Summary of contents of this post
We always say that before travelling to a country, it is not only necessary to be clear about the most important points of tourist interest or what to see or do yes or yes. It is also super important to investigate a little more about the customs, habits and culture of the destination you are traveling to. Especially if it’s a country as different from ours as Japan. So in this video-post we’re going to talk about all the things you should NEVER do in Japan, either because they’re not common, because they’re disrespectful, or because they’re not as common as they are here.
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These are the 15 things you should NEVER do in Japan
Do not get into an onsen if you are not naked.
And very much in line with this, don’t get into an onsen if you haven’t showered first. The onsen is entered already clean. The bath ritual in Japan gives for a whole video-post that we will do in the future, but what you have to have super clear is that. An onsen isn’t like a spa you can walk into with a bathing suit. From washing well first and coming in to relaxing naked.
Things you shouldn’t do in Japan: enter an onsen dressed or wearing a bathing suit
2. Never speak very loudly, but especially on the subway or in transport.
We Spaniards are known worldwide for speaking super loudly. And I speak VERY loud. So don’t see how hard it was for me to adapt to the situation. The Japanese are super silent, so please respect their silence.
3. Never try to get into a line, either to get into the subway or for anything else.
Seriously, the Japanese love tails. They line up for everything. Don’t do this to them. Be respectful and keep your turn as it should be.
Things you shouldn’t do in Japan: eat or drink on public transportation
4. Don’t eat or drink on public transport
Unless it is permitted as in shinkasen where there are specially prepared trays, do not eat or drink on public transport. And much less if there are a lot of people.
5. NEVER smoke in spaces not fitted out for this purpose, INCLUDING the street.
The only place where you can smoke in the street are the smoking zones, and be careful because if you break this rule you could be fined.
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6. Don’t leave a tip
In Japan tipping is not seen as an act of generosity. It’s not a common thing because they understand that good service is normal. So it’s very likely that if you leave a tip in a restaurant, the waiter will come out and give you your money back thinking you’ve forgotten it 🙂
Things you shouldn’t do in Japan: leave a tip
7. As a general rule, do not board buses through the front door.
We’ve already told you about it in our posts about transport in Japan, Tokyo and Kyoto, but it doesn’t cost us anything to repeat it. Wherever you go, do what you see, so before you get on a bus, pay close attention to where the locals do it, because most of the time it will be through the back door.
Bus stop in Tsumago
8. Do not give money directly into the hand of the person receiving it.
It is very common that in stores and other establishments there is a small tray in which to deposit the money when you go to pay. You leave it there and the person who receives it takes it. Several times in Japan I tried to give the money in the hand, and very kindly they indicated me with the hand that I should leave it in the tray.
Don’t forget that the best way to get money or pay abroad are travel cards, your best allies to save the most on your travels. In this post we review the most important, we tell you their advantages and disadvantages and put at your disposal all the discounts and offers we have achieved for you 😉 For example, if you order your Bnext card through our link and recharge 25 euros, you get another 10. We use it a lot to get money when we arrive at the destination. For its part, the N26 card is the best option to pay when you travel.
9. NEVER enter a hotel room with street slippers on.
Street slippers are for the street, so when you enter a hotel or house in Japan you should leave them at the door. In some cases at the reception and in others at the door of the room. Instead they’ll lend you some ‘walking around the house’ slippers.
Things you shouldn’t do in Japan: walk into a house or room with the slippers from the street.
10. NEVER key chopsticks in food
This is something that I personally find very difficult not to do, but DO NOT do it, because it is a symbol of the funeral rituals in Japan.
11. Don’t blow your nose in public.
It’s considered an act of bad manners, even more so if you do it in a restaurant. So if you have to blow your nose, go to the bathroom, please 🙂
12. Never throw ANYTHING on the ground
You don’t have to do it in any country, because it’s VERY pork, but in Japan even less so.
13. Never say ‘chin, chin’ to toast
In Japanese you’re naming the male genitals, so if you’re going to toast, you’d better say ‘kampai’ 😉 Not that it’s rude, but it can be super embarrassing, don’t you think?
14. Don’t try to help a Japanese guy who’s doing his job.
If a hotel employee is carrying your bags from one place to another and you try to help him or her, it may be taken as an offense or as not doing his or her job well. It’s his job and you don’t want to take it away from him 😉 I know it’s not easy to understand, because it’s also natural for me to help others, but we don’t want to offend the Japanese.
15. Don’t try to open a taxi door. They open themselves!
Magic! In Japan, taxi doors open by themselves. Yeah, we’re not crazy. They have a mechanism installed by which the driver can open it from his seat without you touching anything. And don’t touch anything! Because you could load the system 😛
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You want to organize a trip to Japan like this?
Find cheap flights to Japan here.
The best accommodations in Japan here.
Get 25 euros for your apartment with Airbnb here.
Book your Japan Rail Pass for Japan here.
The best excursions and tours in Japan here.
What are the best travel cards?
Change money at the best price here.
Take out your travel insurance with a 5% discount here.
The best guides in Japan here.
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