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How to bow images

How to bow

I work at a medical clinic in Japan, and had to participate last month in an etiquette workshop in which we learned how to bow properly. Although I'm no expert myself, this is what we learned:1. You should face the person to whom you're bowing. There are 3 kinds of bows: #1-casual bow that c…(214 words)

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Andrea Miyata

Etiquette Bowing
Bathroom slippers images

Bathroom slippers

The most important thing to remember when you use bathroom slippers: Don't forget to take them off when you finish using the restroom. it is sometimes very difficult to remember, because you were wearing room slippers before you went in. The faux pas is going to get caught pretty quickly - the ba…(99 words)

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Etiquette Slippers
Smile! :) images

Smile! :)

Smiling is the most important thing you can do when you meet Japanese people. If you know some Japanese greetings like “Ohayou,” and “Kon-nichiwa,” you can use these words for the beginning of conversations. When Japanese people know you try to speak the Japanese language, they feel happy and comfo…(59 words)

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Etiquette Conversations
Keep the store clean and stay polite! images

Keep the store clean and stay polite!

An aspect I am always surprised by when shopping in Japan is that the stores are always impeccably clean! What I learned through experience is that the shoppers themselves leave the shops clean by folding the clothes or not picking up the clothes unless they like it. Also, it is a Japanese custo…(120 words)

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Shopping Etiquette
left or right? images

left or right?

In Tokyo (the Kanto area, generally speaking), people stand on the left side of the escalator, however, in Oaska (the Kansai area), most tend to stand on the right side of the escalator.(33 words)

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Tokyo Etiquette Kansai Kanto
Have your point card ready images

Have your point card ready

If you happen to have a point card, rebate ticket or coupon for the particular shop, get it out in advance because you won't have time to look for it when you reach the cashier.(35 words)

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Etiquette Ticket
Are you allowed to Use Your Cellphone in the Train in Japan? images

Are you allowed to Use Your Cellphone in the Train in Japan?

In Japan, using cellphones in the train is ok. In fact, you will see a lot of people texting on their cellphones in the train. However, there are rules to cellphone use. First of all, using cellphones near the priority seating is a big NoNo. Priority seats are where people with pacemakers sit and c…(125 words)

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Train Etiquette Japan Priority Seat cell phone
Try not to eat or drink while walking and riding trains! images

Try not to eat or drink while walking and riding trains!

The generally accepted rule of conduct is to not eat or drink on the train and while walking (taking a sip of water or tea is fine). This is because Japanese people tend to be very considerate for other people on the train and streets. They also want to keep the trains and streets clean by not spil…(86 words)

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Train Etiquette Drink Tea
How do I have fun taking purikura booth photos? images

How do I have fun taking purikura booth photos?

The word "purikura" is shorthand for "print club" (purinto kurabu)." It refers to photo stickers that can be purchased in a photo booth. People enter a purikura booth (akin to machines that take passport photos), pop in a coin, get their photo taken against decorative and playful backgrounds, and …(95 words)

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Etiquette Coin Photo booth
"Hajimemashite" images


When you meet Japanese people, you can say "Hajimemashite", meaning "Nice to meet you."Even though you cannot speak Japanese well, that words will give Japanese people a sense of familiarity.(31 words)

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Separate Sticks images

Separate Sticks

Yakiniku at a restaurant will always be grilled by your party, and not by employees. This is different from yakitori (grilled chicken) which is always done by chefs, as it is a more delicate process.One thing to keep in mind, especially when eating in groups where people will be communally tak…(159 words)

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Restaurant Etiquette Shoes Yakitori Slippers Grilled meat barbeque
No one set server/waiter! images

No one set server/waiter!

In contrast to Western tradition, in Japan, you do not have one set server for your table. If it is a small restaurant, you will only have a waiter or two serving food. However, in a big restaurant, you will have a waiter taking you to the table and another one asking you what you would like to dri…(104 words)

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Restaurant Etiquette Drink
Think about your song choice images

Think about your song choice

If going to karaoke with friends, you should definitely consider your song choice. Try not to pick songs that only you can enjoy. Sometimes, it is fun to sing old songs that all of you know and can sing along to or new songs that you would want to introduce to your friends. I love singing duet song…(108 words)

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Etiquette Karaoke
Enjoy the scenery in a Jinrikisha! images

Enjoy the scenery in a Jinrikisha!

An interesting type of transportation is "Jinrikisha," which is a wooden carriage with two wheels pulled by a person. I have see nthese in areas such as Asakusa and Kamakura. This is one of the oldest forms of transportation in Japan and is a great way for tourists to get to know the area. From the…(110 words)

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Tokyo Etiquette Asakusa Kamakura Transportation Beauty
You can eat and drink in some trains! images

You can eat and drink in some trains!

