializing in hourly rentals where couples can get away from families and have fun.
Kawasaki has a yearly fertility festival where the participants carry Mishioki (religious palanquin) with giant carved penises for all to celebrate. This festival is also famous for phallus-shaped treats, such as genital lollipops. And in case you’re wondering, this is a family event, and yes, you’ll see many kids with these treats.
9. Don’t walk on the wrong side.
This one may sound a bit weird, but it is born from the density of cities like Tokyo. When you walk on the wrong side you impede the flow of pedestrians and mess up the orderliness that Japan loves so much.
This is especially true regarding escalators and moving walkways. For Americans, this means walking on the left side. When on escalators and moving walkways, it means standing on the left and passing on the right (unless you’re in the Kansai region, where this is reversed).
If you fail to do this, expect a lot of people to be very angry with you. If you’re ever wondering which side you should be on, just follow the flow of locals.
10. Do ask someone’s age.
For what will surely come as a shock to the female readers out there, asking a person how old they are is usually one of the first questions you’ll be asked in a casual conversation with a Japanese national.
There are probably a few reasons for this. It’s a good ice breaker question as it opens the conversation up a bit to follow-up questions.
Another probable reason is that Japan’s social structure and hierarchy puts a lot of emphasis on respect towards those older than yourself. And, just as we have a lot of trouble telling how old Asians are by looks, they too have trouble telling how old foreigners are by our looks alone.
So in order to figure out the baseline level of respect to be given to a person from the outset, an age is needed. Expect this question to be turned into a game of guessing the other person’s age. You should also be prepared to be assumed to be far older than you really are (I have been regularly assumed to be 37 from the time I was 25).
To go along with this, you should also prepare to be asked what your job is. That said, NEVER ask someone how much they make. This is rude in America too but is doubly so in Japan.
11. Don’t touch.
Touching in Japan is more or less taboo depending on where you are. In the Kansai region, for example, touching isn’t that big of a deal. You’ve much more likely to see locals holding hands, hugging, nudging one another, etc. It’s a bit more conservative, but not too unlike what you may be used to.
Contrast this to the Tokyo region, where intentional contact with a co-worker or stranger could get you labeled a weirdo or pervert. Likewise, public displays of affection are viewed as weird and rude. This could seem like it’s not a big deal until you realize how much of your own culture relies on physical contact.
Handshakes (which are less taboo in business situations), nudging, touching to get someone’s attention, we use these physical cues in much of our lives without thinking. But it’s all considered rude in Japan.
Public Displays of Affection (PDA), however, is the taboo I have the hardest time with (just ask my wife). Instead, stick with bowing and limiting touching to friends who have clearly made their feelings on it known to you.
As with most taboos and courtesies, there are different rules for close friends and loved ones, and what is acceptable for the public.
12. Do take your shoes off.
The most well-known Japanese taboo, removing your shoes before entering a tatami room or in a private home’s entryway or genkan, is an absolute must. It is partly a cleanliness issue, and partly a holdover from a time where a home’s flooring was completely made of tatami mats, where shoes would damage them.
As for the cleanliness part, many people in Japan still sit on their floors and roll out futons to sleep on. To do those things in places where shoes have tracked god knows what kind of germs on is really gross.
Instead, there are commonly house slippers that are worn inside the house. This is also true for toilet rooms, where there are often slippers meant only for those rooms.
Honestly, this is just good practice for all houses. Think about where you walk each day outside. Do you really want that on your floor?
13. Don’t blow your nose.
As soon as you first step foot in Japan you’ll quickly notice one thing. “Man, there sure are a lot of doctors here.”
That’s because there are a ton of people walking around in surgical masks in public. The reason for this is yet another thing I think us westerners could learn from the Japanese, that’s proper hygiene.
People wear masks for two reasons in Japan. To prevent getting others sick, and to prevent getting sick from others.
Think of how many germs are transferred every time you cough or sneeze. Without a mask, where are those germs going? Either onto your clothes or hands or into the surrounding area. That’s pretty gross.
This brings us to why blowing your nose in public is rude. Think of blowing your nose as a basically you announcing to the world, “Hey, I’m sick and I don’t care if I get you sick too.”
So if you get sick, be considerate. Go to the nearest convenience store and buy a pack of face masks.
