Fun facts about the Culture of Japan: Bowing, Staring, when to Remove your Shoes, How to sit on a Tatami mat, Why Showing emotions in public is a big No-No, Japanese Business culture, pop culture, and food culture.
The more you know about the Culture Of Japan the less confused you feel when landing, and more at ease when interacting with locals and in Business meetings.


Culture Of Japan: Bowing, Removing Your Shoes, And What’s With These Masks

Don’t worry – you are not expected to carry out all the Japanese manners. But knowing a bit of Tokyo culture really goes a long way with Japanese people.

Bowing is for expressing respect, thank you, apologizing, greeting someone and more. Don’t assume you can learn how to do it right. A simple inclination of the head or a slight bow at the waist is enough for foreigners.

The reason is that Bowing is nothing less than an art. The etiquette is very complex. The depth and length of a bow depends on the social status or age of the person you bow to.

Turning your back on someone in higher status than you is a huge insult. This leads to very amusing situations where people part going backward, and even enter the Taxi with their backside first.

Staring is a big no-no in the culture of Japan.
In crowded situations the Japanese avoid eye contact to give others privacy. Come to think of it – in a crowded city like Tokyo, this makes life more pleasant (especially on the subway).

Shoes Must be Removed when entering Japanese houses and some restaurants. You will be provided with slippers. These slippers are removed before walking on Tatami mats. If you are not given slippers, you can wear your socks, so make sure you have nice socks on.

There are special slippers for the toilet area. You must change back to regular slippers.

The Emergency room masks people wear in the streets are NOT due to some terrible disease. They protect other people from your virus or slight cold.

Sit with your legs folded on the Tatami mats on the floor in the traditional Japanese way.
Don’t panic- as a Gaijin (foreigner) you are not expected to be able to hold this pose. Men can sit cross-legged, and women can sit on their knees putting both legs to one side.

Showing extreme emotions is very out of place. Saying ‘no’ is very uncomfortable for them because they try to please as part of the codes of culture of Japan. Tokyo Nightlife has a very different set of rules.

It is an opportunity to meet a different side of the usually reserved nature of the Japanese people.

Don’t show affection in public – kissing, hugging and holding hands are very rare scenes in the Japanese public sphere. Even patting on the back is not acceptable.

‘San’ is what you call everyone after their last name. Not necessary with kids.

5 Rules For The Japanese Food Culture

What are the rules for Japanese table Manners In Japans Culture?
Why is sticking your chopsticks straight up in a bowl of rice a big no-no?

How to eat from a bowl of rice or soup? and how come Japanese people make slurping noises while eating noodles?
See More: Japanese Table Manners

10 Basic Tips On Japanese Business Culture And Doing Business In Japan

The business world of Japan, like most other aspects of life, is influenced by the Culture Of Japan. The Japanese businessman will behave according to cultural and traditional codes of doing business. Tokyo is no exception to that. Get ready for your time in Tokyo with some Tokyo facts about doing business in Japan and Japanese Business culture.

See More: Japanese business etiquette

Tokyo Trip Checklist

  • To make sure you have all the important things covered see my first-time-in-Tokyo guide
  • Get your 1,2 or 3-day Tokyo Unlimited Subway Pass to easily get around Tokyo
  • If you want to travel on bullet trains you can save big with a Japan Rail Pass. Here’s why is worth it.
  • You’ll need a prepaid sim or Portable WIFI to stay connected in Tokyo.
  • Check out my detailed Tokyo packing list to make sure you’re prepared.
  • The best site to book hotels in Tokyo is almost always And remember to book early, especially during busy times.
  • For travel insurance (which you need) Word Nomads offer great coverage in Japan and are highly recommended.

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