Traveling to Japan: 5 Things to Know Before Leaving
If 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!