If you have to blow your nose, try and keep sniffle and bear it until you can reach a bathroom. No matter how gross it sounds to keep sniffing, the Japanese won’t mind, as long as you’re wearing a mask.
14. Do dress to impress.
Japan has an interesting view when it comes to an acceptable dress. And it’s different for men and women.
For men, it’s very unusual to wear shorts and open-toed shoes outside of a beach or pool. Basically, if you want to wear them, water should be involved. So, stick to jeans or slacks with casual shoes. As for tops, there are few restrictions I can think of.
It’s a bit more complicated for women. Contrary to what you have seen in manga or anime, Japan, is a bit more conservative when it comes to how women dress. At least, as far as tops go. Exposing too much cleavage or shoulder is considered scandalous; no matter how hot it is outside.
If you still choose to expose cleavage, expect to attract a lot of attention. The rules are totally different from bottoms though.
Micro-skirts, tiny shorts, and other clothing which leaves little to the imagination are commonplace here, no matter how cold it is. As weird as this may sound, you can basically expose all of your legs, and quite a bit of your butt as long as your torso to the neck is covered.
You’re actually pretty unlikely to see a woman walking around in pants or slacks unless they’re wearing a business suit. So if you’re visiting Japan, keeping these clothing conventions in mind to avoid awkward stares. Also read our, what to pack for Japan.
15. Don’t address someone by their given name (without permission).
Admittedly, this one is less of a problem for foreigners, only because the Japanese understand how we speak to one another. They understand that we will generally give our given names when meeting for the first time, and (usually) do the same.
Even so, they will also usually give both their family name and given name in an introduction. If they don’t, use the name they gave you.
But, if they do give both (the family would be the first name they give you), use their family name followed by –san until they tell you otherwise. In fact, even if they give you their given name, use –san until they say otherwise as well.
–san is an honorific roughly translating to Mr. or Mrs. It’s a sign of respect.
Family honor is still a large part of Japanese (and Asian as a whole) culture, which is why they give it before their own name. It represents that the family’s honor comes first, then the self.
16. Do call for your waiter at a restaurant.
I remember my first time eating at a restaurant in Japan. The second most embarrassing thing that happened to me was that I sat at a table for 30 minutes without service and couldn’t figure out why.
Well, it turns out that in Japan, unlike America, the waiters need to be called before they come to you. The idea is that you are there to enjoy your meal and you shouldn’t be interrupted while doing so.
So don’t expect the waiter to come to ask you how your meal is, and if you need anything else 3 or 4 times during your meal like in America. To make this easier, most restaurants come with call buttons on the tables. You press it and the waiter will come and help you (I didn’t know this during the first visit).
However, if you’re at a restaurant that doesn’t have this, or you’re sitting at a counter, simply look towards the waiter and say, “Sumimasen” and they’ll come to assist you.
Oh, and to answer the question some of you may be thinking about. The first most embarrassing thing that happened to me in that restaurant was that I couldn’t figure out how to open the door to get inside.
It was my first experience with an automatic door that had a touch-sensitive part of the glass which opened it. Luckily, a 6-year-old was nearby to help show me how to operate it…
After I walked into it once and was jumping around trying to get a sensor that didn’t exist to open the door.
17. Don’t get into the tub without taking a shower.
I was very late to the party on this one (thanks to that western sense of modesty). But trust me, Japanese onsens (hot spring bath) are one of the most incredible and relaxing experiences you can have during your visit.
If you’re in Tokyo, you must visit the Oedo Onsen theme park in Odaiba for the ultimate Japanese bath experience.
As long as you can move past the whole ‘bathing with strangers while totally naked’ part, then it can become one of the highlights of your trip.
All that said, there are a few bits of etiquette here to remember. Most importantly is to shower before entering the tub! The reason for this may seem obvious; you’re bathing with others. But it’s also because the baths are there to clean you, they’re there to relax you.
I personally try to avoid baths where foreigners go because of how often this seemingly simple rule is forgotten, ignored, or simply isn’t known.
As I said, the shower is the most important rule, but other rules to remember are as follows:
- Don’t dip your hair into the water. So, my wife tells me this is a rule, but I’ve never seen it followed on the men’s side. So this is a rule for long-haired individuals or women only.
- Don’t touch others. For obvious reasons.
