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  • Writer's pictureJapan Itinerary Assistant

Japanese Etiquette, Expected Behaviors, and Manners.

When it comes to visiting Japan, tourists are often concerned with the country’s unique customs and expectations of behavior. While it’s true that Japan has a distinct set of manners and etiquette, there are also some normal behaviors and habits that all visitors should keep in mind.


Here are some tips for western tourists when traveling to Japan.


When entering a home or building, it’s important to take off your shoes and put on slippers that are provided. This is a common practice in Japan and is a sign of respect.

When dining in Japan, it’s important to remember that there are certain behaviors that are expected. For example, it’s considered rude to begin eating before everyone else has been served. It’s also important to remember to say “itadakimasu” before eating, and “gochisousama” after the meal.

In Japan, it’s also important to be aware of how you’re dressed. In general, it’s best to dress conservatively and avoid wearing anything overly revealing. It’s also important to remember that tattoos are often seen as taboo in Japan, so it’s best to cover them up if possible.


When taking public transportation in Japan, it’s important to be aware of the rules. For example, it’s important to avoid talking loudly on the train or bus, and to avoid eating or drinking. It’s also important to stand to the side of the escalator and let people pass if you’re not in a hurry.


When visiting Japan, it is important to be aware of the local customs and etiquette. As a western tourist, it is easy to unintentionally disrespect the culture and people of Japan. To ensure a respectful and enjoyable visit to Japan, here are some tips to help you show respect while you are there.


1. Dress Respectfully: Japan is a traditional culture and dressing modestly is a sign of respect. Avoid wearing revealing clothing, such as tank tops and shorts, and opt for clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.


2. Be Aware of Your Body Language: Japanese people tend to be more conservative in their body language and gestures. Avoid loud and boisterous behavior, and be aware of how much space you take up.


3. Learn a Few Japanese Phrases: Learning a few Japanese phrases is a great way to show respect and appreciation for the local culture. Knowing how to say “thank you” or “excuse me” in Japanese will go a long way.


4. Follow Local Etiquette: Japanese etiquette can be complex and confusing for western tourists. Be sure to research the local customs before your visit, such as taking off your shoes when entering a home or temple.


5. Respect Personal Space: Japanese people are very conscious of personal space. Avoid standing too close to people or invading their personal space.


6. Don’t Give Tips: Giving tips is not a part of Japanese culture and is not expected. If you receive excellent service, it is polite to express your appreciation with a verbal “thank you” or a bow.


Finally, it’s important to remember that Japan is a cash-based society, so it’s important to have cash on hand when traveling. Credit cards are accepted in some places, but it’s best to have a few thousand yen in cash just in case.


By following these tips, western tourists can show respect to the people and culture of Japan. Respectful behavior will ensure a pleasant and enjoyable visit to this beautiful country.

Overall, there are some normal behaviors and habits that all tourists should keep in mind when visiting Japan. By following these tips, visitors can ensure that their trip is enjoyable and respectful of Japan’s culture.

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