Shinkansen is OK. Romance Car is OK.Basically, you can eat and drink sitting in box seats, but there are some exception ; Yurikamome is not suitable.Commuter trains are not suitable.When you find a vendor selling Obento by a cargo in train, definitely you can eat there. You need t…(55 words)

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Moo Moo

Train Etiquette Drink Shinkansen Bullet Train
another use of O-shibori! images

another use of O-shibori!

Most of Japanese male would wipe his face before his hands!It may not be a good manner, but we do. We feel no stranger on you when finding you do so. It is also useful when you spilt over your drink on a table!(45 words)

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Moo Moo

Etiquette Drink
Smoking is bad for your health, but if you must do it. images

Smoking is bad for your health, but if you must do it.

There are designated smoking areas near most train stations and over locations where people gather. These can be very congested and a bit dirty.But it is where you should smoke. Here is the link to the Japan Tabaco site and they have a series of posters to promote proper smoking mannersLink…(104 words)

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Train Etiquette Train station
Expect a knock images

Expect a knock

My experiences at Japanese inns have all been very pleasant. However, to a certain extent, you have to remember the close quarters you are in. You will be getting somewhat familiar with the owners and employees of the inn as you will pass them by on the way to the bath, dinner, restroom, etc.Al…(134 words)

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Etiquette Japanese inn
Before you leave... images

Before you leave...

When staying at the park or street with cherry blossoms, you should not take up excessive amounts of space, especially if it is a popular location. Take a picnic sheet that will fit your friends and/or family members with whom you will be doing hanami. Also, you must remember to throw out your own …(106 words)

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Park Etiquette Cherry blossom Cherry Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing) Flower
Keep the beach clean! images

Keep the beach clean!

Although beaches do not have many strict rules, one that is implied is to keep the beach clean. Similar to other manners, Japanese tend to think about other people who may use the space later. Therefore it is important to not leave trash around when you leave. This may be difficult, because there a…(97 words)

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Etiquette Beaches
Don't litter! images

Don't litter!

When walking around in Tokyo, you should prevent littering. Many Japanese people hold on to their trash and try to keep the city clean. Japanese also tend to recycle their garbage, which makes it harder to sometimes find the right garbage can. If you have garbage that you really want to throw out, …(68 words)

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Tokyo City Etiquette Convenience store
Find Out Why Family-Run Hotels are So Comfortable in Japan! images

Find Out Why Family-Run Hotels are So Comfortable in Japan!

There aren't any strict manners that you wouldn't have to follow at a regular hotel but do at a Japanese bed and breakfast or minshuku. However, the unique aspects of a minshuku create some space for extra things you could be mindful about. First of all, minshuku are almost always family run. They …(173 words)

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Hotel Japan Etiquette Minshuku Gym Eat Pool
Aways Stand to Left in Japan on the Escalatr images

Aways Stand to Left in Japan on the Escalatr

One basic manner you have to know on your trip to Japan is to always stand on the left side of escalators. Only stand on the right side if you are walking up. This is a rule that everyone follows and you will naturally follow it when you see people doing it. In escalators, there aren’t any rules in…(158 words)

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Etiquette Japan escalators Trip Walk Business
Turn the slippers around! images

Turn the slippers around!

It is usually polite to use slippers instead of walk in bare feet or with socks on. When you take your slippers off, to enter a room, you should slip them off quietly and carefully and turn them around so that you (or someone else) can slip it on later with ease.(52 words)

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Etiquette Slippers
Left hand side in Tokyo and Nagoya & Right hand side in Kyoto and Osaka when you are taking escalators. images

Left hand side in Tokyo and Nagoya & Right hand side in Kyoto and Osaka when you are taking escalators.

It's funny because people in Tokyo and Nagoya are stopping on the left hand side when they are walking up/going down in hurry while people in Kyoto and Osaka are stopping on the right hand side of the escalators. There is no regulation, but almost all people follow this kind of rule without notific…(55 words)

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Tokyo Etiquette Kyoto Osaka Nagoya
Be efficient. images

Be efficient.

If there is a long line at the cashier, while you are waiting, you may want to get your change ready (if you know the price). This will reduce the waiting time for the people behind you. This comes from the Japanese attitude of wanting to please other people or not wanting to bother others. In orde…(95 words)

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Always check your sound images

Always check your sound

Personally, when I use headphones in a crowded train, I triple check that the sound is not audible outside the headphones. Noise leakage from people's headphones can be a real pain in the morning on a crowded train, and for some reason, people are just oblivious to their own noise (and no one will …(97 words)

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Train Etiquette
Not a must but ... images

Not a must but ...