- Don’t talk loudly in the sauna.
- Don’t splash around in the water. Mostly for kids. (One more note for kids. Don’t be surprised to see kids of the opposite gender in your room. This is true for both sides, but it is usually more of a women’s room thing. I’m unsure at what age they must use the bath of their gender.)
- Don’t get into the baths soapy, and don’t use soap in the baths.
18. Do abide by “random” police searches.
While I can say that this has never personally happened to me in 10 years of living here, the internet is filled with accounts of expats and tourists being “randomly selected” for search by police officers.
While this may seem outrageous to Americans, the police are completely within their rights to do this.
Japan doesn’t mess around when it comes to illegal immigration. So if you’re doing something even slightly fishy, the police can check to ensure you’re in the country legally.
This means you MUST have your passport, residency card on you at all times. If not, the police can detain you, and, if you’re indignant about the search, fine you up to $1,000.
This also means if you have any prescription drugs on you, you better have all the required forms mentioned above, and not tried to sneak in any prohibited items.
Many times, police will wait outside of popular nightclubs to search patrons leaving for prohibited drugs and proper paperwork. Not that I expect any of you to be involved with such nefarious dealings, but Japan is NOT a country to try it.
19. Don’t walk while eating.
In today’s busy world, you may be used to grabbing a quick bite to eat on your walk to work, or while riding the bus or taxi. Well, all of that is frowned upon in Japan.
It shows a lack of respect for the food and the work which went into making it. This is a sentiment I can really get behind.
Food should be cherished and enjoyed with others. You should savor the food and live in the moment with each bite.
Getting back on topic, this idea may seem a bit out of place when you visit Japan and realize that food vendors and vending machines are everywhere. Even so, you’re expected to go to a designated area, maybe a bench, a table, or just out of the way, and eat there.
Just don’t walk away from the vendor while eating it, unless it’s something like ice cream. This last one even I don’t understand, but it’s apparently frowned upon.
Now, this is the rule you’ll see most often broken by tourists and locals alike, at least on the street. But that doesn’t make it any less frowned upon. So, if you’re making a real effort to be a considerate tourist, just don’t do it.
Although the two countries heavily influence one another, Japanese and American cultures differ on a lot in some pretty surprising ways. Some of these differences may seem obvious while others are pretty subtle.
These differences have led to some pretty different laws and social norms, some of which leave the average American shocked and, sometimes, even a little disgusted.
Well, I’m here to point out some of these differences in order to better prepare you for your adventure to this incredible country, in order to lessen the culture shock you’re sure to experience.
20. Do check if your medications are legal.
American tourists are allowed to bring up to a two month supply of certain OTC medications, as well as a one month supply of prescription medications. But what is legal to possess in Japan varies greatly.
Be prepared with alternatives or to leave some medicine at home because of the “I had no idea” excuse doesn’t cut it at customs.
First, let’s just get the most obvious out of the way. Those of you who use cannabis or cannabis-related products (CBD or THC), even with a medical prescription, just leave it at home. It is completely illegal in Japan and you will be charged with a crime if caught bringing it into the country.
For OTC’s, it’s illegal to bring certain OTC medications, including certain inhalers and sinus medicines, into Japan. Specifically, products that contain stimulants, such as Pseudoephedrine, are prohibited.
So OTC’s such as Actifed, Sudafed, and Vicks inhalers are a no-go.
Prescription medications are a bit more complicated in many cases. Guidance from the U.S. Embassy regarding prescription medication says the following:
Heroin, cocaine, MDMA, opium, cannabis (marijuana), stimulant drugs including some prescription medications such as Adderall are prohibited in Japan. There are no exceptions in bringing these prohibited medications into Japan, even if the medication is legally obtained outside of Japan.~ U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Japan
Make sure you bring a doctor’s prescription as well as a letter stating the purpose of the drug. If you must bring more than a one month supply, or if you’re carrying syringes (EpiPen) or a CPAP machine, then you must obtain a Yakkan Shomei, a type of import certificate, in advance and present it along with your prescription medicines at Customs.
For a more complete list as well as forms for medication approval, be sure to check out the U.S. Embassy in Japan’s website here.
