Japanese manners

Behavior and manners in Japan

Written by Merete - intern at Seramikku and former exchange student in Japan

In Japan, it is good style to be polite and maintain harmony and the good atmosphere. In public, one does not immediately show one's feelings, but maintains the facade to the outside. This has, among other things, to do with the strong Japanese team spirit and the importance of community.

In the following, there are a few things about good Japanese manners and consideration, which are good to remember for your first trip to Japan:

  • Do not eat or drink while walking
  • Take off your shoes in genkan (the entrance area of ​​a house)
  • Take your trash home with you (there aren't many public trash cans in Japan)
  • Do not be loud or talk on the phone on the train
  • Don't tip in restaurants and bars - it's rude
  • Do not stick your chopsticks into the bowl (this is done in connection with Japanese funeral rituals)
  • Do not let your chopsticks touch shared plates or other people's chopsticks
  • Do not rub chopsticks against each other
  • Don't blow your nose in public - if you really have to, it's actually better to cough and sneeze
  • Use a mask if you have a cold (we're getting used to it)

If you should forget to follow one of these rules, many Japanese are lenient because you are not Japanese. So screw it up. But still try to see if you can avoid these things :-)

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