6 tips what to do in Japan

  1. Take off your shoes when you are expected to (For more information, refer to Tip 6 below)
  2. Don’t talk on your cellphone when on public transportation. If you can’t avoid taking the call, whisper and terminate the call quickly.
  3. Never stick chopsticks vertically into food. Across the whole of East Asia, this represents an offering to the dead.
  4. Don’t gesture at people with just one finger.
  5. Please queue when you see others doing so.
  6. As like the case with many other countries, please do not criticise the Japanese royal family.

Over the years, I’ve read about taboos such as not blowing your nose in public, not eating while walking, etc. Here’s the confounding thing. I’ve actually seen a lot of Japanese, young and old, doing these. My conclusion, therefore, is to generally avoid loud and distasteful behaviour in public. Japan prizes itself as an orderly nation. Whatever the Japanese themselves might be doing, you should avoid drawing unnecessary attention to yourself. This is especially so when you’re alone.

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