21. Don’t maintain eye contact.
One of the more difficult differences for me to remember is to not maintain eye contact when speaking to a Japanese person (unless negotiating a business deal). This is because it is considered rude and a sign of aggression in Japanese society.
When speaking, try to only look at the person’s eyes about 25% of the time to show that you’re still invested in the conversation. Nodding along with the conversation helps alleviate this issue a lot as well.
This rule doesn’t necessarily apply to close friends. But as a general rule for speaking to strangers and casual acquaintances.
22. Do expect to be declined service sometimes.
This one may sound incredible and downright racist to an American, but there are many establishments that will actually turn you away for being a foreigner.
It doesn’t seem to really matter what your race or ethnicity is, these places will turn you away because they (usually) don’t want to deal with the language barrier. Other reasons for this could include a perception that foreigners cause problems and fights in bars (some truth to this), and sometimes the owner is just racist. But one reason is actually that the establishment is Yakuza run, and they simply reject all foreigners due to that.
No matter what the reason is, it doesn’t make it less frustrating. However, if this happens to you, just move along and take your money somewhere else. The police won’t do anything about it because the owner can decline service if they want to. Don’t waste time thinking about it. After all, do you really want to be served food by people who don’t want you there in the first place?
23. Don’t go to a tattoo parlor (unless they’re certified).
This one actually surprised me when I found out about it. Now, I personally don’t have or want any tattoos (I love onsens [Japanese hot spring baths] too much). But I know that many travelers come to Japan specifically to get a tattoo from the many incredible tattoo artists here.
Japan has a love/hate relationship with tattoos which goes back a long way. And seems to be mostly due to the connection with organized crime in Japan (yakuza), though the details of this are very complicated.
Well, thanks to a court-ruling in Osaka a few years ago, getting a tattoo in Japan may be a crime depending on the parlor you get it at.
That’s because this court-ruling deemed that only “medical professionals” are legally allowed to ink you up.
Obtaining a medical license in Japan is time-consuming and expensive, and almost no tattoo artist is going to waste time getting one. Instead, they’re fighting back against this law.
To this point I’ve not seen any updates regarding this legal fight, so assume the current law still applies. As with many laws in Japan, this one is somewhat lax in its enforcement, but there have been many tattoo artists, particularly in Osaka, who have been fined and forced out of business due to this ruling.
Yet tattoo parlors still exist with or without the medical certification. So, I’m not telling you to not get a tattoo while visiting, just be willing to accept the consequences should the police decide to bust in because the artist made the wrong person mad or something.
24. Do smoke in designated areas.
Tobacco has a special place in Japanese society, and it’s incredibly popular. So much in fact that the Japanese even write it as とばっこ using Hiragana, a writing system reserved for Japanese words, rather than Katakana, which is normally used for foreign words.
Convenience stores have entire walls behind the cash register filled with cigarette selections. Everything from menthol to e-Cigarettes (not to be confused with vaping), they’ll have it.
If you’re a smoker traveling here from the states and you’re 18 or 19, prepare to be going cold turkey on cigarettes for a while, as the legal smoking age is 20.
Another major difference here is that smoking is allowed in most restaurants and bars. Some of which have designated smoking sections.
To make things a bit weirder, you can’t smoke while walking down the street or sitting on a bench in a park here, you must instead smoke in designated areas while outside.
Of all these laws, this is the one I tend to have the most trouble with because I don’t like being around smoke at restaurants and bars.
So if it gets to be too much of a problem, just move on to a place with designated sections.
25. Don’t be like Logan Paul (an annoying tourist)
Logan Paul was punished by Youtube for posting a video that upsets many Japanese. Aside from his shortcomings, here’s how not to be an annoying tourist in Japan:
- Don’t disturb and blatantly take photos of geishas or maiko if you see one.
- Do finish reading this article.
I hope you find the information here useful for your trip to Japan. As you can see, not all of the differences between Japan and America are bad, but it can still be a bit of a shock for first-time visitors.
Hopefully, you can get some of that shock out of the way now before getting there and letting it be a problem during your visit.
I hope this list helps you avoid any cultural missteps during your time in this incredible country. There are actually a lot more. But this covers the ones which affect travelers the most.
This kind of stuff is important to me because I wholeheartedly believe that we, as foreigners in this place, should do our part in being good representatives of our home countries.
Do you have any questions? Just leave your comments below!