Customs, Traditions and Etiquette of Japan



Japan is a lovely island nation off the coast of the Korean Peninsula and mainland Russia. Generally known as having a wealthy, vibrant heritage with an enormous concentrate on respect for elders and a reverence in direction of private honor, Japan has lengthy been a rustic that has a powerful and stoic air about it, due partly to the strict customs and traditions which might be usually noticed. Whereas locals received’t count on all foreigners to stick to those high-quality factors of etiquette, it’s a good suggestion to have some concept of what to anticipate and what the customs are like so that you could strive your finest to observe them in your Japan excursions with Explorient, a lot to the delight of the Japanese folks.

We’ve made it straightforward so that you can study traditions, customs and etiquette of Japan by placing collectively this straightforward to observe information that highlights a few of the extra frequent, finer factors that you simply’re prone to encounter throughout your time in Japan on the likes of Explorient’s Priceless Japan Spectacular tour. Sit again, chill out and have a learn a bit extra concerning the cultural customs and traditions of this distinctive, stunning and welcoming nation to organize your self on your upcoming and future journeys to this island nation.

Japan – A World of Custom


It’s true. Anytime you consider Japan, you consider a world the place customs and traditions basically reign supreme. Listed below are a few of the most typical traditions, customs and factors of etiquette you’re prone to see or expertise whenever you’re in Japan on Explorient’s Japan Household Spectacular tour.

Footwear Off!

In Japanese customized, it’s nearly at all times required that footwear be eliminated when getting into a home or different constructing. Whereas locations like resorts might not require that footwear be eliminated earlier than getting into a foyer, smaller guesthouses will ask that footwear be eliminated earlier than getting into the premises. There’ll nearly at all times be home slippers accessible to put on in the home, or often socks are acceptable. There are areas throughout the dwelling the place footwear are eliminated, at all times going through the skin of the house, and the place slippers are placed on. This space known as a genkan, and is usually a decrease stage in contrast with the remainder of the home. That is in all probability some of the frequent traditions or customs you’ll expertise and it’s a good suggestion to observe go well with as footwear in buildings or properties is seen as impolite.

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Not solely this, however you may be anticipated to take away footwear in eating places as nicely. We hear you asking ‘However what concerning the rest room state of affairs?’. By no means worry – these companies present slippers within the rest room for visitor use. Whereas it may be straightforward to neglect to take away them, it’s essential you don’t because it’s seen as very embarrassing. You’ll possible expertise the shoe customs broadly throughout your time in Japan on Explorient’s Japan Panorama tour.


Bowing is massive in Japan and whereas the Japanese might not count on foreigners to bow as deeply as they do (if in any respect), it’s a good suggestion to no less than nod your head barely in greeting or departure or in thanks. There’re no unfavourable repercussions and as a substitute, you’ll achieve the heat and appreciation of any Japanese particular person you may work together with.


As with many different international locations within the area, consuming straight from a typical bowl is taken into account rude. As an alternative, use the communal chopsticks or spoon/serving utensils to position meals onto your personal plate earlier than consuming it. When it comes to chopstick use, it’s conventional to carry the chopsticks towards the tip, not often within the first third of the sticks. When it comes to paying the test, for those who’re with others the overall rule is that the test is break up as evenly as attainable, with extra senior members of the group and males paying barely extra on common. Moreover, it’s essential to know that when eating in teams, taking meals from the identical dish that another person is taking meals from is seen as impolite and dangerous type. Give everybody house to take meals one after the other. This can be a customized you’ll nearly actually run into whenever you go to Japan on Explorient’s Style of Hong Kong and Tokyo tour.

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In lots of resorts, you might discover units of what are basically pajamas or lounging robes often known as yukata. Usually resorts will permit company to put on yukata all through the resort (and certainly that is commonplace all through Japan). You’ll be able to even put on yukata to breakfast and dinner or to the resort onsen. Some luxurious or higher-end resorts might choose that yukata not be worn publicly within the resort, however many ignore this and do it anyway. If doubtful, test along with your resort entrance desk.


As with many international locations, pointing is taken into account to be impolite or aggressive. In Japan, pointing may even be seen as threatening. As an alternative, attempt to gesture with an open hand, or use dialog to debate a path or location of store or enterprise you’re in search of.

Onsen Etiquette

There are numerous guidelines surrounding the usage of onsen in Japan. For one, the customer to the onsen will need to have a bathe earlier than getting into the water, very similar to we do within the west earlier than getting into a swimming pool. Cleaning soap is anticipated for use but in addition rinsed nicely. Nice care ought to be taken to not contaminate the onsen water with cleaning soap – generally as a consequence of the truth that the onsen water comes from pure sizzling springs. Moreover, small towels are sometimes dropped at the onsen, that are used to scrub the physique earlier than getting into the water. The difficulty is that you simply’ve to take the towel with you when leaving the bathe space, nevertheless it’s not allowed within the onsen water. Many individuals will as a substitute place it on their heads, to keep away from leaving it laying round or being within the water. It’s possible you’ll encounter folks carrying their small sizzling spring towels on their heads in lots of onsens all through Japan. Should you’re a fan of sizzling springs and the like, you’ll wish to brush up on onsen etiquette earlier than your journey to Japan on Explorient’s Japan Highlights tour.

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Bodily Contact

The Japanese are non-public folks and usually don’t present shows of affection outwardly equivalent to hugging or slaps on the again between buddies. Likewise, these in relationships will keep away from bodily contact in public. Attempt to observe these social cues as nicely or danger trying a bit unusual for those who’re having a cuddle on the street.

Oshibori Etiquette

In lots of eating places, a humid towel often known as an oshibori might be offered previous to the meals arriving. The oshibori might be both cool or heat relying on the season. This towel is to solely be used to scrub your palms earlier than consuming. Utilizing it as a serviette or for laundry your face will be thought of dangerous etiquette and impolite. You’ll possible expertise the oshibori on multiple event in your travels by Japan, equivalent to in your Kyoto Stopover with Explorient.

So for those who’re planning a visit to Japan quickly, hopefully, these few factors of etiquette and customs will assist put together you for a few of what you may expertise throughout your journey. The Japanese persons are usually fairly forgiving – particularly to foreigners – so don’t fear an excessive amount of about remembering every part. Get pleasure from your journey!


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