Not a must but whenever I have a big note to buy something small, I would always state, "Sumimasen, ookii no shika motte imasen.", which literally means that, "I'm sorry that I only have a big note."For me, it is just a small way to show our gratitude for the pain/trouble we are causing. Small …(69 words)

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Andrew Soh Chih Jen

To the little tray.... images

To the little tray....

In Japan, you should not hand in the cash directly to the casher's hands. Always leave the cash into the little tray at the casher or if they do not have the tray, you should leave it to the casher-desk. This is to avoid any direct conflicts with the person in charge of the casher in case of los…(87 words)

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Shopping Etiquette
Kon-nichiwa !! images

Kon-nichiwa !!

Greetings are a kind of manner as well as a way of communication to open up for each other. As you may know, Japanese hospitality is highly valued by other countries. Our hospitality always starts with greetings and ends with greetings. Through greetings, we can feel closer to each other. I think …(82 words)

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Etiquette Communication
What are the toy machines "Gacha Gacha" I see around town? images

What are the toy machines "Gacha Gacha" I see around town?

They are one-coin operating gadget vending machines! I would say they were developed based on Japanese people's two characteristics - 1. Like to test one's luck. 2. Love the action of devising an unusual plan on tiny items. Japanese people love to test their luck based on every little things ar…(245 words)

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Toy Etiquette
bowing is showing your respects at a temple or shrine images

bowing is showing your respects at a temple or shrine

I was asked my friend from Europe what are manners at Shrine and Temple. Shrine is Shinto(Japanese original religion) and temple is Buddhist.I was taught from my grandmother when I go to Shinto shrine, crap my hands and call god , bow and you pray your wishes.When I go to Temple, I don't cra…(65 words)

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Etiquette Tera (Temple) Jinjya (Shrine) Bowing
escalator mannar images

escalator mannar

When you take an escalator, which side do you stand if you are not in a hurry? To stand right may be the good manner in most parts of the world but it's not in Tokyo. Japanese people stand left when they are not in a rush so the people who are in a hurry can go up on right side!(But when I we…(77 words)

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Tokyo Etiquette Osaka Transportation
Great Tip to Avoid the Rush Hour in Japan images

Great Tip to Avoid the Rush Hour in Japan

On a longer (30 minute plus) train ride, I will often splurge on a Green car ticket. These temperate cars have a nice train attendant who comes by to sell snacks and drinks and when it is not rush hour you can get a window seat with a table to tap on your computer while enjoying the sites. During r…(279 words)


Japan Rush hour Train Etiquette Ticket Shoes Computer Business
Change slippers for the toilet! images

Change slippers for the toilet!

Do not wear your room slippers into the toilet area, this will really annoy people. Use the provided toilet slippers.(20 words)

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Etiquette Slippers
Japanese Bed and Breakfast Manners images

Japanese Bed and Breakfast Manners

Japanese bed and breakfast facilities resemble their British bread and breakfast lodgings, but often with several differences. Many Japanese establishments offer both dinner and breakfast. Before arrival, make sure which meals are offered. More often than not, "breakfast" will beJapanese st…(177 words)

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Etiquette Hotel Miso Miso soup Shoes Yukata (Light kimono) Slippers Shizuoka Furo (Japanese bath)
Keep a seat for someone later! images

Keep a seat for someone later!

You will notice that when you enter a train, in most of the train cars there will be a reserved area for people who need the seat: these are called "priority seats". Of course, you can just leave it up to logic in regard to who actually needs the seat, but there will be some symbols on the window n…(196 words)

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Train Etiquette
Eating at a Japanese restaurant images

Eating at a Japanese restaurant

Before entering, understand if non-smoking seats are available and credit cards can be used. When eating, do not pour soy sauce on white rice! When paying, no tip is required; just say "Gochiso Sama!"(34 words)

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Restaurant Etiquette Soy sauce
ABC Cooking Studio images

ABC Cooking Studio

ABC Cooking Studio is a place where people come to cook a variety of foods in a casual manner. There are 124 studios currently operating in Japan, and as a member, you will be allowed to take classes at any studio of your choice. The classes are done in a small group, ensuring you maximum suppo…(121 words)

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Tokyo Etiquette Computer
Cleanliness in Key in Japanese Shops images

Cleanliness in Key in Japanese Shops

One thing I absolutely love about Japan is how clean everything is. Today I was at a soba shop and I noticed the little cup of toothpicks was knocked over and that about 20 toothpicks were strewn across the countertop. I noted this to the staff in the restaurant and he immediately said "So Sorry!" …(183 words)


Fast food Tokyo Restaurant Etiquette Soba noodles Coffee Shop