Japan Culture And Traditions: Avoiding the common Culture Shock. Culture And Lifestyle in Japan: Bowing, Staring, when to Remove Shoes, Sitting on Tatami mats, Showing emotions, Japanese table Manners, and Doing Business In Japan.

What you don’t know about the culture of Japan can cause you to make these embarrassing mistakes…

Avoid Being unintentionally rude because you don’t have a clue about the culture of Japan.

As a foreigner (Gaijin) you are not expected to act according to the Culture And Customs of Japan. Nobody will be offended by your lack of Japanese manners (perhaps a little amused…)

But if you do make an effort it will be very much appreciated.

Japan Culture And Lifestyle

Japanese Culture Bowing Custom

No kissing, hugging, or holding hands in the street. Showing emotions is a big No-No in Life In Japanese Culture. Even patting on the back is not so common (unless they’re drunk).

See More: Culture Of Japan: 10 Common Mistakes Westerners Do

Public Bathing in the Sento – a public bathhouse. Most Japanese apartments are so tiny that having a bath was out of the question. The Sento is a strange mishmash between a Spa and a social get-together. Japanese people soap and wash outside the bath tab, and only enter the water when they are clean. Then they put a towel over their forehead and relax in the water. Not a bad way to unwind. Men and women bathe separately…

The emergency room masks people wear in the subway are worn to protect other people from a virus or a cold.

Individualism is considered selfish in Japan. Japanese children are taught to behave harmoniously and work together from the day they are born. The education system puts great emphasis on politeness, personal responsibility, and working together and less importance on fulfilling your unique talents.

Japanese Culture Business

Why Do Japanese People Bow?

Bowing is nothing less than an art in Japan. There’s always a reason to bow: to express respect, Gratitude, an apology, greetings, and more. Don’t assume you can learn how to do it right. The etiquette surrounding bowing is very complex.

Japanese Culture Business Bowing

Status differences are a big thing in Japan, and they dictate all social interaction in Japans culture. Age, rank, gender, educational accomplishments, and place of employment influence social interaction. Without some knowledge of a person’s background, some very embarrassing situations can occur.

See More: What Never Ever To Do When Doing Business In Japan

No is considered too straightforward to use. Try using “I have to consult, I will check it”. Don’t worry about giving the wrong impression. The Japanese appreciate group thinking and teamwork.

Seating arrangements for a business meeting are a delicate and thoughtful procedure. I once participated in a business dinner where the seating strategy for the managers took more than 20 minutes to figure out by the employees.

They were very anxious not to offend anyone, a mistake which would have cost them their job.

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 Booking.com. 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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