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Japan: Dos and don’ts when visiting this Asian country

For all its modernity and technology, Japan remains strongly rooted in ancient traditions. This creates a unique culture that may sometimes be difficult for visitors to comprehend. Sam Rashkovich, who has lived in Japan for many years, shares ten do’s and don’ts for visitors to Japan. 


  • talk on the phone on trains.
  • walk on Japanese-style tatami mat floors with shoes or even slippers.
  • get into a hot spring or public bath without rinsing off first.
  • drink before others do when sharing a meal; wait for the initial kanpai toast.
  • tip. At all. Ever!

Instead, DO…

  • pick up bowls to bring them closer to your mouth when eating.
  • drink soup straight out of the bowl.
  • slurp when eating noodles, no matter what your parents told you when you were little.
  • give gifts to those you meet and make a connection with, even gifts that you think might be cheap, insignificant or uninteresting.
  • in one way or another, try to repay a kindness that somebody shows you.