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The do’s and don’ts of etiquette in Japan

While Japan may be modern and advanced, the country still remains strongly rooted in ancient traditions and a unique culture that may sometimes be difficult for visitors to comprehend. SAM RASHKOVICH from Gifu Prefectural Government, who has lived in Japan for many years, shares some do’s and don’ts for visitors to Japan.

DON’T…
1. talk on the phone on trains.
2. walk on Japanese-style tatami mat floors with shoes or even slippers.
3. get into a hot spring or public bath without rinsing off first.
4. drink before others do when sharing a meal; wait for the initial kanpai toast.
5. eat or drink while walking.
6. tip. At all. Ever!

Mount Aso, Kyushu, Japan, Japan's third largest island, Japan travels, travel
View of Mount Aso

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

For more information about Japanese etiquette and Japan visit www.jnto.go.jp and www.kankou-gifu.jp.

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