Etiquette to Practice Before Exploring Japan
When I hear “exploring Japan”, I usually fantasize cute schoolgirls, wearing shiny kimonos, checking out cool robots, and eating ramen all day. That sounds very good, doesn’t it? However, if you happen to look impolite and barbaric to the Japanese, your vacation won’t be as luxurious. These practices are considered etiquette when exploring Japan:
Learning the Gestures
A very basic polite gesture is bowing. Japanese people use it all the time, like when saying “thank you,” “excuse me,” “how are you,” and “I’m sorry.” For women, the hands have to be in front. For men, the hands should be on the sides.
What to Do
If there’s something you should not do, do not walk on a tatami with shoes (even slippers) on. A tatami is a mat used as flooring material in Japan. Stepping on it with footwear on is like saying “I don’t care about how clean this house is.” Also, before entering a house, leave your shoes at the door, with the toes facing the doorway.
After eating, you should put your chopsticks on top of your bowl, especially if the one who cooked the meal is eating with you. This gesture tells the person that you liked the food, and respect how he/she took some time cooking it.
If you’re going to drive an important guest over to go exploring Japan, don’t put them in the middle part of the backseat. To them, it’s very rude doing that. When you want them to feel pleasured with you, seat them right behind the driver’s seat.
Now you know the basics in Japanese etiquette. So, now you can go on a great vacation exploring Japan.