Visiting Japan comes highly recommended by those who have had the opportunity to vacation there. While many in North America choose Caribbean or European destinations, Japanese destinations are increasing in popularity year after year. While going to Europe or the Caribbean doesn’t require much cultural flexibility, a North American does need to observe many different traditions while visiting Japan.
In order to figure out what these traditions were I spoke with JustFly, a North American online travel agency. As a company that has helped many people visit cities like Tokyo, JustFly had many tips on how to go to Japan and not offend the locals.
While in North America it is customary to tip for just about every purchase that involves a service industry worker, it is not customary to tip in Japan. This is due to the fact that people in this industry are generally paid better than their North American counterparts. So, relax, and save your tips for another round.
Be Calm And Quiet
It is customary in Japanese culture to put the needs of the many ahead of the needs of the few. While this is a broad statement, the key point is to recognize the quiet and serene nature of people in Japan. If you find you and your group getting rowdy, you’ll almost certainly be disturbing the locals. Don’t be rude and keep it down.
Don’t Pass Food
Next on JustFly’s review is some food etiquette. While there are many rules surrounding how you handle yourself at dinner time, a big one is to never pass food to anyone using your chopsticks. Why is it you may ask? It goes back to the funeral tradition of picking bones after a person has been cremated. Passing food in a similar manner is often reminiscent of this, and can make Japanese people very uncomfortable.
Where And When To Wear Shoes
Lastly, a more known tradition according to JustFly. It is customary to take off your shoes when you enter anyone’s home and many restaurants. While its impossible to say if someone will prefer this until you get to your destination, one thing you can do is be prepared. That means wear nice, matching socks. Leave your burner socks at home, no one wants to see those when the shoes come off.