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!
- 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.