6 Interesting Japanese Manners & Customs

6 Interesting Japanese Manners & Customs

Have a comprehensive look at what you MUST know before traveling to a new place.
Learning the manners and customs of the country you are traveling to is imperative to impress and socialize with the locals. Plus, it is part of your travel manners. Doesn’t it sound more educated and literate when a foreigner knows your local customs beforehand?
When I went to Japan 4 years ago, I honestly did a lot of homework to feel comfortable and at home there. I had gotten an internship in Japan, so I really didn’t want to appear unaware in front of the locals. Rather it was amazing to hear appreciative remarks of locals when I was able to understand and converse in their mother language about 20 to 30 percent at that time.
Here are some interesting Japanese manners that you MUST be familiar with:
Don’t Avoid Keigo
Sounds peculiar? Keigo is a polite way of speaking up in the Japanese language. It has various levels of humble and respectful speeches that are hard to master, inclusive of Japanese as well.
Most people get lazy about learning Keigo and switch to English during situations requiring Keigo. It sounds rude and irritating to the locals. So, while learning the Japanese language, make sure to learn certain common phrases of keigo.
However, keep it in mind that you don’t have to use keigo in every situation such as in a restaurant, to the cab driver, etc. It might sound intimidating but you must look for the *best ways to learn Japanese*. (https://www.mimicmethod.com/best-way-to-learn-japanese/)
Don't Eat from Common Dishes
Most of us are used to eating directly from common dishes. In Japan, it is found as highly inappropriate. So, get your plate and collect some of the food items that you want to have before you start eating.
Pour the Drink By Yourself
Your gesture of pouring drinks for everyone at the dinner party would be considered truly kind. It is a custom to fill other’s glass but your own. Your glass would be filled by somebody else. You can also buy shared wine bottles to enjoy the evening.
Seating Position
As for business meetings, members of a single company sit on the same side. The customers are seated in the deepest corner of the room. If you are visiting a company, you should always ask the receptionist to tell you where to sit or else she would guide you as per the customs.
Wear Yukata
Yukatas are traditional dresses that are worn in corridors, to dinner or breakfast. In hotels, the yukata pajamas are provided to you, so you can comfortably carry yourself with other locals. Some luxury hotels; however, ask you to avoid wearing yukata, but not all Japanese locals give an ear to it.
Playing with Chopsticks
First, learn the tricky way of handling and eating with chopsticks. Once you have mastered it, know that it is considered bad if you start playing with chopstick after having food. The chopsticks have got your saliva on them, so it can turn into an embarrassing situation.
Besides these, pointing and honking are considered rude and ill-mannered behaviors. So, just be careful and enjoy your trip.

About the Author:
Lara Smith has worked for Wall Street English for 20 years. After studying at Stanford University and subsequently doing a CELTA course, she began her career in teaching. She is obsessed with languages and currently writes blogs at https://www.mimicmethod.com/.

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United States

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