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Traveling to Japan: 5 Things to Know Before Leaving

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Traveling to Japan: 5 Things to Know Before LeavingIf you’re thinking of heading away on an exotic trip to Japan, wait just one moment. While there are loads of fascinating things to see in this country, the last thing you want to do is cause offense. The problem is that their customs are very different from ours. Before you know it, you could do or say the wrong thing and end up being downright rude. If you want to avoid making any faux pas, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what you need to know.

  1. You should never tip your waiter or waitress

While tipping might feel like the most natural thing in the world when you’re dining, you might want to hold back a little. In much of the world, you should always leave your waiter or waitress a little something extra as a courtesy. However, in Japan, this is considered an insult. Leaving a tip is generally regarded as odd and so you really don’t want to do it.

  1. You may have to take your shoes off… a lot!

When you head to a restaurant, cafe, or the like, be prepared to take your shoes off. Of course, this may seem rather strange at the start, but you will get used to it. This custom comes from the Japanese household, where everyone must be shoeless. Many companies ask the same of their guests.

  1. Communal nude bathing is a thing

An ‘onsen’ is a hot spring where people can bathe and relax together. One of the things that you need to know before heading to a place like this one is that you may have to be nude. If you’re a shy person, you might want to avoid these places. Many of them simply don’t allow bathing suits! You’ve been warned.

  1. Don’t blow your nose in public

If you’re unlucky enough to get a cold when you’re away, you need to be careful. You might think that blowing your nose is no big deal, but you could upset the people around you. In Japan, it’s considered very rude to blow your nose in the street or in public in general. Find a quiet place alone where you can do it.

  1. Stand to the left of escalators

If you plan on traveling around a whole load, you will need to know this tip. When going up escalators, you should always stand to the left. That way, you can let anyone who is in a rush pass you with ease. If you don’t do this every time you use an escalator, you run the risk of ruffling some feathers!

Of course, Japan is a rich and diverse country. If you’re looking to visit this place, you’re certain to have a culturally engaging and exciting time. Good look and bon voyage!

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14 Comments

  1. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    These are really interesting facts. I had no idea you shouldn’t blow your nose in public in Japan. It makes sense, though. It’s gross.

  2. Colleen Lanin says

    I learned about sneezing the hard way! We recently took a trip to Japan and when I blew my nose on the street, the people looked appalled. Always do your homework!

  3. Tracey says

    Japan is on my list of places to visit right now so this was so interesting and helpful to read. Thanks for sharing these awesome tips.

  4. Mitch says

    This is great info! I remember when we had to hold back in out ripping in Italy, it is so important to learn local customs! I had no idea there was no tipping in Japan. Although I Italy they got used to Americans giving them extra money!

  5. Pam says

    These are all good things to know. It’s important to research local customs before going anywhere unfamiliar.

  6. Amanda Love says

    I’m planning to go to Japan and it’s awesome to learn more about it. These are really interesting and it’s always nice to learn more about a country’s customs.

  7. Crystal says

    I’ve done a little traveling, but still haven’t made it to Asia yet. I’m daydreaming of when I get to go to Japan. It’s good to do my research, so send me all the tips you’ve got!

  8. Seattle Travel Blogger says

    Yikes, there are certainly some cultural differences between U.S. and Japan.
    Thanks for making me aware of this – I do find this interesting.

  9. melissa says

    Those are all such important tips if I ever go to Japan. How about the language is it possible to get around in English? Are you going soon?

  10. OUR FAMILY WORLD says

    its good to know about it!! we are planningn to visit Japan next year! this is a very helpful post!

  11. Kiwi says

    My dream is to go to Tokyo! Thanks for the tips I want to be culturally respectable when I visit.

  12. Rosey says

    Those are good tips. It’s always good to look for insider tips like this before going to a particular are. My son was set to go to Japan for a school trip, but the big storm happened and that was that.

  13. Brianne says

    Thank you for these tips! Japan has been on my bucket list for sometime now!

  14. Anosa says

    I stayed at the capsule hotel and going naked in the common CR is normal. That’s was my unforgettable experience there.

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